Monday, February 18, 2013

What Manitobans Regard...

Well at least those Manitobans who get to decide things like .... what statuatory holidays (or at least officially sanctioned days of not work) we are to enjoy. And of course what these days will be named in honor/remembrance/regard of.

The desire for a statuatory "holiday" in Canda's winter months was  motivated by the long stretch between Christmas/New Years and the Easter Holidays which might run into April depending on the vagaries of the Papal calendar. Most people would agree that this is the ideal time to get a break from the sometimes oppressive Canadian winter and create an opportunity to hook up the statuatory day off with some vacation time when most needed. These motivations seem fair minded and sensible in my own point of view. Certainly, they are popular.

In the Western provinces Alberta first established an official "holiday" in February as "Family Day" in 1990, Saskatchewan in 2007, Ontario in 2008 and British Columbia in 2011.

Manitoba established the official day off as the third MOnday in February in 2008. After a year of handwringing over the choice of names. The NDP government had no problem getting on the bandwagon but was worried about the appearances of either choosing the same name established by four other provinces or appearing to be brave and original by choosing to honour "Louis Riel" in the naming. This choice or Riel was the default position of the governing party but for some reason the moral cowardice of these socialists required that an effort be made to "listen" to all Manitobans before adopting the official title.

Apparently, the choice of such naming is best left to school children who under the guidance of their teachers are now doubt the very best qualified to determine who and how we as a province should establish such honors. Considering the efforts of historical revisionists to promote the story of Luis Riel as that of a hero and even "a founding father of confederation, choice of Luis Riel comes as not too much of a surprise.

And so it is now established that Manitobans consider it worthy designation to name our own winter day off in honour of the hanged traitor Louis Riel.

Hanging Louis Riel in Regina Nov. 16, 1885


Blogger Gerry said...

The "hanged traitor" ? Your comment is an insult to intelligent minds on both sides of the Riel debate. Most of us, yourself being an exception, are aware of the complexities and vagaries of history. To reduce a figure like Riel into two words is akin to glorifying him as the "father of Manitoba". Both do not do justice to the man. I'm a middle aged guy too and I've had enough experience to avoid the simple minded conclusions that you seem to arrive at.

2/22/2013 2:45 p.m.  
Blogger The Traveler said...


2/23/2013 2:13 a.m.  
Blogger Lost Johnny said...

So he was hanged because he wasn't a traitor? Just asking. I think a more fitting name for our invented holiday (family day not withstanding) should have been a reference to a more noble figure of my people's heritage - a la Cuthbert Grant or Gabriel Dumont, not some bat shit crazy lunatic, self proclaimed "Prophet of the New World".

Had Riel NOT been in Batoche or Fish Creek, this would be a very different country today....

2/23/2013 2:13 p.m.  
Blogger Gerry said...

He was hanged because of pressure from Ontario middle aged white guys...

2/26/2013 3:51 p.m.  

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