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Canada Rex Murphy: The speech that changed nothing

00:05  26 september  2020
00:05  26 september  2020 Source:   nationalpost.com

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Rex Murphy (born March 1947) is a Canadian commentator and author, primarily on Canadian political and social matters. He was the regular host of CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup

The president of Wilfrid Laurier University recently published a statement on free speech at Laurier and in the academy generally. It was a sad effort. She built a Giza-sized pyramid of clichés and virtue-speak about something she was pleased to call “better speech ” — as opposed to that decayed old concept

Julie Payette holding a book: Gov. Gen. Julie Payette delivers the throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. © Provided by National Post Gov. Gen. Julie Payette delivers the throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Was this week’s most heralded speech from the throne a success? Well, as I see it, if clichés, bad grammar, vapid assertions and a grade school level of eloquence can lift a nation’s spirits, the throne speech was the elevator we were all waiting for. By any other measure, it was a maudlin bore, of a banality so painful it may have induced shock in the few who willingly endured the whole of it. 

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Rex Murphy . Publishing date: Apr 17, 2020 • • 4 minute read. Yet it is not for Trudeau, or any other prime minister, to determine what is “acceptable speech ” from his constitutionally positioned critic, the leader of the Opposition.

The other speech , the really interesting speech , the speech that still has people talking and was headlined all over the Western world, came from The week of the two speeches , and the main value of the second one, the speech from the throne, was that it partially obscured the adolescent chatter of

If you were looking for poetry, it was there — all of it in a single sentence, in which we learned that Canada “was like a reed in high winds, we might sway but we will not break.” Which was comforting to know, I suppose, though the notion of a country being compared with a reed doesn’t quite strike the heroic note these things are notionally supposed to aim for.

And while I’m on the subject of the reed, if it was in high winds, it would have to sway, no might about it. Why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s factory of speech manufacturers wished to be tentative on this point is best left to them to unravel.

Even finer poetry was to follow. This is why we, or the reed, will not sway: “Because our roots are firmly in place, our goals clear and because we have hope — the hope that lifts the soul on dark days (this is the good kind of hope) and keeps us focused on the future.”

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Rex Murphy from CBC explains why Free Speech is a fundamental part of a free society and must be preserved on University Campuses and the administration

National Post 5 days ago Rex Murphy . © Provided by National Post Prime Minister Justin Trudeau That speech is receiving much advance billing — as a grand response to the COVID crisis, as a the pursuit of an agenda that was there before COVID, and which has nothing to do with COVID. It chimes perfectly with bulletins from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urging for

To be blunt, this speech was not worth waiting all summer for; certainly not worth shutting down Parliament to “prepare” for. And it was, not incidentally, fairly strong proof that the only real reason Parliament was suspended was to, temporarily at any rate, push the WE Charity mess out of the news.

There was nothing in the speech to materially distinguish it, in tone or substance, from Trudeau’s summer morning sermonettes that we grew so accustomed to. Ventriloquizing platitudes doesn’t improve them. The formality of having the Governor General speak the government’s words might add a spark of lustre, but words that have no inspirational value in the first place hardly gain by being spoken by someone else.

Wednesday, of course, offered a “double feature.” The Governor General had the afternoon, and the prime minister had the evening (in Central and Atlantic Canada at least). He claimed he needed time on national television due to the “urgency” of his message, but the message was already covered by the throne speech. There was no distinguishing spike of urgency to justify it, and it had all the earmarks of his standard patter since the beginning of this crisis.

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Rex Murphy . Publishing date: Sep 23, 2016 • • 3 minute read. The United Nations, on the other hand, though it is nothing if not diverse (dictators and kleptocrats rub shoulders with democratic presidents and prime ministers), it is so crosshatched with rivalries, intrigue, devious diplomacy and

The United Nations, on the other hand, though it is nothing if not diverse (dictators and kleptocrats rub shoulders with democratic presidents and prime The speech was described by the National Post’s John Ivison as “thin as soup made from the carcass of a starving pigeon.” And that’s being generous.

What is noteworthy is what both talks didn’t stress. Just a couple of weeks back, there was a fine flurry of high-powered ruminations about the great “green recovery” that would be the government’s chosen response to COVID-19. Everyone from the prime minister, to the finance minister, to lesser cabinet lights seemed to agree that COVID was an opportunity to set a new course, to go all in on the climate file and reorient the nation away from its energy base.

What changed? What robbed the government of its excited determination to leverage the pandemic to justify a pivot toward its dearest priority? Severe warnings from out West? The sheer folly of turning away from our greatest economic resources, of leaving so many energy workers stranded at the weakest and most perilous moment our economy has witnessed in decades? We shall probably not learn the reason for a long while.

For all the buildup we had to the return of Parliament, nothing really changed this week. People are as anxious now as they were last week. Businesses continue to close at staggering rates. People are still confused over the various injunctions they have received from their political leaders and public health experts during the pandemic. The deficit and debt are still monstrous. The likelihood that both will swell even more gigantically is still there. The energy industry is still under siege.

There was no reset. It was all just more of the same, and the same in these times is clearly not enough. Where some real inspiration might come from is an open question, but was certainly not contained within the strained theatrics of the week just past.

National Post

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