I was unable to attend the celebration of Canada's 145th birthday last Sunday in the Peace Park.
I contracted a cold from my daughter, a belated Father's Day gift, and I was up all night coughing and washing down phlegm with a bottle of Buckley's.
I don't imagine there were that many revelers at the party, the weather being what it was, with many spending the day holed up in their tent trailers at Golden Ears Provincial Park, watching the Euro Cup final on their little TV sets, playing Scrabble on their laptops, or talking to friends who had the good sense to stay home.
Considering what the Harper Cons have been up to lately, perhaps some Canadians weren't bursting with their usual sense of pride about this country in which we live.
The Big Stiff has tarnished our reputation here and abroad with some of his policies, particularly in the environmental sphere, where the Omnibus Bill raised quite a ruckus in the social media and in the letters and opinion sections of newspapers.
Just say the word "Enbridge" in mixed company and you risk being ostracized. Turns out this company lobbied hard for changes to the Fisheries Act to support its application to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which will impact 700 fish-bearing waterways in B.C.
The proposed new Fisheries Act will make it legal for the Canadian government to allow corporations to pollute Canadian waterways even more than they do now, under the existing act. This bill has been opposed by four former fisheries ministers - all Conservatives - unions, environmental workers, and a healthy segment of the nation's scientific community.
One of the former, John Fraser, calls the Harperites ideological right wingers with very limited understanding, intelligence, or wisdom.
The Cons are removing habitat from the act, as well as removing protection for amphibians, reptiles, crayfish, and exotic insects. Those of you who don't like reptiles may well be asking, "So what?"
Because Harper is certainly counting on the apathy of Canadians to let this whole mess slide into law.
Until we have a spill along the line or one of the supertankers that carries the oil crashes.
Enbridge is no stranger to pipeline ruptures.
We should have seen this coming when Big Stiff referred to the Kyoto Protocol as a "socialist conspiracy" and his government withdrew from same in 2011. He has also characterized opponents to the pipeline as terrorists and radicals.
Just to show you how much clout Enbridge has in the new corporatocracy, when cartoonist Dan Murphy produced an animated parody of the Enbridge ad, the company threatened to withhold a million dollars in advertising from Postmedia publications if they didn't pull it from their website.
The bastions of free speech capitulated.
The Cons are accused of eviscerating any environmental research or legislation that might challenge or impede oil and gas development in Canada.
People eating cake and waving little flags in the Peace Park could care less.
And: Just be glad you're not a refugee coming to this country from a war zone where you were raped, tortured, and imprisoned; our enlightened and compassionate government, according to a swarm of doctors buzzing the office of the immigration minister, will not pay for certain medical procedures, such as heart surgery and drugs for these people. Just one more feather in our collective cap this Canada Day.
Plus: Elizabeth Rosenau wins the NDP nomination for this riding. She will most likely run against Marc Dalton, next year.
Considering his lack of presence - his handling of the CLBC "cuts" fiasco left a lot to be desired - and Rosenau's in-your-face dedication, she might make it to Victoria. Although Herr Kamp has been coasting for years to no effect.
Maybe that's the way we like our politicians.