Thursday, March 09, 2017

Maclean's quiz: is this man the Governor General of Quebec, or is he its lieutenant general?

Maclean's, which used to be quite a substantial magazine of Canadian news along with its provocative cover stories, is now little more than a website like the rest of us. Recently it has a truly sad story about Canadian constitutional history. It's not that they don't know anything; it's that they cannot even be bothered to find out.

The original story had a couple of references to M. Michel Doyon, the person who represents the Crown in Quebec. Both times it referred to him as "the lieutenant general" of the province.

They have made a silent correction. Now it reads "the Governor-General of Quebec." Twice. Let me quote the relevant paragraph, since they will probably make another unacknowledged correction sometime.
After Charlottetown, Quebec was the province to host the follow-up meeting, which Quebecers se souviennent. “When the delegates to the Quebec Conference gathered here,” wrote the Governor General of Quebec in 2014, “they laid the basis for a country…” The City of Quebec has also erected a statue of Etienne-Paschal Tache, the chairman of the conference, whom the Governor General called the “too-often-forgotten Father of Confederation.”
The rest of the piece has about the same level of cultural literacy. There is a historical oddity at least in every paragraph. ("Canada was conceived in Saint John, incubated in Quebec City and born on the Island?" Huh?)

It's another belated riff on the story Jacques Poitras broke around the New Year and I covered here.  But the first story actually wanted to get the story right; you could tell the reporter was genuinely taken with the subject. The succeeding ones seem to take the position that it's about history, so any old crap will do.

Image> La Presse

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