Thinking that's outside the box

Par Margaret Lefebvre le 27 décembre 2010

It was the year 1991 and all was not well in the Canadian nation..  The Meech Lake Accord had collapsed, Quebec was feeling even more alienated then even after the “night of the long knives”; Canadian unity was at a crisis point, hoist on a feather, and rumblings of passionate discontent could be heard throughout the land.

Brian Mulroney appointed Keith Spicer to Chair a  “Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future “  to ask them  what Canadians thought were the values and characteristics fundamental to the well being of Canada.  The results were to be presented in a document that came to be known as The Spicer Report. 

Consultations were to be held from coast to coast, and Wednesday Night was chosen to be one of the forums to be consulted.

David and Diana were in Florida so the task of hosting Wednesday Night fell to Mark Nicholson who found himself confronted with the designated member of the Citizens Forum and we all showed up to be polled on our views.

It was clear from the outset that the consultation was to be one that had to conform to strict procedures and guidelines and all answers were to  fit the pre-determined categories.

The key question of the evening was – “What do you consider will be the most important issue for Canada in the years ahead?”  From the back of the room, Ron Walker answered in one word:” water”.

There ensued several moments of silence, and then the questioner, who had been madly rifling through her papers, looked up in frustration and announced, “ It can’t be –it’s not on my list!”

And so, once again, Wednesday Night continued the fine tradition of thinking outside the box without regard for dogma, political correctness or the tyranny of the printed form.


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