Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Musings of the day

I woke up this morning and the day was like no other in recent memory. There was a crisp chill in the air, there was not alot of humidity. And a breeze has been blowing most of the day, which made it wonderful to sit here and write. ( it is 20c right now and the forecast says 11 for tonight)

I got to bed much earlier last night, I have to start reporgramming my body to a more "workable" schedule because school is not far off. I wanted to just chill out in bed with a good book and some silence before I slept. With Peter's new schedule he goes to bed by midnight to be up at 7am for work.

It was a good writing day. I took all the notes from yesterday and edited and augmented much of what I have already written. Today's writing looked at mourning, death and dying, spirituality and disclosure. The more I write, the more I see needs to be written. There are so many facets of the diamond you need to see when facing a long term illness.

Moving from a regular life into one that requires balance and really hard work, there is alot you need to know before you take your first step. I hope that this kind of book will be useful to someone out there. So we move on...

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There's nothing much more to report.

I am staying away from political writing about wars and separatists and stupid ass american presidents!! I can tell you that our new GG is in Rideau Hall "learning the ropes." There were questions as to her allegiance to either Canada or her sympathizing with the Separatists Movement in Quebec. Here is the response from the CTV website.

So shall we give MMe. Jean a chance to prove her loyalty to Canada, before we burn her at the stake???

Governor General designate Michaelle Jean is affirming her commitment to Canada, ending her silence in light of recent allegations that she harboured separatist sympathies.

"I want to tell you unequivocally that both he (husband Jean-Daniel Lafond) and I are proud to be Canadians and that we have the greatest respect for the institutions of our country," Jean said in a brief written statement released Wednesday.

"We are fully committed to Canada. I would not have accepted this position otherwise."

"I think that with this statement, Jean and her family are trying to put this controversy behind them," CTV's Rosemary Thompson reported from Ottawa.

Jean also dismissed rumours that she and her husband supported the Quebec independence cause.

"We are equally proud of the attachment to Quebec that we have always shown beyond any partisan considerations. Let me be clear: we have never belonged to a political party or the separatist movement," she says.

Prime Minister Paul Martin also issued a statement saying that "there is no doubt in my mind that her devotion to Canada is longstanding and resolute."

Martin added that he extends his "unqualified support as she prepares to assume the post of Governor General."

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, meanwhile, criticized Martin for the way he handled the controversy and the appointment process, saying the prime minister still needs to clear the air about Jean.

"I still think there are probably questions he's going to have to answer on some of the specific things that have been in the newspaper or on television," Harper said during a visit to Halifax.

Harper stated, however, that he was pleased with Jean's profession of faith in Canada.

John Aimers, head of the Monarchist League of Canada, said he hoped the political storm should subside following Jean's statement.

"Further controversy can only serve a divisive agenda,'' he said. "It is now time for everybody to rally behind Madame Jean, to offer her our support."

The controversy

The controversy largely began after Quebec media reported on a documentary made 12 years ago by Jean's husband.

Critics pointed to a scene in the film where several people seated around a table raise their glasses to independence, including Jean and former FLQ member Pierre Vallieres.

A companion book to the film, written by Lafond, quotes Jean as saying that "one doesn't give independence; one takes it." It's unclear what her comments are referring to.

Quebec media also added fuel to the rumours by unearthing quotations made by Lafond from a book he wrote in 1993.

In it, he says: "I applaud with both hands" Quebec independence and promises to be at "all St. Jean (Baptiste) parades."
Jean's dual citizenship

Even before the film came to light, Jean had come under scrutiny after allegations were levelled last week that she and Lafond and were once known in Quebec cultural circles as sovereigntists.

Parti Quebecois leadership hopeful Pauline Marois didn't support or rebuff the allegations Wednesday, but she said people have a right to change their minds.

"You can make another evaluation of the situation and have another point of view and defend another point of view," Marois said in Montreal. "It's not for me to judge this."

"I have a great respect for Mrs. Jean," she added, "and I think she's a woman with great intelligence."

Citizenship

Meanwhile, French embassy officials are trying to determine whether an obscure law could cost Jean her dual citizenship.

According to an embassy spokesman, an article of France's civil code states that a French citizen cannot hold public or military office in a foreign country.

In her new post, Jean would not only be Canada's de facto head of state but also commander-in-chief of the Canadian military.

"We have no indication of any use of this in the past," the spokesman said. "So this is an interesting point, but only for a specialist in French law."

Jean took out French citizenship after marrying her husband, who is originally from France.

Jean did not comment on her dual citizenship in her statement released Wednesday. However, it doesn't appear to be a pressing matter.

"(French embassy officials) have never asked anyone to renounce their citizenship in the past and they don't really have any plans to ask Jean to renounce her citizenship in the future," Thompson reported.

Jean will assume the office of governor general on Sept. 27.

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