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Pinning your faith on the flag...

The Westmount Examiner

The Montreal Downtowner, May 5, 1992.

Click the image to see original article

As the to be or not to be, referendum question heats up the national unity debate this summer, and as the political silly season swings into high gear, Philip McMaster plots his own campaign.

He is a man with a mission, and simply put, that mission is to try and let Québec see that many of its citizens really do love Canada.

"I'm a proud Canadian and when I travel outside of the country most people are impressed with the fact that I am Canadian and think that I'm lucky to live here, but I'm also a Quebecer and proud of that. For me, it's possible to love Québec and Canada, they are two separate concepts."

And so from time to time, McMaster hands out small Canadian flag lapel pins. He goes up to a likely looking individual and asks them if they are a Canadian and if they answer in the affirmative, he gives them a Canadian flag lapel pin, on the condition that they wear it always.

"This is not for me, or for our age group or older, although a lot of those people will accept the pins if you give them to them, and they will understand the pride behind it.

It's the younger people, the people in CEGEP, and university, and those who are younger who are going to feel pressured into hiding their pride at being Canadian."

In McMaster's opinion, the important people to impress, and those that need the opportunity to express their passion for Canada are the young.

After all, as McMaster noted, when the UN declared Canada the best place to live in the world, it was Canada they were talking about, not Québec. While the Canadian flag lapel pins are available free of charge from the Department of the Secretary of State, or from your local MP, McMaster feels this free give-away is somewhat of a waste. He believes that people should do something for the pins, and wear them, full time, rather than just on those odd occasions when they go to Mongolia or Venezuela.

And so he has started his postcard campaign. "If they send me a postcard impressing me with their passion for Canada, then I will send them pins."

"Hopefully, there will be some wild and wonderful postcards, because in one way this is an irrational idea, asking people to express their passion for Canada, because I don't want this to be just me. I want to help other people express their passion."

So, if you are a passionate Canadian and want a lapel pin, or help distribute them, then express those sentiments on the back of a postcard and send them to Passion for Canada, c/o McMaster, Val Morin Station, Quebec, Canada. H3G 2M9


Source: The Montreal Downtowner, page 6, May 5, 1992.

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