Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ralph Klein Will Lower the Flag

From the Edmonton Sun

Alberta will lower flags on all provincial buildings on the days of funerals for soldiers born or based in Alberta.

Premier Ralph Klein said his caucus will honor Alberta soldiers killed in the line of duty, even if the federal government will not.

"It's our way of honoring the men and women who are killed while serving in Afghanistan or other areas," Klein told reporters yesterday.

Klein said his "gut feeling" tells him that's what Albertans would want and he's not worried about undermining Ottawa.

"From what I understand, we're not the only province to do this," he said.

A rare classy act from the Alberta Premier. No polling as far as I know, but I frankly trust Mr. Klein's "gut" on issues like this. I imagine Mr. Harper's new edict is not going down well, and that we will see more acts of defiance should Canada take further casualties.

Canadian military deaths should not ever come to seem routine.

I admit to some discomfort, however, over Klein's restricting the flag-lowering ritual to Alberta soldiers. If all the provinces were to follow a similar directive, I have a picture in my mind of Canadian flags flying at different heights depending on whether you are in Alberta, B.C., or New Brunswick. I think we should be honoring them all, regardless of their place of residence.

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