Rex Murphy shares his thoughts on the idea of a National Hockey Day in Canada.
Read a transcript of this Rex Murphy episode
There was a wisp of revolt this week, a mini-mutiny within a few Tory backbenchers and the attractive novelty of any Conservative MPs discovering some contradiction between having a spine and staying in Caucus. This naturally caught the attention of the press. Not every day does rain falls up, or MPs speak without approved notes.
So you may have missed an NDP member's motion to jollify the national consciousness and add another sparkle to every passing year. The motion was for Parliament to declare, officially, a National Hockey Day, a statutory holiday right up there with Christmas and the Queen's birthday.
Why what a brave notion. Kind of up there with seeking unanimous consent to approve Easter bunnies, teddy bears, woolen socks and red licorice sticks (red is the best).
Hockey after all is so under appreciated, so unappreciated, so dis appreciated in this country, so below the radar that it's shuffled off to the side for crowd-catchers like badminton, volleyball, and ping-pong. Hockey -- you hardly ever hear of it -- whereas, in a real country you'd actually delay the national news for hockey.
So it's good to see MPs so boldly and openly tackling their leaders one day and then taking on Canada's dreadful hockey drought the next.
Standing up for hockey? I can only think of the Spartans at Thermopylae, Horatius at the bridge and the Little Engine that Could.
If Profiles in Courage needs another chapter - this is it. National Hockey Day when we unearth the lost names of Richard, Beliveau, Gretzky, Bobbies Orr and Hull, Lemieux -- shake the dust off and reintroduce them to the country. And have a whole day off to do so. God bless the NDP.
And just as one brave deed begets another…
I fully expect the hockey holiday to be followed up by an all-party motion expressing endorsing of Kraft Dinner, the virtues of duct tape, long weekends with sunshine and cold beer.
However, there is (there always is) one huge difficulty: what about Toronto? Would Toronto feel left out of a National Hockey Day? Injured? Confused? Toronto, remember, is a Leafs town, so it can't be said to have any real experience of hockey. Will they even know what it's about?
Maybe, with grief counselors at the Air Canada Centre and trauma units up and down Yonge, it could be risked. And passing out pictures of the Stanley Cup -- clearly labeled as such -- (it's been so long some have forgotten what it looks like).
A day for Canadians to rescue hockey from sliding into forgetful neglect and, while we're on controversial stuff, let’s put Don Cherry in the Governor General's House -- that’s long overdue just like his Order or Canada -- just to make sure everyone really gets what all this is about.
For the National, I'm Rex Murphy.