A history of trumped-up unity crises

Stephen Harper’s contention that the Green Shift might “undermine the progress we have been making on national unity” was poorly received yesterday, which isn’t surprising. But, credit where it’s due: it wasn’t as offensive an argument, I don’t think, as this:

Only a few hours before the vote, Conservative leader Stephen Harper ignited a furor by linking debate over the legislation to Quebec and national unity.

Mr. Harper said the new law will lack legitimacy because it could not have passed without the support of the Bloc.

Liberal and NDP MPs reacted with astonishment at Mr. Harper’s comments, accusing him of dividing Canadians and pitting one group against another, while Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe said his party is reflecting the will of a majority of Quebecers by supporting the legislation.

Conservative MPs, however, took Mr. Harper’s comments further, denouncing the Liberal government for formally reaching a deal with the Bloc last week to pass a closure motion ending debate over a $4.5-billion budget package the government drafted in return for NDP support in the minority Parliament.

Mr. Harper ignited a firestorm in the foyer of the House of Commons, even though his comments … were little more than a two-sentence toss-off as he walked into question period.

“Because it’s being passed with the support of the Bloc, I think it will lack legitimacy with most Canadians,” he said. “Truth is, most federalist MPs oppose it.”

Now, Megapundit readers, for a shiny nickel: Name that piece of legislation!

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