09 November 2007

A national gallery belongs in the national capital

Canada's toddler government wants to ship the National Portrait Gallery to a permanent home in one of nine cities across Canada.

These cities have a relatively large population, which will provide an important local visitor base; are easily accessible with effective transportation networks; and have the potential to attract both domestic and international visitorship.

Ottawa meets all those requirements and it has one other significant advantage:  it's the freakin' capital of Canada, where most human beings around the world and certainly most Canadians would expect to find a national asset like the portrait gallery located.

As it is Canadians have in front of them a fine start to one of the usual rows that occur when the national government is reduced to yet another source of pork to be argued over by parochial/provincialist interests.

Quebec nationalists will make a pitch and will likely get it since two of the sites chosen are in Quebec.  It won't hurt that the anal retentive first minister's office needs seats in Quebec and is currently hurting politically in that province.

Newfoundland nationalists, led by Danny Williams and his own afternoon VOCM radio version of Lord Ha Ha, will see the exclusion of Newfoundland from the list of potential cities as yet further evidence of the failures of Confederation. 

Don't be surprised if there's a pitch made to have the gallery located in Corner Brook or a sudden provincial government initiative  - introduced as having been under consideration for many months - to create a national portrait gallery "of our own" on a "got-it-alone basis. "

That will definitely be located in Corner Brook, unless AbitibiBowater decides to shut the Grand Falls mill.