Sunday, July 04, 2010

Harper's brush with Magna Carta


So a big part of the Queen's visit to thunderstorm beset Winnipeg yesterday involved a dedication for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. There was a stone brought from the field where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. The stone will be used as a cornerstone for the museum. The Magna Carta is an historic, foundational document in constitutional law, famous for restraining the powers of the King and making the monarch subservient to the rule of law.

Under threatening skies and with the rain holding off, Harper spoke at the ceremony:
"Canada’s conscience has been formed by a profound belief in human rights and this living tradition of freedom," said Harper. "It has made us a good country."
Elsewhere, it's reported that he also said this:
“[The cornerstone] will remind all who visit here that Canada is heir to a tradition of freedom upheld by the law, under the Crown, reaching back almost 800 years," said Mr. Harper.
Following Harper, the Queen spoke. Then the skies opened. Sure, just a coincidence. But what a fitting bookend to the event where Harper would give such a speech.

A copy (from 1217) of the Magna Carta is on display in the Manitoba legislature. The Queen visited it earlier yesterday. No word on whether Harper did.