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Politician insults region of Canada, press loses their minds

At long last, Alberta is on the political map
At long last, Alberta is on the political map
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Politicians of all stripes have been insulting and denigrating various regions of the country since time immemorial. It's practically a tradition at this point. So, it's somewhat surprising that the news media lost their minds about something Justin Trudeau said two years ago.

My French is a bit rusty, and I certainly don't want to minimize the issue, but from what I can tell, what he said wasn't even all that bad. The average Albertan will not and should not care one whit about it. Their skins ought to be thick enough to endure a few jabs at this point. Particularly since most of the country has been on the receiving end of shots that were far worse.

In the campaign of 1997, the Reform Party ran anti-Quebec ads that were basically the reverse of what Trudeau said in 2010. Stephen Harper has said so many bad things about Atlantic Canada that the Parliament of Nova Scotia passed a unanimous resolution condemning him. Yet, even that pales in comparison to the amount of vitriol that's directed at Toronto by politicians and non-politicians alike. It's so commonplace and accepted to hate Toronto that they even made a movie about it. No one ever takes shots at Saskatchewan, though. Mostly because the people there have to live in Saskatchewan, and it's bad form to kick someone when they're down.

Should he have said it? No, of course not. It wasn't at all helpful, and it showcased some ugly regionalism that most people would really rather move past. However, there are at least two reasons why it won't hurt him: 1) The next general election isn't until 2015 and by then most people will have long forgotten about it, and 2) He said it in French, so its utility in ads outside Quebec is highly limited. Plus, odds are the Tories really don't want to play the quote-mining game after their 500-page book of embarrassing Harper quotes surfaced last year.