Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If some says they "deserve" to win the Order of Canada, they don't

I had some misgivings the last few days ever since it leaked out that Henry Morgentaler was going to be awarded the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour. It's not because for his firm pro-choice advocacy. There was something else that was nagging me about it. Today, it was confirmed: It's that he came out and actually said that he deserved to win.

Most recipients of the award have often said they didn't deserve the honour, that it belongs to greater people than they -- which proves the kind of people they are. One would expect a bit of humility and grace, not attitude, from Morgentaler, upon learning he was selected to join one of Canada's most exclusive clubs.

It should be clear that getting the abortion laws stricken from the books in this country isn't the only reason he was cited. He has done other public service and volunteer work behind the scenes, and for that he should get some form of positive recognition. However, if you start seeing a number of members of the Order turning in their medals in protest, don't be too surprised. An argument could be made that if Morgentaler is getting the medal then so should his arch-enemy, the late Joe Borowski, posthumously -- despite the latter's extremely controversial stances on pornography, abortion and gay rights.

Not that Borowski should, of course; but I wouldn't be surprised if the next thing we hear Tom Green gets the medal too -- and that would really dilute the value of the Order of Canada.

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Northern PoV said...

I'd say Henry was refreshingly honest and....
absolutely NO on Joe.

Greg said...

Hm. Can't say I agree with you there. He was clearly making one of those self-abasing ego jokes and it's been taken too seriously. Kinda like Obama's "57 states" joke.

Honestly, when you're 85 years old, we'll let you make the same jokes too.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe that all those people who say they don't deserve the award honestly believe it?

I have awards - much lesser than the Order of Canada, to be sure, but still - and I know I earned them. I think it would be bullshit to put on some self-effacing act and pretend that I don't deserve what I worked hard to achieve. It's refreshing that Morgentaler cuts out the manure and says what he thinks.