Monday, December 17, 2012

It's A Jubilee!

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather.

I got an email at the end of last week inviting me to attend a ceremony at the Ontario Legislature today for the awarding of the famous (infamous) Queen's 60th Jubilee Medals. There was no indication on the email or attached invitation who was to receive the medal.

To make a long story short, it turned out to be me, although the first actual confirmation I had was when I checked in at the ceremony reception desk this morning. The clerk looked at me oddly when I asked if I was indeed on the list to receive a medal today, and pointed to my name in the program.

The Jubilee Medal has had a checkered history, with it going to a lot of * ahem * interesting recipients. There are also a number of * ahem * interesting NGO "partners" chosen by the Conservative Government with allotments going to them. Then there are the two women awarded the medal by a Conservative MP who had or were serving time for their anti-abortion protests.

Conservative MPs were publicized using the medal as a reward for campaign workers, contributors and for other partisan political purposes inconsistent with the stated purpose of "awarding outstanding citizens who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to the growth and prosperity of our country".

When someone said they wanted to nominate me for my various charitable and non-profit work, I frankly told them not to waste their time. I have been more than a little cheeky towards the Harper Government (as anyone reading my tweets or this blog knows), and I figured my nomination had about as much chance getting through the PMO as a Liberal Senate appointment. I've also been cheeky - OK, downright insulting - about the medal itself, because some Conservative MPs have made a mockery of the entire selection process and I've let them know it.

What I didn't count on was that the Government of Ontario had its own allotment of awards they pooled and awarded independently of MPs or MPPs on a much more impartial basis (imagine that).

I have to admit that for a couple of minutes I thought about turning the medal down (OK - a couple of seconds). But then I thought, it might even be more annoying to Harper & Co to know that I sneaked through the partisan cracks and snatched one away that otherwise might have gone to some Conservative campaign manager or someone known for throwing rubber fetuses. Plus, and I'll admit it, it's cool to have a medal. And it is an honour.

So the long and the short of it is, I'm now the recipient of the Jubilee Medal, and I'll wear it proudly every time I write a snarky tweet about the Harper Government.