Flag Flap
Westglen School
Didsbury, Alberta

By Courtney & Tina (Grade 7)

This letter is about $20,000,000 dollars, a politician named Sheila Copps, and most of all, keeping Canada together.

Last February, Sheila Copps launched the One Million Flags Challenge for Canadians to fly one million new Canadian flags by next February 15, the 32nd anniversary of the Maple Leaf flag. To help Canadians meet this deadline, she hired 24 students to answer the toll-free phone lines for free flag orders and registrations for existing flags.

The only problem is that, since the flags are free, the money to pay for them will collectively come from all the taxpayers. Now it's up to you as a Canadian to choose to fly the Canadian flag or to help fight the Canadian debt.

Flag Flap

By Courtney (Grade 7)

Yes I want a flag.

I like what Sheila Copps is doing. It's a really good way to keep Quebec in Canada. It is people like Sheila Copps that don't care about the deficit problem, just about keeping Canadians together.

Gaston Leroux, the Quebec separatist critic quotes, "This government says that the first objective they have is jobs, but they have no money for job programs. They do find millions and millions of dollars to spend for propaganda." But if Sheila Copps didn't have the flag challenge, I bet Quebec would separate in mere months.

Gaston Leroux thinks that, because just 8.3% of the flags have been ordered from Quebec, it means that the challenge has been a total failure. Some Quebec citizens may have registered their flags, and 8.3% out of thousands of flags is still quite a few. Reform critic Jim Abbot says that it is typical of Copps'’ "act-first-think-later" approach to government. Abbot states, "She has absolutely no sense of what it takes to put together a program and run it responsibly."

Despite all the politicians and critics against her, Sheila Copps is still ensuring that all the three to five thousand calls every day are answered and is determined to pay for the free flags requested by Canadians.

Flag Flap

By Tina (Grade 7)

I am certainly not going to get a free flag.

I do love and respect my country but I don't think Canada should waste $20 million on flag freebies. I think it's a waste of money. Canada should put the money towards something more important, like the huge debt Canada owes to other countries.

I know $20 million doesn't sound like a lot of money compared to the billions of dollars Canada owes other countries but we'll have to pay that off slowly. We won't be able to pay all that money at once.

Another reason I don't think I should get a flag is because Mrs. Sheila Copps already has a debt she owes Canada. If she could pay off that debt maybe this would be a better idea but she hasn’t paid it and has no intentions of paying it; there is no reason to make her departments and Canada's debt bigger.

No, I am not going to get a free flag, for many reasons, not just one. I understand many people think that it would make Canada a better country by flying our flag but I disagree. Canada should pay it’s debt to make it a better country, not add to it by flying a flag!

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