The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Friday, August 26, 2005

FLQ Victim to Paul Martin: Reconsider your choice

After listening to Bruce Vallance of Winnipeg tell his story we contacted him to expand on his experience when he was caught in a 1970 FLQ terror bombing. Here is his account to us:

Good Morning;

Thank you for filling me in. I'm afraid that I'm sadly uninformed.

The reason I became involved in the debate is that I really believe that this lady is a bad choice for the position. While she is undoubtedly very intelligent and well educated. her only accomplishments and suitability for the position is that she is a black female television reporter who speaks five languages. I for one don't think that it's enough.

We have just had an ethnic female television reporter filling that position and she and her arrogant husband were an absolute disaster. The Queen herself is far more approachable and down to earth than was Ms Clarkson.

As for the FLQ being glossed over; that entire period is very poorly documented in the public record. In order to save James Cross' life the terrorists were allowed to leave the country and fly to Cuba, That, from Mr. Cross' and a human point of view was a terrific idea. What I fail to understand is why these people were not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when they quietly returned to this country a few years later.

No I never received trauma counseling after the events. Nor did I receive ant special compensation. The thing that has bothered me all my life since is that my wife was at home with two small children and up until the day she passed away six years ago she was never officially informed by the government that I had been injured. She found out about it from a young newspaper reporter who knocked at our door on Sunny side Ave. at 7;30am the morning of the incident.

I am forever grateful to that young man. He stayed with her and the children all day, constantly phoning and trying to get information about my where abouts and condition. They were unable to get any information and until I walked in at six that evening, having refused to remain in hospital over night she had no idea if I were alive or dead.

I attended Jean's funeral and as a tribute to that fine lady, I would like to tell you about her daughters. When the blast sent me across the room, I must have bounced off the equipment that ran up the center of the room. As a consequence, I had huge bruises on my upper thighs, hips and stomach. I was limping badly and had to use a cane to walk. I tried to enter the church unobtrusively and sit in the rear. I have no idea what drew attention to me unless it was the limp or maybe my dress uniform, but all eyes were suddenly upon me. Jean's daughters turned to see what the commotion was all about and upon seeing me rose and escorted me to the front of the church to sit with the family. They also insisted that I accompany them to the cemetery and later to the reception. They seemed more concerned with me than with themselves.That is a sample of how that lady raised her children.

Finally. I would simply ask Paul Martin to reconsider his choice for GG. There are any number of women or men in this country whose accomplishments far out weigh his current choice. I harbor no animosity for Ms.Jean, but because of her obvious sympathies for the FLQ I really think she is an inappropriate choice.

Thank you I hope this is what you are interested in.


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