In the latest sign that the notwithstanding clause is possibly being used in ways other than that for which it was original intended, Prince Edward Island today declared it plans to name itself the nation’s largest province. They then added that anyone who disagrees is welcome to meet them in Charlottetown for another accord.
“For too long the people of this island have laboured under the stigma of being from Canada’s smallest province by land area, population, economy, members of parliament, and other unimportant statistics that only a bunch of jerks from Toronto care about,” said the province’s premier, Wade, in a moving address from the house that L.M. Montgomery first said the F-word in. “Well, I’m here today to tell the rest of Canada that all eight of us have had enough.”
Asked by a reporter just how large P.E.I. plans on declaring itself, Wade – who declined to provide a last name, saying that everyone around here just calls him “Wade” – said as large as it took to be the biggest.
“We’re not shy, let me tell you. That’s another myth.”
While certainly unusual in terms of its audacity, the Islanders’ jiggery-pokery with the sums of their size did little to stand out among the reasons other province’s have recently decided to take matters into their own hands.
“It’s hardly surprising P.E.I. is making use of the notwithstanding clause in their fight to be recognized as an independent continent,” says constitutional law expert Dr. Susan Pressel, head of the University of Red Deer’s School of Can They Really Do That?
“After all, just last month Ontario’s Doug Ford threatened to use the same device as a political cudgel with which to teach those city kids to laugh at him and his brother, and now François Legault in Quebec is saying that he’ll use the suddenly popular override to make sure women get to wear what they want by telling them what not to wear. Notwithstanding the fact that employing such a powerful tool on a relative non-issue strikes the rest of Canada, and large parts of his own province, as Parizeau-like levels of hubris, and borderline racist.”
Adding that she fears that with the doors now open on the all-you-can-ignore Charter of Rights buffet, we are only just beginning to see the odd, arcane, and potentially conflicting reasons province’s might seek to notwithstand being a co-operative component of Canada.
“Do the other provinces think we like a two-foot dump of snow here in Alberta to kick off the first full month of fall? We’ll notwithstand for that shit thank you very much, and will all just be in Hawaii on the government’s dime until it melts, as per the ‘Freedoms’ aspect of our venerable Charter.”
For his part, Wade says he could care less where Albertans go to deal, as long as they recognize his province as the vastest of them all in the loose affiliation that is Canada.
“It’s just like Lucy Maud herself once said, “Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and then using the notwithstanding clause to do whatever the hell you want.”