Comedic Immunity

A Canadian newspaper chain has taken exception to Cheech and Chong criticizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his regressive cannabis policies.


It’s not an exhaustive list, but here are some things Canada needs, followed by something that this country does not need.

Canada needs to return to its budding glory as a world leader in aerospace technology. When the Avro Arrow was cancelled in the 1950s, many of our best aerospace engineers and technicians followed the jobs to the U.S. It has not significantly turned around yet.


Canada also needs a continued sense of self-worth. It has been growing of late, for which we can thank the 2010 Olympics, international success of our athletes, comedians, actors and musicians, financial stability in the midst of a global economic crisis, and worldwide humanitarian aid – again, well out of proportion to our population. There’s more, but here’s something we do not need: Americans offering us unsolicited advice.

We don’t need Hilary Clinton telling us what our military obligations are in Afghanistan. We made our commitment, we’ve lived up to it, we stated our case and we’re leaving next year.


And we don’t need a couple of stoners ( Tommy Chong, who is originally from Edmonton, and American Cheech Marin ), addicts or not, holding what can only be described as a “bitchfest” to gripe about Canada’s rules regarding marijuana.

That anyone would come here and insult our national leader shows a gross lack of respect for a sovereign nation of which he is not a part. Marin was a guest for a comedy show in Montreal but he used the opportunity to insult the entire country. Whether we took offence or not ( and many wouldn’t ) doesn’t change the fact that it was crass and disrespectful.

Canadians have long been criticized of having low self-esteem.

Accepting such rudeness indicates the criticism is just.

What gives them the right?

It’s a secondary matter whether or not you like Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The office itself demands a certain amount of respect and if Canadians want to breach that standard, that’s our right because we’re citizens and we vote and we live here.

But for anyone else to insult our leaders, our politics, our laws, our culture, well, that we don’t need.

Here’s a map. Go home.


Of course, it is not as though Canadian comedians who have gained international success have not cashed in on making fun of U.S. leaders, politics, laws and culture. See for example Rick Mercer talking to Americans.

Or Canadian talk show hosts prank calling Sarah Palin.

When did political leaders become immune from critics, comedians and satirists from other countries?

Of course, Canadians do not like being bullied by Americans, but Cheech and Chong are comedians, and they did not insult Canadians or Canadian culture. American Cheech Marin called Harper a “douchebag” for trying to import U.S. drug policies, while Canadian Tommy Chong implied that Harper is a G.W. Bush wannabe, and they are right. When it comes to drug policy, Harper is an international embarrassment, and Canadians deserve to be reminded of that, especially by Americans.