- "Rebecca Willems, a 17-year-old Ottawa high school student, received a standing ovation yesterday from a crowd of military officers and high school students for scolding John McCallum, the Minister of Defence, over anti-American remarks by one of his Liberal colleagues.
Mr. McCallum, speaking on North American solidarity at the Conference of Defence Associations, told the conference "never must we be smug and superior vis-á-vis the United States."
His speech came one day after Carolyn Parrish, MP for Mississauga Centre, said she hated Americans, calling them "bastards" intent on going to war with Iraq.
Ms. Willems, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, took Mr. McCallum to task during a question-and-answer session.
"You stated at the beginning of your speech that we as Canadians must not be smug and consider ourselves superior to the United States," said Ms. Willems, who was attending the event with her private school's history class.
"Yet how can the government ask that of the Canadian people when careless and offensive remarks continue to come from Parliament, such as the unnecessary remark that was made yesterday by a Liberal MP after caucus?
"How can Canada move forward with a positive attitude of our neighbours when our own leaders cannot?"