The real surprise is that it lasted this long. Celebrate Canada was a $6.7-million program born during the same period as the infamous sponsorship initiative, so you’d think the Harper government might have unwound it earlier. They are, after all, the ones who declared Quebec to be a nation, and French Quebec celebrates its existence on St. Jean Baptiste Day (a.k.a. Fête National, June 24). Still, the competing holidays have in the past been regarded as a barometer of opinion in Quebec: if the June 24 parade drew more marchers and onlookers than its Canada Day equivalent, sovereigntist hearts would flutter. By spreading the Canada Day funding equitably between provinces, on the basis of population, the Tories are signalling they put little stock in such symbolism.