It’s good to see NDP MP Dennis Bevington is gaining momentum in his quest to have Canada’s motto changed to “From sea to sea to sea”. And it brings back some fond memories.

When I was working for Audrey McLaughlin, we often joked about her insistence on using the phrase “from coast to coast to coast” in her speeches. But she had good reason. The North rarely figures in Canadian political discussion (unless it’s as a political lever for prying out tax dollars for big-ticket items like icebreakers or nuclear submarines), and southern Canadians need constant reminders that the country doesn’t come to an abrupt halt north of the 60th parallel.

I’ve read a few suggestions from the blogosphere that this is just silly, and that MPs should be focusing on more important things. But words count (as a speechwriter, I shouldn’t have needed Audrey to convince me of that). And a motto that only underlines the political exclusion of a vast portion of our nation serves us poorly.