Conservative leader Stephen Harper was asked by a reporter if he was prepared to meet the request of a New Brunswick Acadian mayor to recognize the Acadian nation after formally recognizing that status for the Québécois in a united Canada.
“I don’t intend to make a resolution in the House of Commons, but obviously the Acadian nation…and these other francophone communities exist in our country,” said Harper, who is courting votes in Atlantic Canada, with three visits to New Brunswick in the past two days.
Just before he arrived in Moncton, the heart of the "Acadian nation," Harper said "it is an essential part of our national identity and I think we will continue to work to earn the representation of these communities in a strong government and in a united Canada.”
Moments later, Harper struggled with a dry throat in answering a different question. He paused to take a sip of water.
“I’ve got a – uh, something in my throat anyway,” he said.
The expression in English is a “frog in the throat.” Frog, of course, is a pejorative for francophones in English.
“I can’t be politically incorrect,” Harper blurted to a small partisan audience that burst out laughing.
The audience included some francophone supporters in the West Nova riding held now by Acadian, and Liberal, Robert Thibault.
(Quebec reporters were puzzled by all the laughter in the audience. The expression in French is a “chat dans la gorge,” cat in the throat. The quip, and the political correctness, was lost in translation.)