This Is A Rick Mercer Appreciation Post

If you care about Canada or laughing or both, you need to be watching The Rick Mercer Report. Canadian politics can be depressing and/or really, really boring, but Rick Mercer takes the issues happening in this country and turns them into something you can laugh about. Plus, he’s relevant to your queer interests: in response to ongoing backlash from Canadians and the Harper government against same-sex marriage, he posted this spoof on so-called traditional values. My favourite lines are “Every child should have a mom and a dad and nothing else. That’s why I believe in the traditional definition of ‘bastard.’ That’s not a curse word, kids. That’s just grown-up talk for the little fellow next door.”

Following the suicide of gay teen Jamie Hubley from Ottawa and responding to the “It Gets Better” Campaign, Mercer made the following video, saying queer adults have a responsibility to gay teens to make it better not at some unknown point in the future, but right now. Teens can’t afford to wait, he argued; so successful gay adults need to come out of the closet. The video went viral and its message was powerful, but he was criticized for insisting adults have a responsibility to forgo their privacy in favour of gay visibility.

Here is the video:

Do you agree with him. What d’you think?

Finally, here is Rick Mercer talking about coming out to his family:

For more information on Rick Mercer, you visit the Rick Mercer Report online.

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Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 84 articles for us.


  1. I love how I’m from the same province as him. Go Newfoundland and Labrador! I met him at the ship one night, and he is funny in person too :) and super polite! Rick Mercer is awesomeeeeee!

  2. What’s the backlash against gay marriage like in Canada at the moment? I was under the impression most people had made peace with it even if they were against it initially. I’m curious about general public opinion rather than the current government’s views.

    • I live in Ontario and basically everyone’s good with it, even if they are not super comfortable with people being gay. I hear Alberta/the west is more conservative though but I’ve never been.

      • Well, Alberta/the west is definitely not one area with one opinion. It’s frusterating when ‘the west’ gets lumped in with BC, which is actually quite different from the prairies. The west coast is the most progressive part of the country actually. Alberta, of course, is more properly a conservative Southern state than a Canadian province. Generally people in Canada, all over, are pretty cool with same-sex marriage, which is pretty amazing; this is despite the fact so many people voted for the evil Stephen Harper in the last election. ):

        • Hey.hey. hey. I’m from Alberta and I have to correct this: ” Alberta, of course, is more properly a conservative Southern state than a Canadian province.” There are so many negative stereotypes about Alberta/Albertans that just are not true at all. Yes, we have a conservative government that has been in power for far too long, but it wasn’t elected with proportional representation. So many Albertans are not happy at all with the government we have. Lumping people living in Alberta with the gov’t, and seeing us as a stereotypical southern state ignores all the amazing leftist,queer,feministy things going on here and devalues the people doing them.

          • Sure, I wouldn’t deny there’s great things going on in Alberta. Often an unfriendly climate can actually foster those kinds of things. The queer people I know living in Alberta are awesome activists, but they also don’t have great things to say about the cultural climate generally; I think they’re the exeption rather than the rule.

      • Well, Alberta/the west is definitely not one area with one opinion. It’s frusterating when BC gets lumped in with the ultra-conservative Alberta, since the west coast is actually the most progressive part of the country. Generally, people all over Canada are pretty cool with same-sex marriage in my experience, which is quite amazing; this is despite the fact so many people voted for the evil Stephen Harper in the last election. ):

      • Though that may be true for Albera, I live in British Columbia right along the west coast and most people are very liberal :)

      • I’m from Manitoba and I live now in Alberta. Lemme sum up the difference in politics on the Prairies: I had no idea Manitoba was such a freakin’ socialist haven until I moved to Edmonton.

    • yeah, you’re right. most people are fine with it, and if they’re not they still don’t make a big fuss about it. But every now and again there is some Conservative government official (like Harper) who talks about re-opening the same-sex marriage debate.

      • There’s also still the occasional story you hear about people in small-town backwaters who try to deny same-sex couples service in their restaurants or B&Bs or whatever. There was also something about a law in Saskatchewan allowing officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages on religious grounds, but I believe that was struck down.

        Basically, most of the time in most parts of the country it’s a non-issue, but we do have our share of bigots and phobos here too.

        • Mhmm. It’s nice that the bigots don’t have any political clout, so generally even if homophobic things happen here, it’s not going to be institutionally protected.

    • I live in New Brunswick and have been married for 6 years, we’ve met the odd person that was surprised but it was nothing major, really. There’s times here and there where it’s “agree to disagree, live your life and I live mine” kinda thing, but I haven’t encountered any discrimination/bs in quite some time. It’s nice. Come and get married, people.

  3. I love that you posted this… He is such an amazing man, more people need to know about him.

  4. I grew up watching This Hour Has 22 Minutes and it’s great to see how he’s still a relevant figure in Canada :)

  5. I like the episode of him (trying) to play Ringuette… really showcases how badass (and often queer) Ringuette culture is.

    … My American girlfriend doesn’t believe me that “Talking to Americans” was a real show. :P

  6. I completely agree with Rick Mercer, “It gets better” isn’t good enough! Gay kids should feel safe NOW. It is the responsibility of all adults, gay and straight alike, to ensure that becomes the reality NOW.
    Yay Malaika for bringing this to our attention again. The topic needs to be revisited again and again and again…until it is no longer relevant….

  7. Every so often I miss the wafting smells of poutine and need to watch Talking To Americans. Which makes up for all the times I get asked if I lived in a igloo back home…

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