Saturday, April 28, 2007

Expo 67 and Canada's Lost Dreams

I didn't get to attend this big party on the St Lawrence. But a few months before we moved to Canada my dad hauled out some 8mm film he had taken when he visited the city during the magic summer of Expo 87. And we kids were amazed.

We knew we were going to a really big and cold country with igloos and bears....which was pretty exciting.

But who knew we were going to Disneyland?!!!!

By the time I got there most of the pavilions had been torn down. I only go there nowadays when I go to the Canadian Grand Prix. Or watch the fireworks show at La Ronde. But it's still a special place.

As it is for so many Canadians.

"It was like a fairy tale brought into our world......There were tensions but there was hope. It was a period of great achievements...."

"It was like an old Star Trek movie. People thought we'd all end up living in domes and riding monorails."

"We were happy then. And we didn't even know it."

A time when Canadians dreamed big dreams and everything seemed possible....

So what happened? We still have the golden memories. But we seem to have lost the Big Dreams.

Somewhere along the line we lost confidence in ourselves. Maybe Quebec's growing pains turned Canadians against each other. Maybe our politicians are such hacks they can't inspire us to do great things. It's just cheap politics all the time.

Maybe free trade gutted us so much, that too many Canadians started thinking like Americans.

Like Stephen Harper's Cons do. Mimicking the Bush White House like pet monkeys. By lying to Canadians.

The rest of us need to understand: This government lies to us without compunction or apology about the most important files a government can be asked to handle.

And sounding more and more like fascists.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested to police officers on Thursday that they could help the federal government with its law and order agenda by lobbying opposition MPs to pass crime bills before Parliament.

Politicizing the police force? What kind of junta general does Great Primped Leader think he is?

OMG. Isn't that scary? Soon they'll ALL be wearing sunglasses..

But despite this waking nightmare, I am still confident that Stephen Harper won't succeed in turning this country into a pathetic stunted copy of the United States.

Because forty years after Expo 67 some of that faith in ourselves lives on. And we know that we don't have to copy anyone to be great.

We can just be Canadians and build the kind of beautiful,tolerant, modern, progressive society WE want. And not something that looks like the crazy jungle of Bush Amerika.

Because if Expo 67 taught us anything it's that when Canadians dream big. Dream our own dreams. We can do anything.

Happy Anniversary Expo!!! I'm sorry I couldn't be there. But thanks for making me believe in the greatness of Canada...

Before I even arrived.

Although I am still waiting for the igloos and the bears...


  1. You weren’t alive back then were you? I was living in Grand Forks BC, I was nine at the time. I got up this morning and that goddamed Ca-na-da song was going through my head 40 years later, sheesh.

    Canada came of age back them and Montreal had everything to with it, we lost a lot of sophisticated uniqueness that the city can offer, I still love the smell of warm rubber in the Metro.

    I’m renting an apartment in Montreal for the summer, my alternative to a cottage.

  2. Hi Bruce!! No...but it was the summer of love so I hope my parents were at least thinking of me :) I wanted to run a tube of Bobby Gimby parading through the Expo grounds like a pied piper followed by a group of kid...but it was out of sync and I was afraid it might trigger an epileptic fit!! And besides if we want to show the world how cool we are...some things are better left in the viral vault!!!

  3. more thing...renting a apartment in Montreal for the summer? That's awesome...much more exciting than listening to the loons. I mean when you've heard one you've heard them all. And I want you to know that I'm not jealous at all...