Sunday, October 30, 2016
The New Canada and the Return of the Cool Moose
As I'm sure you know, I'm really enjoying living in Justin Trudeau's Canada, and of course the land of the noble moose.
And I'm constantly battling with Cons and other grumpy old Trudeau haters who would try to tear it down, or make it something ugly, or all about pipelines and trade deals.
Or poison us with their pessimism, and try to make Canada again a place where hope goes to die.
So I'm happy to explain the progress of this country in three magazine covers and two moose.
In that one published in 2003, The Economist portrayed us a cool country, for reasons I can't remember, but I do remember pleased me a lot.
So I also remember how sad I was to see Canada fall from that pedestal.
And the moose looking so uncool after eight years of Stephen Harper...
Which is why I'm so happy to report that we're back, at least in the eyes of The Economist.
And are now being praised as a good example to others in a world full of bigots and xenophobes.
In this depressing company of wall-builders, door-slammers and drawbridge-raisers, Canada stands out as a heartening exception. It happily admits more than 300,000 immigrants a year, nearly 1% of its population—a higher proportion than any other big, rich country—and has done so for two decades. Its charismatic prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has been in office a year, has welcomed some 33,000 Syrian refugees, far more than America has.
Irredeemably dull by reputation, less brash and bellicose than America, Canada has long seemed to outsiders to be a citadel of decency, tolerance and good sense...Today, in its lonely defence of liberal values, Canada seems downright heroic. In an age of seductive extremes, it remains reassuringly level-headed.
And while The Economist is not my kind of magazine, and I wince at the sight of the Statue of Liberty holding a hockey stick, I am heartened by what it has to say, and I hope other Canadians are too.
Because it's incredibly important that we understand what sets us apart from other countries in a world that is being torn apart by bigotry.
And be proud of what makes us different...
So we can hold on to these values with both hands.
A year after Canada opened its doors to 31,000 Syrian refugees, a new national survey finds Canadians have not been caught up in the xenophobia witnessed elsewhere, but have grown to be more immigrant friendly.
The latest poll found fewer Canadians now express concern about immigrants not adopting “Canadian values,” the lowest ever recorded in the last two decades. Nine out of 10 said someone born elsewhere is just as likely to be a good citizen as someone born here.
For there is nothing more important at a time when people like Kellie Leitch are threatening to destroy those values and stir up bigotry here...
And those who would suck the hope out of our bones, and claim that we are still living in Harperland, or fail to leaven the bad with the good, are just playing into their hands.
We do have a long way to go before we become the great country we want to be, but without hope there will be no real change, just despair.
But this does give me hope, and it is my Canada.
Hang on to it with both hands.
And never let it go....