Saturday, December 12, 2015

Why It's Suddenly Cool To Be A Canadian Again

It's hard to believe, but it looks as if we can safely sew those little Canadian flags on the back of our backpacks again.

After having to remove them during the Harper years.

And travel around the world dressed like this...

Because thanks to Justin Trudeau, and the way he welcomed the Syrian refugees in our name.

We're suddenly cool again.

The reviews couldn't be more numerous or more flattering.

Or more adoring.

U.S. politics right now feel like a clown show of ventriloquized garbage bags yelling dangerous nonsense about Muslims and the Second Amendment. But just north of the border, in Canada, new (and still very boyish) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing just how far leadership traits like compassion and open-mindedness can go toward endearing yourself to your countrymen. Who would have thought?

The contrast with the Trump Nation couldn't be greater...

And of course the sight of the weary refugees being greeted by the Prime Minister couldn't have been more of a thrilling sight.

Or their joy to be finally in Canada more moving.

But of course there are always party poopers.

And although the government and thousands of Canadians are doing their best to make the airlift a success.

Immigration Minister John McCallum knows the days are ticking by, and that key details remain up in the air, but he insists he is still hoping to get 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country by the end of the year.

There was the ghastly Michelle Rempel dumping all over it...

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said the speed of the operation – and the emphasis on “arbitrary” deadlines – is raising some unanswered questions. She said she was left unsettled by the “shiny and glossy” event in Toronto at which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team welcomed the first wave of refugees when they arrived on Thursday night on a Canadian Forces flight.

Trying to turn something beautiful into something ugly.

In particular, she has questions about the health and security screening, and whether the Canadian and international staff doing the work have the time and resources to do everything by the book.

Still trying to make the refugees sound like a deadly threat.

Like her depraved leader did...

Only to be made to look as monstrous as him.

By the heartwarming welcome of children like these...

Who along with so many other Canadians are making it only too clear that Justin Trudeau and the refugees are helping to bring out the best in us.

And that our Canada is finally back. 

Of course it won't all be smooth sailing. There are many challenges ahead.

And the refugees will have to be told the cold truth eventually...

Before they discover it themselves, the hard way.

But it doesn't really matter if we welcome them as warmly as so many Canadians are doing.

And I've signed up to do my part, by among other things, volunteering to teach some new arrivals that winter can be really great if you learn how to skate...

And in the place where I live, the CN tower is glowing like a giant candy cane.

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas Canada. 

And I couldn't be prouder or happier.

Woohoo!!! We're cool again !!!!

Have a great weekend everybody...

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  1. I understand you don't like Harper, which is fine. But Canada has had the best reputation in the world - voted number one in polls of 27,000 people in G8 countries, four out of five of the past year. So let's hope Trudeau keeps up our rep:

    1. Anonymous9:01 PM

      Stats cited above cannot be attributed to any action or inaction of Stephen Harper. It's not a matter of liking or disliking Harper. At best he was a maverick, more likely a sociopath.


    2. hi Brian...I don't believe that Canada is the abode of earthly evil. And definitely much better than the United States. But I did believe that Harper was leading us in the wrong direction, and his use of nasty wedge issues to try to divide Canadians offended me greatly. I also believe that if people abroad admire our country it's because of the reservoir of good will that other leaders in the past, both Liberal and Conservative, built up before Harper arrived. And I am happy to see that Justin Trudeau has so far done a great job of making us more friends abroad. And if I am demanding it's only because I want to see Canada truly become the best country in the world...

  2. Beautiful post Simon. Even the Conservatives could not make their welcome bad. Welcome new Canadians! We welcome you to your new home.

    1. hi Chloe...thank you I'm glad you liked it. It's a real pleasure to write about Canadians helping refugees. I believe that they are giving us much more than we are giving them, by giving us a chance to show off our real Canadian values, after such a long nightmare. I have to admit I am getting very mushy indeed, but I'm quite enjoying it...;)

  3. simon
    the day i removed my flag was the day that harper moved us from peacekeeping in afghanistan to active duty under the americans.
    the talibans simple response was "that's okay we can target canadian troops also"
    observers at the time said every recognizable canadian tag at the time that could be removed was removed
    as we are still bombing syria and remain in active duties it might be a little premature to trek overseas thinking we are again "on the right side" and somehow immune or that we are not still a viable target
    our climate change commitment will add about 4 billion to the debt yearly and that doesn't address helping those affected in canada
    bill C-51 remains completely intact as of yet
    the TPP and the other 41? devastating trade agreements instigated under harper also remain
    we have a shiny new face on a lot of remaining programs that unless addressed with the vigor we are eating this nice icing on the cake
    will probably result in a lot of pain and it won't take very long to feel it
    guess i'm saying the celebrating is happening long before the real work is even started

    1. hi lungta...look you're right we do have a lot of things to do, before we can truly celebrate the return of our Canada. But we do seem to be heading in the right direction, and that is worth celebrating. I find some people in Canada have a tendency to cut our own down too easily, and while I don't want to downplay our faults, I do want to highlight our small victories....

  4. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Michelle Rumpell, the boozy twit who tweets inanity at all hours claims she's unsettled. Can't argue with that. I would add unstable, unhinged and uninspiring.
    A great post Simon, we are indeed back.

    1. Anonymous11:52 PM

      Maybe Michelle tweets at all hours because a glass of wine is her boyfriend.

    2. hi anon...I don't want to pick on Rempel, but every time I try to give her a break, she annoys me again with her arrogance and her rudeness. And yes I do think their is something slightly unhinged about her, and I wonder whether she is heading in the right direction...

  5. I loved the 10° cartoon, but then, I loathe winter. I've been so happy riding my bicycle every day!

    1. hi lagatta...well I like summer more than winter too, but if we didn't get any snow I would miss it because it does say Canada to me. When I lived in the McGill residences near the Royal Vic, I would love going onto the mountain after a big snowfall, and on a bright blue sky day, and snowboarding down from Mount Royal back to the residences. And the rink in the picture is great late at night when all the people have gone home, and Seb and I have it to ourselves....

  6. Very heartwarming post, Simon. Thank you!

    1. hi kathleen...thank you I'm glad you liked it. After so many years of writing about the atrocities of the Con regime, I'm really enjoying writing about the kinder, gentler things I'm seeing in our new Canada. I never lost faith in this country, but it is good to see I was right... ;)

  7. e.a.f.8:59 PM

    Great cartoon. it was great to see the P.M. greeting the refugees and handing out coats along with the Minister of Defense. I don't know who is managing all of this, but its great p.r. It is also very nice to see Kathleen Wynn with him. she just looked great! Welcome to Canada, this is how we do it with a Sikh Defense Minister, a young guy as P.M., bi lingual; and an openly lesbian Premier. Now that rocks and that is my Canada!

    1. hi e.a.f...yes it was a cute cartoon wasn't it? I'm glad the weather has so far cooperated, but I remember how I reacted to my first big snowfall, and how my Mum had to practically drag me into the house I was having so much fun, trying to build an igloo, and finding it was harder than I had imagined. ;) But yes isn't the new Canada looking wonderful?

  8. Hi there Simon. I am glad and proud to be a Canadian too. But how can you respond this sort of article? As I quote anonymously this Facebook person, saying in French: "Once again, bilingualism is only good for Quebec...", should I consider this threat seriously? Or is it just the Quebec nationalists trying to put oil on fire here? Here is the article from Le Journal de Montréal. I know it is kind of not serious, but can you outplay this? Thank you.

    1. hi Myworld...I wouldn't worry about it. The Journal de Montreal caters to some of those who are always imagining that the island of Montreal is being taken over by the English. When in fact, French is doing very well, and it is only a fringe group of nationalists who are out to create trouble. The leader of the Bloc quebecois before Gilles Duceppe took back the reins was known for that. But since I have one foot in both solitudes, and speak English and French at home, I can assure you that most Quebecers don't think like him...

    2. Thanks for the reminder. Sorry, i think I forgot to post that link, just so you could know what I'm talking about...just in case: