History, Political Commentary, Science And Society, Social Commentary Giving Up On Canada January 22, 2022 Rand Simberg 33 Comments A depressing essay by a Canadian.
33 thoughts on “Giving Up On Canada”
Canada was never a nation or a state.
That’s not quite true. They gained a seat at the international table after the Great War (Ypres, Passchendaele). I’ve visited Juno Beach. I have a model of the CF-105 on my mantle piece (2 uncles worked on the project). My father built Lancasters and my mother made Bren gun bipods. I went to Expo 67 as a kid. You are correct, however, that since Trudeau the first, all vestiges of nationhood have slipped away. The last great spasm of nationalism occurred in 1972 when the Canadian team won the Super Series over the Soviets. It’s been total atrophy since then.
I didn’t intend to be derogatory. I meant that because of Canada’s history, geography and demography, a strong central government is unnecessary and undesirable. I would say the same of the USA.
The funny thing is that the act that created the Canadian confederation (the British North American Act) was crafted with a strong central government precisely because of what the leaders of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were witnessing south of the border. The initial negotiations began in PEI in 1864 and the act was passed in 1867. They felt that the loose US federation was one of the contributing factors that led to their horrible civil war. They were also nervous about the presence of the world’s largest army on the other side of the border, ie. the US army.
Yes. The Canadians punched well above their weight in both world wars. But, as someone born and raised in MI’s Upper Peninsula (Baja Canada) and who also attended Expo 67 as a teen, the decline of the country since the accession of the Trudeau Dynasty has been disappointing. The only Canadian institution showing that nation’s history and traditions any love these days seems to be the Hallmark Channel.
The “Shotgun Marriage” between Francophone Quebec and the Anglophone other provinces has always been a problem… Like “Czecho-Slovakia” they should get a no-fault divorce.
Quite true. Quebec never appreciated that the despised Anglos were the only thing preventing them from becoming Louisiana 2, Electric Boogaloo.
True. But as problematical as Quebec has been throughout Canadian history, the country’s problems cannot be solely located there. Quebec may have spawned the godawful Trudeaus, to be sure, but if no one in Anglophone Canada had ever voted for them, neither would ever have been Prime Minister.
Canadian culture is summed up these days with ‘Not U.S.’
Which is neither true, or enough to make a peoples of.
The Anglophones want to be seen as suave, sophisticated Europeans.
The Francophone want to be seen as métropolitain Parisiens.
The Europeans think of them as Colonials no matter how much they protest that “they are not like the U.S.”
And both desires seem doomed to be perpetually unrequited. I got the strong impression, during my time in Europe four decades or so back, that European Francophones – especially Parisiens – tend to associate the Quebec accent with Dueling Banjos in much the same way most of Latin America seems to do likewise when they hear Mexican-accented Spanish.
I lived and practiced medicine in Canada for 12 years..my (Canadian) wife was a member of, and later, retired, a civilian employee of the Canadian Forces..
She had to take a french language competency exam every five years… It was quite stressful, emotionally, for her. Of course, someone who grew up in Quebec and spoke English (no matter their proficiency) did not have to take an English competency exam. They received a language bonus, just because.
We had a friend, who was engaged to a man from Brittany, France – who worked as a french language instructor for the Government. He’d complain that the french demanded by Canada was not real ‘French’. One example he used is that in France, they refer to email as ’email’. In Canada? “courrier électronique”, or electronic mail….
And he was quite snuffed that the Canadians would tell him his French was not very good…
Canadians….rarely correct: Never unsure.
That was, to a certain extent, true in the good old days. The early settlers in Ontario and New Brunswick were Empire Loyalists, kicked out of the US after the Revolution. These days, Canada is more like what Solway describes. Or as Mark Steyn likes to say, Canada is just gate 27 at Pearson Airport.
They were not ‘kicked out’. They had no taste for freedom, and left. Which is part of the problem: The seed stock for Canadian population was a weak strain
Most British colonists already thought of themselves as being free members of the British Empire. Many loyalists had their lands confiscated, especially members of the Mohawk Confederation. It was definitely not healthy to be a “Tory” in the early US. Quite a few African Americans earned their freedom by fighting for the British. They did not want to relinquish their freedom after the Treaty of Paris and many settled in SW Ontario and Nova Scotia. There was a lot of bad blood and ethnic cleansing on both sides of the border that lasted for decades after the Revolution. Pierre Berton wrote extensively about the history of North America just after the revolution, especially about the War of 1812, when the US allied with Napoleon.
He’s not wrong.
I read that essay with depressing agreement. I’m fast approaching 60 and grew up in Toronto with European immigrant parents who came in the 50’s. My partner came from east Africa as a young child and she is the more gung-ho Canadian as she spent 22 years in the Cdn military. She was indoctrinated in the Cdn mythos and believes in the ideal.
But alas, we moved to a rural property last year away from the COVID lockdowns. We are worried about our children’s future in this country that stands for nothing. A country that keeps electing a trust fund narcissist who rules like a dictator despite having only 30% of the vote.
And worst, our fellow Canadians – many newcomers – don’t care. They don’t know enough to care as our educational system serves only the teacher’s and their unions. And our main stream media are mostly government sycophants.
Damn, too depressing for a beautiful Sunday morning.
Are you sure you’re not in the U.S.?
You beat me to it…
Your “partner”? What’s wrong with “wife”? “Partner” always sounds like “gay lover” to me.
Sorry to hear about Canada.
Sigh….not that it’s your business: because she’s not my wife.
We’ve been together 4 years, both after previous relationships. I had a long traditional marriage that didn’t work out.
And yes, Canada is much like the US when it comes to the corruption of the MSM and teachers’ unions.
After WW II, Canada had the third-largest navy in the world, following the United States and Great Britain.
Today, not so much.
It ranks as 23rd, per Wikipedia.
How long did it take Canada to scrap their fleet of Corvettes?
It wasn’t until well after their naval involvement in Korea. They had a lot of destroyers and frigates. Their last big ship was HMCS Bonaventure, and aircraft carrier that was decommissioned in the mid 1960s. They’ve always had a small number of subs. Their main contribution to NATO has been ASW duties, not unlike WWII, where they had to shoulder a large proportion of the anti U-boat duties.
As a lifelong resident of the Seattle area (now in Arizona) I used to travel to BC frequently. I used to take pride in how much the British Columbians shared with those in Washington and Oregon. They still do and its very sad.
When they change the National Anthem to “Oh no, Canada!” should we worry?
If they change it to “2112”, I will immigrate.
Well twenty minutes is kinda long to stand. But who can say nothing good ever came out of Canada? They are one of my favorite bands….
Good story about how messed up Canadians are these days …
“having told the New York Times that Canada has no “core identity” and is the world’s “first post-national state.” Trudeau may be right.”
Racists who want to destroy a culture often say this.
If you are a Citizen of the World you can be a vicious bastard to all of your immediate neighbors. …For all the correct reasons of course.
If you are a Citizen of the World you can be a vicious bastard to all of your immediate neighbors
Or even if you are a citizen of the new majority. Well others would call it Sharia law…
There are still pockets of sanity, here and there. Hopefully enough to reseed once the fires pass.
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