Canada is now 150 years old….and counting. We marked the milestone on July 1. We are a relatively young country and I would argue for the first 100 plus years, we defined ourselves as what we were not.
Not British….although the Queen is our head of state but it’s an arm’s length relationship and one which many believe will end with the end of the current Monarch’s reign.
Since 1966 (the year before Canada’s 100th anniversary) we have been defining ourselves as not American. That’s because in 1966, the Medical Care Act was passed by the Pearson government…ushering universal health care in Canada,
Since then, Canadians could demur when overseas and mistaken for their southern neighbours…No, not American. We have universal health care.
Fast forward 50 years later, and we still have universal health care and Americans don’t But that’s not the only big difference that defines us. Canada is still a welcoming country. Yes, I know that polls show there is a growing concern about immigration but nobody is throwing up walls or banning people at borders because of their religion or ethnicity.
Canada also differs from the US because we don’t have a leader who has a) declared war on the media b) declared war on women (unless they’re fuckable like his wife and daughter) and c) seems surprised when things like health care and a policy to contain North Korea and Middle East peace is difficult. Say what you will about JT (the King of the Selfie) he reads his briefing notes and isn’t stupid enough to tweet out stuff in the middle of the night with his phone in one hand and something very insignificant in the other.
It’s funny that as I took in Canada Day ceremonies and actually welled up at a citizenship ceremony that I found myself thinking more about America than about Canada.
About promises broken. About a lack of direction., About wasted opportunity. I found myself hoping…not with smugness but with sadness…that someone will someday make America great again.