Maybe it’s because this is the first time I’m celebrating Canada Day as a resident of the U.S. of A, but the holiday seems to be evolving into a day for national contemplation.
Both the CBC and The Globe and Mail have run articles on how Canada is losing its place in the world, and from my vantage in a country that has done that in a very public way over the past decade (beginning, with the Clinton-Lewinsky affair and culminating in the “war on terror”), it it is easy to see how damaging this loss of purpose can become.
Canadians would do well to remember, as The Globe and Mail points out in a series of articles, that despite seeing itself as a doer of good in the world, most of Canada’s foreign policies suggest otherwise.
Yes, seeing Canadian soldiers marching in a gay pride parade really is something to be proud about. But those soldiers are no longer wearing the peacekeepers’s blue helmet, either.
The Conference Board of Canada needs to be heard when it says the country is “moving to the back of the class because of its underperformance in almost all subjects [economy, education, health and the social environment].”
Canada has not yet lost the moral idealism that grew (ironically) from the social gospel movement. But Canadians can’t become to complacent about their national mythologies. The silent majority needs speak up, and remind the government how to keep Canada the country they so strongly believe it is.