Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reflecting on Canada 2010

Like many Canadians our Canaday Day celebrations span the entire weekend.  It has been a wonderful year so far for Canada.  We have hosted the world for the most part with style, grace and quiet patriotism.  Of note we hosted the Winter Olympics in British Columbia marked with an uncharacteristic show of flag waving patriotism.  We hosed two international summits, the G8 in Huntsville, Ontario and the G20 in Toronto, Ontario.  K'naan, a Canadian who was born in Somalia rocketed to fame with the soccer anthem: Wavin' Flag.

Canadians traditionally have not been a nation of flag wavers.  Oh sure the Canadian flag flies at all public buildings, many Canadians fly a flag at their homes and the flag is flown for parades but for the most part Canadians do not display an in your face type of patriotism.  The world sees Canada as the quiet, polite neighbours to the north of the United States.  The hosting of the G8/G20 Summits have some Canadians asking themselves how other people see us and who notices us.  The summits brought to light Canada's foreign policy and in fact some are saying Canada is heading towards a more aggressive approach to foreign policy but experts and the Canadian public are still mulling this over.  There are questions as to whether Canada's foreign policy is doing what we want it to do or whether it is harming local people.  Canadians think they're more influential globally than the rest of the world does according to a recent international poll by Ipsos Reid.  The reason fo this is Canada is a nation of content people.  Canada is a nation of great wealth, an abundance of natural resource and a nation at peace.  Immigrants are successfully integrated.  Some view this contentment as a sense of self-satisfaction, even smugness.

The reality is Canada is not held in high regard overseas over it's foreign policy.  Canadians perceive themselves as incredibly generous but rest of the world doesn't see it that way especially in the area of foreign aid.  We have failed to win a seat on the UN Security Council as a result of lack of coherence in diplomacy.  The Copenhagen environmental conference was unsuccessful with even Canadians being very critical of Canada and its view of global warming.  Canada has moved away from the issue of human rights into focusing of trade.  Some feel that Canada is falling short of our potential by overestimating our global influence especially on environmental concerns. Many Canadians are now unsure of what Canada stands for as a result of a lack of clarity.  Many Canadians believe we do what the U.S. says when it comes to international issues.  Sadly under the leadership of Stephen Harper Canada has lost face when it come to foreign policy.


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