Ed. here. Canada Day is coming up -- July 1st -- and this year it's the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. That's right, it's Canada's Sesquicentennial, or "Canada 150", as the Trudeau government likes to call it because "sesquicentennial" is hard for non-English speakers to say/spell/understand. All Canucks are supposed to get real excited about this. There's even a flag -- red, of course -- with a maple leaf which just happens to be in the rainbow colours of the LGBTQ2Setc "community". Our friend Poor Len Canayen says that he, for one, won't be flying that flag and won't be celebrating. I'm turning the blog over to him to explain why.
Thank you, Ed. Regular readers know that I am a big fan of hockey, and the Montréal Canadiens in particular. I also love maple syrup and Tim Hortons. So I must be a Canadian, eh!
I was born in Canada. I was here for Canada's Centennial in 1967. (Super-Canuck author Pierre Berton called 1967 Canada's last good year.) I went to Expo 67 and sang "Ca-na-da" with everyone else. I was proud, at that time, to be a Canadian. Now, five decades later... not so proud.
Sorry to say it, but over the course of 50 years of liberal rule (both major parties being liberal, no matter what they call themselves), my country has gone to the dogs. (I'll leave it to you to figure out who the dogs are. Because of M-103, I'm afraid to name them.) 1967's Great White North is still north, for sure, but no longer white and no longer great.
I'm not the only Canadian whose view of his native land has turned sour. A recent poll by EKOS Research reports that the importance of many long-time symbols of Canucks' sense of nationhood is eroding dramatically. While the majority of Canadians are more attached to their country than are the inhabitants of any other Western nation, their feelings are a mix of sweep and sour, with an added flip of the finger at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s characterization of Canada as a "post-national society".
Canadians told EKOS that, when it comes to national identity, the significance of such things as the beaver, the maple leaf, the flag, "O Canada", hockey (!), the Grey Cup, Parliament Hill, Canada Day, Remembrance Day and the RCMP have all declined. And for the first time, they are calling BS on the great liberal shibboleths of official bilingualism, cultural diversity and tolerance. The number of Canadians who think the country is admitting too many non-white immigrants who are not white has passed 40%. Putting it my way, the feeling is that Canada, once a white-country, is being mongrelized. In places like the so-called Greater Toronto Area, people who look like me are in the minority!
And then there's Québec, la Belle Province. The 6,000,000+ French-speaking Canadians who live there "have about as much attachment to [Canada] as they do to their neighbour's cat," says EKOS president Frank Graves. But he adds, "I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem. I think what’s been established is a new healthy détente where Quebecers are able to pursue their own thing and there’s a nice civic nationalism where we agree on things."
There is a bright side to the poll results. Even with Québécois in the mix, Canadians are attached to their country with powerful glue. They value Canada's freedom (although there's some doubt about that lately... M-103!), medicare, national parks, clean environment and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (but... M-103 again). As for the downturn in admiration or even respect for other symbols of "Canadianness", Mr Graves offers four reasons:
- Increased "pluralism". Justin Trudeau may say that diversity makes Canada strong, but that's complete and utter bullshit.
- Confusion left behind by the previous government's effort to reorder some of our symbols -- the increased emphasis on military history, for example, and decreased emphasis on such things as freedom of speech.
- A pessimistic sense among ordinary Canadians that progress is ending, inequality is rising and waving the flag won't help. Which leads to...
- The increasing number of conservative-minded Canadians who are much more economically fearful, averse to immigration and globalization, and mistrustful of the elites and "progressives" who the Trudeau government seems to think are the only Canucks who count.
In summary, the EKOS Research poll reveals a Canada divided: progressives vs conservatives; urban vs rural; English vs French; old-stock Canadians vs immigrants; white vs non-white... and so on. There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Canadians who -- like me -- feel theirs is a nation in distress. For them, the proper way to fly the Maple Leaf Flagon Saturday will be... upside down!