Canada has never been as confident or confused as it is right now
Finding that perfect line between the treacly sentimentality of public cliché and the joyless buzzkill of hard-edged reality is not easy during the festivities around Canada’s 150th, or, as I’ve come to think of it, the “Plus 150,” which is, at the very least, an acknowledgement that the First Peoples of this land have been here for thousands of years. Everything is political in Ottawa, including celebrating the brilliance of our Canadian experiment in democracy. Being sensitive to the passionate emotions and the history surrounding the day is hardly a sign of spineless political correctness, but a genuine recognition that Canada is undergoing a fundamental identity crisis as we try to fuse where we come from with where we want to go. We have never been as confident or as confused as we are right now.
On the outside, Canada is asserting a newly poised voice on the global stage, one the Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland explicitly outlined in her widely quoted speech on Canada’s new direction. “The fact that our friend and ally [the United States] has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership, puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course,” Freeland stated. “For Canada, that course must be the renewal, indeed the strengthening, of the postwar multilateral order.” Freeland, a brilliant thinker who has unsurprisingly emerged as one of the strongest and most trusted ministers in the cabinet, argued that a dependence on the US for security and leadership threatens to turn Canada into a “client state.” It was a startling statement both for its brazen confidence and its implicit criticism of the Trump administration. The Canadian government […]
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