What’s new, Canada?

Hey, Canada? What’s up?

You know, I think about you all the time. You’re home to some of my favorite people. I read their blogs and Facebook updates. I see details about their cycling and running on Strava. I’d love to see you and them again soon. Et j’écoute à ta musique francophone sur la radio et les balados tout le temps.

For whatever reason a few weeks ago I got interested in the October Crisis of 1970, when the FLQ took some hostages and Pierre Trudeau instituted martial law in Montréal. I quickly fell down a Wikipedia vortex, which “required” me to read the relevant portion of my copy of J.M. Bumsted’s A History of the Canadian Peoples that I bought when Lisa and I first visited Montréal in 2001. Of course, chapter 10 (“Edging Towards the Abyss, 1958-1972″) led to chapter 11 (“Coming Apart, 1972-1992″), and before I knew it, I was reading the chapter on international relations and then the final chapter (“Freefalling into the Twenty-first Century”).

The only problem is that my book was published in 1998, which means the “end of history” and the freefall pretty much coincide with the time I was listening to the CBC’s “As It Happens” on public radio as I drove around Iowa and Wyoming before Lisa and I moved out to Massachusetts. At the time it really did seem like Canada was having an existential crisis about what kind of confederation it was going to have: Urban vs. rural. Francophone vs. Anglo. Liberalism vs. conservatism. Federal vs. provincial governments. Vive le Québec libre vs. a unified Canada. Alberta vs. everybody else. First Nations’ rights. Etc. Etc.

But that was 17 years ago. Surely a lot has happened since then.

What have I missed?

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One Response to What’s new, Canada?

  1. Céline says:

    Canada is pretty fond of you as well mon ami.

    That’s kinda sad that our story ends so abruptly in 1998. A lot happened since then. Rob Ford, Stephen Harper, Nexus cards, Tim Hortons’ ice caps, and a T1 diagnosis for yours truly.

    Perhaps I’m naive or just too close to everything but it does feel like our existential crisis has been averted…for now anyway.

    Come visit anytime eh? Lots of room in the house with the orange door.

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