Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Governer General Jean

For all of the furore over Governer General Jean's alleged ties to Quebec separatists, it appears to me as though she has done more than simply turn the tables on her critics at her investiture ceremony. If this column from National Post columnist Andrew Coyne is any indication, she completely disarmed them.

Mme Jean has served notice on her critics, and the politicians whose advice she is supposed to enact. To her critics, she has said very clearly that she is a Canadian, and as passionate about this nation as any other. To the politicians, she seems to have said that it is time to put aside the myriad petty squabbles going on in the House of Commons, and between Ottawa and the provinces.

Canada as a nation must pull together and become cohesive once again. We must learn to look after our own, no matter where they may be, and what has befallen them. As a nation, we stand tall - rising above the petty and doing what Canadians do well - quietly building the best place we can imagine to live.

If Her Excellency's speech is any indication of our new vice-regal, Canadians can truly stand proud as a nation.

Thinking about it today, I came to the conclusion that Canada is eminently unique in the world - not only are we a nation of immigrants (a truism if there ever was one), but we are a nation that stands poised to move beyond the political shackles of the notion of "nation-state". We are by no means a monolith of a single culture, rather we are a mosaic of many cultures - all valued. Uniquely, Canada can justifiably say that it is more than a "nation", it is a collaboration between nations and cultures that stands unique in the world. While we will remain an identifiable "nation" in the world - certainly for my lifetime - I think Canada may well serve as a model for others as the world moves beyond "nation state" politics. Of course, that is assuming that those with lesser ambitions do not tear the place apart with their petty squabbling.

1 comment:

Lori said...

I was fortunate enough to finally make it to Canada this summer. When my boyfriend, Alberto, and I planned a trip to Cuba to do research for our respective dissertations, we set it up in such a way to spend a few days in Toronto. The first thing that we noticed was the vast number of immigrants -- nearly a whole day passed before we even talked to anyone that could have possibly been born in Canada. It wasn't so much the existence of the immigrants that surprised us (so pleasantly), but the open attitude toward them.

Where we live (Georgia), the demographics are rapidly changing in favor of Hispanics, particularly Mexicans. For some reason, this threatens many people's security and evokes dread, fear, and even hatred. (There have been anti-immigrant demonstrations and even lynchings.)

Alberto and I both decided that the only thing that we wouldn't like about Canada is the winter, but we're willing to invest in a couple of thick coats. (Hope you guys are ready for two more immigrants in a couple of years!)