Sunday, July 7, 2013

Canada: Abode of Earthly Evil or a pretty good place?

World's most to least racially tolerant countries. Key to reading such maps: Whatever colour Canada is shown in is the best. Colours descend from there. Note: Countries in grey weren't surveyed - or couldn't be. 

A meditation on Canada Day by Brian Henry
I happen to believe that as Canadians, we ought to wake up every morning and thank God we live where we do.  

By any reasonable measure, our home in one of the most blessed countries on the face of the earth. On this planet, 2.8 billion people make less than $2 a day. Compared to them even a Canadian on welfare is fabulously wealthy. No two ways about it: we’re rich. Even in the face of the recent global recession, Canada’s economy did little more than blink.

Sure, things aren’t perfect. Our health care system has its problems. But it’s better than almost anywhere else on Earth. Is our education system faultless? Certainly not, but it’s in the world’s top ten.  Do we have crime? Sure, but there isn’t a neighbourhood in Toronto where I wouldn’t walk at night. And of course Canada is a beacon of tolerance, freedom, and peace.

If you don’t know what a great place this is – compared to almost anywhere else in the world – you’ve got rocks in your head.

But sad to say, some people do have nothing between the ears but granite.  Take Judy Rebick.

Rebick is something of a Canadian institution. For the CBC, she’s the go-to Leftie. She used to host a couple programs, and she’s still a regular on Q’s media panel, where she gets to weigh in on the stories in the news.

Percentage of population living on less than $2 per day 
She was also a columnist with Elm Street Magazine, London Free Press, and on CBC Online, and in 1990 to 1993 she headed up the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

This year for Canada Day, Rebick penned an article saying that she doesn’t celebrate Canada Day – and neither should anyone else. Canada, she says, was conceived in original sin, stolen from the First Nations, so from now to eternity, Canadians should all just cover our heads in shame.

On top of this says, Rebick, the country is going backwards.

“Our government has made us an international pariah. Worse,” says Rebick, “than the U.S.” In Rebick’s books, that’s like saying we’re worse than Satan. 

But while Rebick believes Canada has become an international pariah,” scorned by the civilized world, it turns out the world thinks differently. According to a poll of 27,000 people across all the G8 countries, Canada has the best reputation in the world.

People were asked how much they admired and trusted 50 different countries, and how they rated the country’s overall reputation. Canada scored 76.6 out of 100. Sweden, with a score of 76.5, came second, while Switzerland (76.3), Australia (76.1), and Norway (74.1) rounded out the top five.

How long you can expect to live. Dark green (like Canada) life expectancy is 84+ years
But here’s the real kicker: this is the third year in a row, Canada has been rated the world’s most admired country. Far from being an international pariah, Canada’s stock in the world is going up.

Rebick’s problem is that rather than starting with a look at reality, she starts with her politics and assumes the world follows her preconceptions. In Rebick’s politics, the West is always contemptible – so please, no Canada Day for her! And the Conservatives are evil incarnate – so Canada must be an international pariah; the whole world sees it, right?

Rebick published her anti–Canada Day piece on Rabble, an on-line news and discussion site for Canada’s left that Rebick founded. It’s published by Kim Elliott, who is the life partner of Libby Davis, deputy leader of the NDP. It’s financed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a think tank and advocacy organization linked to the NDP, and by Canada’s more politicized unions.

(As an aside, most Canadian have no idea how radical some of our unions are. CUPE for example, has a history of cozying up to Islamist terrorist organizations. See here.)

Along with Rebick’s article, Rabble published an even more strident anti–Canada Day article by Nora Loreto. Let me give you a taste of it: 
Today, Canada Day should be stained in black for the oil spills and environmental destruction that has been waged across this country for the past year. [Canada Day] should be silenced, as we’ve witnessed another watershed year of [as?] our freedoms vanish under a radical, conservative government…. [Canada Day] should be spat upon.
World's free (green), partially free (yellow) and unfree countries (blue)
Loreto obviously shares Rebick’s aversion to reality. If indeed our freedoms have vanished, as Loreto claims, how has she gotten away with telling people to spit on Canada Day?

Unlike Rebick, Loreto is a marginal figure. But I fear she may be the future of the Left in Canada. She was the editor in chief of the Ryerson Free Press and the Communications and Government Relations Coordinator for the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

Worse, Loreto is completing a Master’s in Education. God knows, we already suffer from enough lunatics, in our education system.

It’s true Canada could be an even better place. But to help get us there, we need education experts with an attachment to reality, not ideologues who believe Canada is the abode of earthly evil.


  1. Right, left or center, Canada is COOL! We could learn a lot from her.

  2. Spot on Brian!
    Last week, when my garage door wouldn't open because our "opener" had malfunctioned, I reminded myself that I was having a "rich person's problem". Brian you know me, I'm not rich!

    Just thinking about it, makes me appreciate where we live even more. I have a house for my car, when many in the world don't have a house for themselves.
    Great post, and see you soon.

    1. I forgot to add... perhaps if Loreto acknowledged that every political system and structure has its flaws, it might endear others towards her cause. It's our wealth as a country that allows us to be the humanitarian nation that we are.

      Over and out,

  3. Those people who have nothing between the ears but granite are brought up in this culture of excess, while Canada is a great country no one can deny that it being so rich has created a culture where everything is large, plentiful, excessive. That being said, these people are unaware of the hardships of other countries because they simply do not know what it’s like to not have basic necessities, let alone the luxuries that they are used to in Canada. They are unaware of what it’s like to fear for their lives because the government simply isn’t on their side. Everywhere in this country, there’s a general understanding to accept others and simply be kind to others, whether it’s teaching immigrants the skills they require to succeed or volunteer crossing guards helping children across the street. In conclusion, the point being is that, like anywhere else Canada has some flaws, but to deny this country of all its amazing attributes and to look over its success because of a few flaws just doesn’t make sense.


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