Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Belated Canada Day Greetings

The Globe & Mail's big Canada Day story was by staff writer John Allemang, who began a discussion with journalists Michael Valpy and Evan Solomon and Jennifer Welsh of Oxford University by declaring Canada Day "corny and synthetic." The others largely agreed, and the discussion mostly turned on which of them could declare the most ennui over the whole idea of Canada.

Both the National Post and the Globe ran pieces on John A Macdonald, and both of them imagined him simply as a drunk and a bigot and took for granted that he could never have comprehended Canada today. I could not help thinking he would have comprehended it rather better than the Globe and the Post comprehend him.

Why are we so badly served by our newspapers? Why are they so unable to hold a sense of this country? I've often observed how TV journalists and senior newspaper writers get their educations elsewhere and tend for the rest of their lives to holiday at a villa in Tuscany or hiking up Macchu Picchu. It's the rest of us who know Canada and care about it and see what a great place it can be.

I had the privilege of spending Canada Day on a lake in the woods, in beautiful weather, with family and friends who appreciated how fortunate we are, with fireworks and people making an effort to find a red T-shirt. Belated Happy Canada Day to all who felt similarly.

Late Update: Back in the Life section, Judith Timson's essay, both sensible and touching, makes up for the drivel elsewhere.
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