Westerners, but especially Albertans, founded the Reform/Alliance to get 'in' to Canada. The rest of the country has responded by telling us in no uncertain terms that we do not share their 'Canadian values.' Fine. Let us build a society on Alberta values." Stephen Harper
That Stephen Harper and his Reformers have no respect for Canadian culture or identity, is an understatement. They instead have a projected image of Canadian culture and Canadian values, from Texans because of the oil boom, and from watching far too much American television.
Fortunately, Harper's quote above does not include the majority of Albertans, who have always been known for a progressive spirit, but it does reflect the feelings of his party and supporters.
It's kind of a cowboy mentality. Law and order, guns, war and manly sports. And that is the image they are trying to project for our country.
When will they realize that is not who we are?
Take Jason Kenney's new citizenship handbook. Historian Margaret Conrad said of the new guide, that it “represents a new kind of Canada, one that is less sympathetic with my personal sense of a progressive, forward-looking nation, but the new slant is no doubt in keeping with the sentiments of the current administration in Ottawa.”
Sentiments of the current administration indeed. But hardly reflective of the sentiments of the majority of Canadians.
The emphasis on the Queen and the Canadian Forces also struck her as unusual. “It's kind of like a throwback to the 1950s,” she said. “It's a tough, manly country with military and sports heroes that are all men. “It's a tougher Canada than the one the Liberals depicted.”
The latest attack on our culture comes from that horrendous looking Canadian pavilion at the Vancouver Olympics. The contract for the facility was given to an American firm, and it ran more than a million dollars over budget. But look at it. Other than the name Canada above the door, what possible design reflects who we are? It looks like a bus terminal.
Yet Dean Del Mastro, justified using an American firm by saying "It will celebrate everything that Canada has to offer. Everything from our heritage and our culture, from First Nations to settlers, everything that this country is all about." What?
Of course even the interior did not celebrate 'everything that Canada has to offer'.
Though Heritage Minister James Moore defends the design, visitors see it a little differently.
These guys just don't get us and they never will.
But even as Moore trumpeted the successes of Canada's controversial tent, he didn't disagree there are likely to be those who might leave its clutches feeling less than satisfied. That was the case on Monday, as some of those trickling out were scratching their heads and questioning why there was not more substantive information in the exhibit about Canada's culture or history.
"I didn't find it was that interesting," said Marie Klein of Seattle as she emerged from an exit."I would have thought there would have been more displays about Canada," she added. "I give it about a five on a scale of one to 10," said Roy Kendall of Victoria, adding he would have expected a lot more for the money that was spent.