A Distinct Identity

Canadian IdentityToday's New York Times includes an article on the emergence of a more distinctive Canadian identity. The Times views this identity as being more in line with European sensibilities and one that is generating new frictions with the United States. "From gay marriage to drug use to church attendance, a chasm has opened up on social issues that go to the heart of fundamental values."

I couldn't agree more. Since 9/11, the fundamental differences between Canadians and Americans have become more and more evident. In the 80s it almost felt as if Canada was becoming the 51st state. Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney were Irish eyes a'smilin' and our cultures were barely different. Today, it barely registers as news that Canada decriminalized marijuana, Vancouver opened North America's first legal safe-injection site, and two provinces have legalized gay marriage. As I wrote back in June, it's been a landmark year for Canadian independence and pride. Canada is cooler.

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