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I had the honour of participating last weekend in a tribute to Canada's greatest columnist, except he wasn't Canadian. He was Ray Guy and he was a Newfoundlander.
Consider this a pre-Canada Day column on pre-Canadians and what became of them. One effect of solemn national origin days is often to obscure any downsides that might've existed then or since. On the U.S.'s first Independence Day, only about a third of colonists were supportive. At Confederation, P.E.I. opted out and support elsewhere was shaky. A stark example is Palestine-Israel. On the Israeli side it's Independence Day; among Palestinians, Catastrophe Day.
"What does Kathleen Wynne think you do with a majority?" moped a friend. "What does she have a majority for? Harper knows what to do with one. He even knew what to do with a minority."
When she ran, Wynne seemed committed to new tolls or taxes -- to expand public transit. Then she backtracked, and decided to sell off parts of Hydro One instead. Why would it matter if you sell one public asset to create another? You're just robbing Peter to pay Paul. To understand why, stroll with me down to the newly "revitalized" Union Station on Front Street.
Canadians obsess, non-neurotically in my view, about the influence of the U.S. on our reality. We're less aware of the American sense of Canada's impact there. In particular, they've often shown a kind of Canuckophilia. Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore's 1995 Canadian Bacon was a love letter. He'd have clearly welcomed annexation -- though he's since been dismayed by the Harper era. The Rob Ford fascination in the U.S. isn't just another wacko mayor story; it's because he's Canadian. It has a man-bites-dog, Canadian-isn't-nice element.