America’s growing influence means Canada’s loss of identity

Feb 8, 2024 | OP-ED, Opinion

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith hosted Tucker Carlson on Jan. 24, in Calgary.

Tucker Carlson does not need an introduction, but for those living under a rock (I envy you), he was a host of a television show called Tucker Carlson Tonight, on the Fox News Network.

Tucker is well known for his right-wing propaganda and his debate with comedian Jon Stewart in 2004 on CNN’s Crossfire, an exchange that became the reason for the show’s demise.

Carlson interviewing Smith on stage in Calgary, is not just a conservative politician attempting to curry favour from a voting block impassioned by the “white Christian” values that Tucker Carlson embodies.

It is an indictment of how Canadians have lost their identity.

Canadian identity is hard to pinpoint as the nation does not have the history of other nations. It has a heterogeneous population, with no common religion, language, or caste.

However, there have always been some ideals all Canadians hold dear. Canada has always believed in its independence, pragmatism, and ability to compromise for the greater good.

Canada was born in opposition to America. Even the Canadian motto opposes America. Instead of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Canada’s motto is “peace, order, and good government.”

Opposition to America’s influence rose and fell, however, until the end of the Second World War, it was always a staunch part of Canadian political life.

Since 1945, Canada has been slowly adopting more and more American ideologies.

In doing so, has also been slowly losing its own identity. Canadians watch American shows, play American sports — except hockey but most of the teams are American — and read American books. Our talents go to the U.S. to advance their careers.

During the 1988 election race between John Turner and Brian Mulroney, Turner argued Mulroney’s free trade agreement would give America control over Canada’s economy.

“The political ability of this country to remain as an independent nation, that is lost forever and that is the issue of this election, sir,” Turner said.

Canadian politics has become a watered-down version of American politics since that debate in 1988.

The issues have become similar, and so too have the characters.

America has Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. Canada has Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

America has the Republican Leader Donald Trump, and Canada has the Official Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre.

As an example of the type of similar political games being played, just recently, Poilievre put out a press release attacking the Trudeau administration for an increase in crime.

“After eight years of Justin Trudeau, Canada is becoming less and less safe. Violent crime is up by 39 percent under Trudeau’s catch-and-release system, unleashing chaos and disorder in our communities,” Poilievre said. Similar attacks have been used for years by Republican leaders.

It is time Canadians remembered their roots.

Canada’s situation is different, our problems are different, our people are different and our solutions need to be different.

Canada must remember its more pragmatic past when it worked with other nations to solve issues like the Suez Canal.

The country needs to stop playing American politics and think about what Canadians need, what will work in Canada and how Canada can be a better nation.