Canada has not yet reached the low of ethno nationalism seen in most liberal democracies, but that too can easily change. Some argue that the election of a populist Premier in Ontario is a turning point for Canada, but Ford won decisively in Toronto-area ridings with majority immigrant populations.
In other democracies, populism wins through fanning immigrant hatred. Ford simply won because Wynne and her Liberals had mismanaged the province badly and needed to be booted. Ford’s Cabinet appointments of seasoned politicians and six star rookies cements my belief that Ford isn’t going to be an ideologue, but a premier who cares about his province and all his workers.
Looked at one way, it can be argued we’re getting what we deserve. Although politicians of all stripes talked the talk for years, little has been done to significantly diversify Alberta’s economy. The lure of NAFTA was just too much temptation for cost-conscience businesses and consumers. Federally, the Harper government started to address our vulnerability by beginning the process of negotiating free trade agreements with both Europe and Asia, which Justin Trudeau judiciously completed. Our federal government has been preparing for the worst, and it’s obvious that as individual Canadians we must also prepare ourselves for some rough years ahead. We are moving into an economic war which will not end well for ordinary Canadians, Americans or Mexicans. As the Republican Party in the United States continues to engage in a full-press trade assault against their closest neighbours and allies, Canadians need to do some soul searching.
The lessons from the 1930’s are as relevant today as they were then. Joseph Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, continued to do business with Nazi Germany for personal gain as Canadian and British soldiers were dying in the trenches. Today, former Prime Minister Harper is meeting with the American architects of the economic assault on Canada, his friends I’m told! Like Joseph Kennedy, this meeting proves Harper’s personal agenda and ideology trumps Canada’s interests. My fellow Canadians this is not a game. Caring more about Trump, the Republican Party, Fox News personalities, ideology and religious piety than your country, Canada, has dangerous long-term consequences, including your much-beloved pensions, health care and ability to afford the snowbird lifestyle.
When you’re at war, either militarily or economically, personal sacrifice is a given for victory, capitulation is easy and mindless but comes with unimaginable long-term consequences.