Sunday, May 16, 2010

Clarkson "dead-on" on Northern European trip!

Remember the furor when then Canadian Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, took a gaggle of Canadian thinkers and leaders to the northern European countries in Scandinavia and, if I recall correctly, even into the then Soviet Union, as part of an awareness campaign, demonstrating that Canada too, is and will always be a Northern Country. It was her valliant attempt to reorient thinking in Canada away from an exclusive North-South fixation.
Just beause there is/was a pot of money, and $2billion in daily cross-border trade between Canada and the U.S., it is also true that we have much more in common with our northern European friends.
We have a similar climate; we love hockey; we are all small to mid-sized countries and populations; we have a social conscience, and we have an inventive brain and an extremely conscientious workforce. We also have our own brands of language accommodation and different cultural integration.
We are respected on the world stage, without being feared; we provide some military, if absolutely needed, but always in a limited size and assignment. There are traces of the monarchy on both sides of the Atlantic.
We are members of NATO, such as it is. We have a relationship with Great Britain, however different that may be for each of our countries.
There was, and remains, a transparent and valid logic for the then G-G to organize such a trip. The fuss was more about the insipid Canadian provincialism, and our fetish about counting pennies, while wasting pounds.

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