I have nothing against Americans or the United States. In fact, I think we are fortunate to live in a part of the world where our neighbours are friendly and welcoming.
But I do resent the growing “Americanization” of Canada over the last few years.
Obviously we can’t help but be influenced by the influx of entertainment and product choices emanating from south of the border.
We see it in our everyday lives whether it’s the latest fashions promoted on American TV shows or even the slang we pick up from hearing Homer Simpson utter his infamous “D’oh!”
Those things are bound to happen when we’re bombarded with American shows on a daily basis.
However, it appears more and more our government is following the lead of its American counterpart when it comes to running our country.
The clashes between unions and state government were on full display last year in states like Wisconsin and Ohio. The ruling party took a stand regardless of what the public demanded.
Then we stood by and watched the Harper team force back-to-work legislation on postal workers, even though it was rotating strikes and not a complete walkout.
They jumped in on the Air Canada pilots strike deeming it a vital part of our economy and forced them back to work. Funny I never thought of air travel as a vital part of our economy.
Now, the government went a step further in dealing with Air Canada’s flight attendants when Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said they’re taking the matter to the Canada Industrial Relations Board for review. That means no strike or lockout can occur while the board reviews the matter.
It was a crafty move considering Members of Parliament would be unavailable to pass a back-to-work legislation before the strike deadline.
Of course there are plenty of other examples of how the Harper government seems to be taking pages out of George Bush’s game plan.
Attack ads are part of a Canadian election campaign now, whether they embellish the truth or not.
Any time an opposing party has something to say, the government quickly dismisses it, brushes off questions and storms ahead with its own agenda.
The recent announcement that almost $30 million will be spent on celebrating the War of 1812 anniversary, while cutbacks and closures hit small towns across the country, smells like the over-the-top patriotism that has become so prevalent in the U.S. that it overshadows even many basic rights, like free speech.
This is the same government that was quietly supportive of a Fox-like news channel in Canada while at the same time taking aim at the CBC.
Is it only a matter of time before anyone questioning this government’s motives, especially when it comes to military spending, will be labeled as anti-Canadian?
Maybe that time has already arrived considering the fighter jet debate. Or lack thereof.
How about the huge crime bill? The costs vary depending on who answers the question.
Doesn’t building up the military and increasing police presence sound like what often happens next door?
Throw in the perimeter security deal with the U.S., which is billed as an opportunity to create jobs and growth. I doubt making a deal with a partner 10 times bigger than you are will equate to a fair division of opportunities.
I thought maybe I was getting a little paranoid. Maybe I was just watching too much American TV and the border was getting blurred through all the information streaming in.
But then came Tuesday’s news clip with the surly John Baird, our laughable Minister of Foreign Affairs with the gold-plated business cards, making a trip to Libya.
It looked so much like a visiting American politician arriving in Iraq after a battle to survey the damage and declare it a success for democracy.
Then Baird opened his mouth and he began talking about weapons of mass destruction.
I had to rub my eyes to make sure I hadn’t traveled back in time and heard the war mongers using that catchphrase prior to the invasion of Iraq and the decade of wasteful spending, which helped put that country’s economy in the hole it’s currently in.
No, it was a Canadian politician all right. He was praising and pushing democracy in a land we don’t understand, telling the world about weapons of mass destruction and, above all, making sure oil production gets back to where it was as soon as possible.
God Bless Ameri … oops … Canada.