Jonathan Kay: Why our intellectual class made Canada 150 the worst birthday ever

What’s your favourite Canada 150 moment? The $5.6-million temporary Ottawa skating rink that bans hockey, figure skating, cellphones and roughhousing? The tedious CBC series that supposedly “snubbed” Nova Scotia and French-Canadians? The “Cultural Appropriation Prize” and subsequent white-guilt meltdown? The Duck To Nowhere? So many memories. What a shame I’ll be dead for Canada 200.


So un-immersed was I in Canada 150 festivities that I missed this gem… here’s an excerpt and link to Ian Brown’s Globe piece – Confronting race, shame and reconciliation at sea in the Far North

“The hockey sticks were meant as a gift from Canada, from the South, a gesture of reconciliation. One recreation director in town was worried about the mischief they might cause – mischief being the main misdemeanour in Clyde River – but the kids seemed to want them.

But that night, back on the ship, factions started to form. Madeleine Thien, a Giller Prize-winning novelist who lives in Montreal, found the ceremony to be evidence of continuing cultural authoritarianism. Ewan Affleck, the chief medical information officer of the Northwest Territories, compared the gesture to “the Victorians travelling to Africa to visit the pygmies.” Several people found Heather Moyse’s statement that she represented Canada to be evidence of white privilege, which led Ms. Moyse to say she was being accused of racism. “Can’t we just celebrate the hockey sticks?” she asked. Tolu Ilelaboye, a Winnipeg community-development officer of Yoruba heritage, replied, “Yeah, but what’s the intention? Like the colonialists giving them blankets, which gave them smallpox?”

Easy to think it’s satire but it’s not.

Share