The Passive Perversity of the Canadian Elites
Canada’s only readable political scientist, Barry Cooper, made a nice distinction a few years back. “America’s boomers,” he said, “innovated. Canada’s built a vast sclerotic bureaucracy that has shut down the future.” I’m paraphrasing Barry in that last phrase, but when I was growing up in Montreal, the most ambitious older boys were taking foreign service exams purported to be damned hard, but which ushered in a virtuous life swanning around embassies and consulates promoting “peace.” Marrying one of them became a goal for my group of debs who saw a life of garden parties in exotic locales.
This vision of Canada's role in the world was led by the distinctly pacifist prime minister Lester Pearson, who managed to rebrand Canada as a peace broker via peacekeeping troops, public relations, and a strong presence at the United Nations, and by the Marxist Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who succeeded him; together, the two men managed to shut down any spirit of entrepreneurial energy or indeed vigour in the country. Henceforward, we were to be the patsies of the known universe. Got a problem? We’ll turn up, hand out blankets, and pose for photos. No one seems to notice the absurdity.
Here's a secret. Canada, modern Canada, was built by the toughest, sinewy-est, meanest bunch of people the world has ever seen. Called Scotch-Irish, they were largely Celtic Borderers, those medieval mercenary gangs who lived on or near the battlefields between Scotland and England. In 1603, James, in an attempt at unity, hanged or ran off as many of the warriors as possible to northern Ireland. Over the ensuing 150 years they scattered to the New World, to the Antipodes and Africa. One-third died on the voyage. Fierce advocates of self-determination, after near half a millennium of Anglo-Scots oppression, if hardship meant freedom, they welcomed it.
In the U.S., they peopled the mountains of the Carolinas, and out west, they are credited with building the cowboy way. The Nicsouns, my clan, were a riding clan, one of The (terrifying) Names of the border. They lived on horseback, earned money as cattle thieves, as mercenaries. Elizabeth I said with 10,000 such men, James I could topple any throne in Europe. Small holdings weren't possible since periodically, the Scots and English armies tore up every harvest, burned every house. In the summers, harnesses jangling, they’d drive their livestock into the highlands of the Lake District, living like aboriginals, in easily the most ecstatic scenery in the British Isles.
Settling Canada in the little ice age, was easy, even fun. With no competition but the weather and terrain, they exulted in the grand scope of the country. In both WW1 and 2, they formed the tip of the spear in the British army, so violent and explosive they terrified the Germans. To my mind, they built the basic, the fundamental idea, the spirit, of the country. Not the Indians, not the voyageurs, not French Canada. Left to themselves, they’d continue their pastoral lives. The Scotch-Irish, born fighting, had other ideas.
You can see them today in the trucker convoy and you can see the revulsion for them in elite opinion. Canada is run largely by the Boomers, who decided against war, or indeed much in the way of any effort whatsoever, and they live cushy, safe lives, buoyed by an endless supply of debt, borrowed against the energy wealth of the nation they refuse to develop or use. I could argue that our media oligarchy and the rest of Canada who are fed by the public purse, act in some kind of revulsion of their ordinary small-town pasts. Because when the Scotch-Irish finally found peace, they embraced it fully in town and city life that was impressive in its order and cohesion. Not good enough for their descendants who were hungry for sophistication, for power, for self-indulgence, for displaying their smashing virtue by selling off the work of their ancestors.
This week, a widely respected CBC journalist was murdered in one of Toronto’s formerly safe neighbourhoods. The elites have practiced a kind of perversion of Christianity, inviting floods of the disaffected, many still living their violent clannish ways, into mainstream Canada, and he was murdered by one of them. Up until recently, the result of their malign policies has redounded on the ordinary, normals, the truckers and the plurality that support them, those without access to the CBC or the unending debt pouring forth from the Bank of Canada.
We are a country in sharp decline. We sit on top of unimaginable wealth that could create cities filled with new immigrants from the tempest-tossed countries of the past. Wealth that could fuel a smart green future, once the economics of it are worked out. Thanks to our nasty environmental movement, the Oil Sands companies have invented world-beating reclamation technologies allowing extraction that can have little impact on the environment. Instead, our expensively trained engineers are bent to simple tasks, much like forcing physicists to use an abacus. Meanwhile, up North, lie seams and pits of valuable minerals.
There is a metaphor for the country that could not be more apt. In northern Ontario, sits the Ring of Fire, an actual cache of resources so rich they could create another Golden Age and not just for the frozen north. One hundred miles away lie indigenous communities in which despairing kids routinely kill themselves year after year after year. One of my young cousins taught there until she couldn’t stand losing another student. They don’t even have roads, they can’t get to a shopping mall, much less a city.
The Ring of Fire has been controlled for the past ten years by one of Canada’s worst politicians, a Liberal Party member named Bob Rae, who exactly typifies a boomer so self-indulgent and prideful and stupid that he squats over the mineral reserves, commissioning endless studies aimed at redressing imaginary wrongs. Only now is he considering development.
Former Liberal interim leader Bob Rae said Wednesday he was quitting politics to focus on negotiating on behalf of a First Nation tribal council facing the Ring of Fire development in northern Ontario. Rae said he would be quitting his post as Liberal MP for Toronto Centre on July 1 to focus his energies as a negotiator for the Matawa Tribal Council.
“It has become clear to me that the full scope of the negotiator’s job is no longer compatible with my also serving as a Member of Parliament,” said Rae. “Helping to improve the life of First Nations people has been a longstanding commitment of mine and this opportunity to serve is one I felt I could not decline.”
The Ring of Fire is an area in the muskeg swamps of the James Bay lowlands in Ontario’s north that contains a mining bounty. Rae said there is a lot at stake for both Ontario and First Nations with the Ring of Fire development. “How positive that impact could be has yet to be determined and will depend on the outcome of the discussions that are now under way and will only intensify in the time ahead,” he said.
It will take at least another ten years and $100 million before it happens. Aboriginal children die, while Rae luxuriates in his faux virtue. It’s a perfect picture of our ruling class, our lost country.