Perusing the bowels of the Internet, I stumbled across a “man on the street” video from 2012 entitled “Best/Worst Places To Live In Canada” from a channel called “Operation Maple.”
While I tend to ignore such content, I couldn’t ignore the fact that the video had close to 400,000 views – no small feat in the internet world.
While the interviewees responses for best/worst ranged coast to coast, the overall takeaway was that Toronto, Montreal, and the East and West Coasts are the “best” in Canada. Interior Western Canada, but especially Alberta are the “worst.”
Calgary, my home town, came up twice in the worst category, although to be fair, evidently Calgary was “getting cooler” back in 2012.
Discovering this video 4 years after it’s creation, I am left to wonder if the disdain towards my home by the residents of those who decide Federal governance is a consequence of then Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Toronto born, Calgarian by choice) or if it is an intrinsic characteristic of the people of the East to want nothing to do with those of us in the interior of Western Canada, and especially Alberta.
Re-watching the video, it seems as if the ones who answered Calgary or Alberta were the ones who were the most serious about their response, although the trio of lesbians mocking Regina’s name seemed pretty serious in their derision of Saskatchewan’s capital with school yard vagina jokes.
My immediate response to that video was very similar to the interview by the current Prime Minister from 2010 where he stated: “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our collective socio-democratic agenda.”
Predictably I know the sentiment among many of the older Western Separatists to both videos will best expressed along the lines of the old “Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark” bumper sticker from the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Many of you will lash out in anger towards those Easterners who, like Alberta’s NDP Premiere, think of us as “embarrassing cousins,” while legitimately dismissing our concerns, patronizing us, calling us an “anger machine.”
I don’t feel that personally. Neither will I lash out against those who mock, ridicule, and revile me and my home.
I feel disappointed and the expression of my disappointment comes in speaking the truth about Canada.
When I see content like this, I feel that what I had been taught my whole life concerning about Canada was a lie. A lie that was instrumental of the most fundamental decisions of my life.
Feeling a swelling sense of pride at hearing the national anthem and seeing the maple leaf as a child of the 1980’s and 1990’s in elementary schools in Cold Lake and Grand Prairie (Northern Alberta “Tar Sands” towns – some of the best communities I ever lived in).
At the age of 17 and further bolstering that nationalistic pride in 2001, when I joined the Canadian Forces Reserves in Calgary and justifying my unspectacular military career out of a “love for my country.”
Thinking of settling and starting a family in Calgary not as an “Albertan” thing, but as a “Canadian” thing in my early 20’s.
I lived in Toronto for 2 years as a teenager and it was a nice place to live.
I cannot say I hate Toronto or Torontonians. Admittedly I can have a bit of a friendly laugh hearing the “Ontario Song” by the Edmonton based band “Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie” from the 1990’s.
All that aside, what I am fully affirmed of with both the current Prime Minister’s and “Operation Maple’s” examples is that Canada is a sorry excuse for a country.
Canada is a lie.
There is nothing to unite us, except the fact that our country is really big.
The clock is ticking for Canada.
Regional secession movements in this nation’s past failed because Canadians across the nation saw the best possible future being a united country and joined in spirit and action to keep the country together.
By and large, they were right. Canada did pretty well for itself up until this point.
Today, in Western Canada, and especially for Alberta, there is no bright future ahead of us in Canada.
From coast to coast, including sitting in the Prime Minister’s Officer there is no shortage of Canadians who want nothing to do with us in the West.
They will have their wish.