The puzzling land called CANADA
Storyteller Roy MacGregor gets to the heart of what makes this country tick as a nation
Writers have been trying to define what it means to be Canadian for almost as long as there has been a border along the 49th parallel. Most of these commentators have come up against the same confounding reality: in a country the size of ours, it is virtually impossible for a single set of defining nationalistic characteristics to emerge. The situation has been complicated by the fulfilment of the vaunted Canadian Mosaic model of multiculturalism. In his new book
Canadians: A Portrait of A Country and Its People, Kanata journalist Roy MacGregor makes a virtue of this difficulty, embracing the polyglot nature of our society rather than attempting to reduce it to a single pointless (and likely groundless) stereotype.
As he writes in his introduction, Canada, is a country that, like Einstein’s theory of relativity, is impossible for virtually any of us to grasp.
Despite this caution, Canadians is an impressive attempt to get at the heart of the country and its people. MacGregor largely eschews the raw-data approach of censuses and demographers, preferring instead to examine the country through a series of thematically-lensed chapters.
In “The Wind That Wants a Flag,” for example, he looks at the Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future (better known as the Spicer Commission, which MacGregor accompanied as Commissioner 13, an unofficial but authorized journalistic gadfly) which sought to measure the temper and tenor of the Canadian people following the defeat of the Meech Lake Accord in 1990.
See AUTHOR on PAGE C2