December 01, 2004

Bush Comes to Canada...
The President of the United States of America made his first official visit to Canada for the first time since he was elected about four years ago. Can you believe it? The first time in four years, and we're right next door! He has been here twice since he was elected, but only as part of the G8 Summit in Alberta. He's been invited multiple times by Jean Chrétien (the former Prime Minister), and by Paul Martin (the current Prime Minister).
He was originally planning on addressing Parliament, but decided not to because he didn't want to get heckled by certain Members of Parliament. I don't blame him. He was already heckled when he addressed Parliament in Australia.
Instead, he decided to visit Ottawa and Halifax for one day each. In Halifax he said thank you to the thousands of Canadians on the east coast who welcomed stranded American airline passengers into their home during the 9/11 crisis in 2001.
He also made a comment that I think was quite clever. Obviously there were a lot of people protesting his visit, so he said something to the effect of, "I'd also like to thank the Canadians who came out and waved with all five fingers". That's got to become a classic line! I guess he didn't appreciate the Trudeau salute (the one finger wave, or whatever you want to call it) that some of the protesters were giving him, lol.
It was also interesting to watch American news coverage of the event. They made a big deal over the fact that Canadians are opposed to the war in Iraq, but neglected to mention anything about the fact that the American Congress is screwing Canada over on various trade issues (softwood lumber, beef exports, etc.).
The truth is that most Canadians don't hate Americans, they just don't like or agree with the current Bush administration.


true said...

You're right. Relations between canada and the us are extremely bizarre these days. For some reason, a lot of people in the US think of Canada as a weak and worthless country. This sentiment goes back even before the days of George W., though. In the tv show, southpark, the characters constantly make fun of Canada, and I'm not even sure they know why. It's bizarre. What's even more funny is that 90% of Americans probably couldn't even name the Canadian prime minister or one name of a Canadian Province. I've been to Québec, though, and I loved it. Never before have I met such nice people!


Stephen said...

What about that "Blame Canada" song from South Park? I agree with you though, I don't really know where the ignorance is from, just that it exists (the education system maybe?).
There's a show in Canada called, "Talking to Americans" where a guy goes and talks to Americans from all walks of life (governors, Harvard students, people on the street, children, etc.), and they say some pretty funny things about Canadians.