27 January 2010

Stephen Harper discovers Canada

Canadians, like most peoples, have an image of themselves that carries both a certain amount of truth and a certain amount of wishful thinking. A favourite image of ours depicts us as a gentle, reasonable people, cautious in our worldly affairs and caring toward each other. This image is how many others see us as well, rightly or wrongly, but it is not an image our Prime Minister has seemed to hold in very high regard. After all, he once described us to a crowd of Americans as "a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term."

And yet, and this is my surprise of the day, I read in the morning papers that when he addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, he will emphasize a couple of very Canadian themes. First, he is expected to talk about how Canada's well-regulated banking system brought our banks relatively unscathed through the global economic crisis. And second, he will call on countries to address the challenge of maternal and child health care in the developing world, something he wants to be a key priority when he hosts this summer's G8/G20 meetings.

No comments:

Post a Comment