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June 2, 2021 | Light it up

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

One day this week, I told Dorothy this morning as I left for the wee bank, expect to see a few courier boxes arrive on the porch. Contactless delivery, of course.

“Presents?” she cooed, expectantly.

Well, kinda, I said. For Canada.

Days ago I ordered enough fireworks to win a smallish rebellion somewhere. The intention is to let them rip on July the first. In advance of that, Iain and the gang once again will be hoisting up the humungous flag that flew over the Peace Tower during the 125th anniversary of Confederation. Every year since then I’ve found somewhere to drape this monster. For the third time it will dominate the main drag in the seaside metropolis of Lunenburg.


Twenty-nine years ago this thing flew above Parliament Hill where a huge open-air concert took place (some 80,000 people showed up) featuring a rock version of O Canada with Randy Bachman playing my Strat. That was cool. Plus the Queen, who turned out to be very regal (but friendly). And that night when House of Commons staff lowered the flag, they gave it to me.

This year these things – country, flag, monarch, history – seem more precarious and worthy of embracing as Canada slides into its own version of cancel culture. Statues of the founding prime minister have been beheaded, defaced or hidden away. This week Charlottetown – the birthplace of Confederation – quietly and quickly removed a landmark Sir John sculpture from its downtown perch outside the building where Canada was created. In Halifax the monument to municipal founder Edward Cornwallis was deep-sixed a few years ago, leaving a granite stub. In Toronto the statue of Egerton Ryerson, who helped create the public school system, is covered in red paint and mostly destroyed. Lots more instances of erasing the past – or trying to – abound lately.

Clearly there are reasons. Our ancestors were, like us, deeply imperfect people. But should their failure to follow the 2021 moral code and ethical compass in, say, the 1860s erase every accomplishment or earn statuary decapitation in a Montreal park?

Society needs to evolve, get better, find tolerance and respect. We’re doing that. As usual the young are instrumental in forging new values (because, of course, they know everything). Whether it’s about gender, colour or atoning for the sad legacy of aboriginal treatment, we’re irrevocably changing. That’s good. It’s necessary.

But I still dig my country. In a flawed world of very fallible humans, we’ve done okay. Not perfect. But decent enough to blow up the back yard for.

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June 2nd, 2021

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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