Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Bush whackin'
Bush Visits CanadaAs you have probably already heard, President Bush is in Canada right now, paying us a "friendly" visit. You may have also heard that he received less than a warm reception. But what you probably didn't hear is that this is the first time an American president has visited Canada in nearly TEN years. Can you possibly explain why that is? Every single president prior to Bush had made Canada their first country to visit after being elected, except Mr. Bush. He went to Mexico. Not Canada, America's biggest trading partner (to the tune of 1 billion dollars going across the border EVERY DAY, folks). Mexico. So he didn't exactly start off on the right foot with Canadians, and throughout his presidency he has continued to snub Canada, further endearing himself to his neighbours to the north.

This point came up when I met with HebrewLion and (his lovely wife) Elana a couple of weeks ago, and we sat around discussing American and Canadian relations (they being American, and I Canadian). They asked me how Canada felt about Americans and Bush. I said that things really started to sour after 9/11 when Bush stood up to give a big speech and thanked pretty much every other country in the world but Canada. Americans snorted that we were being too sensitive, but most don't seem to understand all that we did. When we heard that our dearest neighbours to the south were attacked we did everything we could to help. We felt like WE had been attacked too, and we were prepared to help out however we could. Hundreds lined up at the blood bank to donate blood until finally people were actually turned away. Firefighters from all across Canada crossed the border and went down to help in the cleanup and rescue effort. And over 7,000 Americans were taken in by kind Canadians on the east coast because airliners bound for the States were grounded in Canada. And by take in people, I mean that in many parts Americans were brought in to stay in the homes of Canadians willing to offer a hand by opening their homes to complete strangers. They fed them, sheltered them and helped them get in touch with loved ones to let them know they were ok. To this day, friendships from those times have endured and some Americans go back to visit the Canadians that helped them through one of the most terrifying times in their lives. Canada opened it's heart, home and pocketbook to help up out. And Bush stood up and thanked everyone BUT Canada. So yeah, pardon us if that pissed us off just a bit.

On this visit to Canada Bush is now trying to remedy his error by thanking Canada for opening it's homes to those stranded when flights were grounded but, big surprise, no one cares to hear it 3 years later. And he wonders why people not only don't give a shit that he's here, but are protesting that he is?

Most annoyingly, American media has taken the protests out of context and blown it out of proportion and sensationalized it to make it look like we bloody near attacked him. Certain clips of protests-gone-wrong have been shown on the news making it look like there was a mob of thousands trying to lynch Bush. It was a protest; people yell, people do stupid things. Such is the nature of protests, and I have to say I wasn't particularly impressed by those protesters who make the rest of Canada look bad. Protest if you must, but let's be civil.

Do I wish that American and Canadian relations were better? You're damn right I do. And I am tired of Americans calling Canadians "anti-American". Canada doesn't dislike the States... Canada doesn't like Bush. And yes, there IS a difference. A big one. And for those who have their panties in a bunch after reading this, don't worry. Not ALL of Canada hates Bush. Heck, thanks to his handiwork, our dollar is better than ever against America's! In fact it's the highest it's been in ten years. go figure!
Thanks, Mr. Bush!