If the current political climate has you a little knotted, you’re not alone.
If you’re a thinking, caring, informed individual, it has been impossible to go about your business unaffected by the roiling turmoil going on to the south of us.
To anyone who thinks all of those decisions being made don’t impact Canada, I’d like to slap them upside the head with a few lessons in history, geography, economics and ethics.
If you use Facebook, you’ve probably unfollowed or muted people over the past few months. Maybe even family members. Maybe especially family members. What once simmered just below the family dinner gravy line has broken free of the surface like a hooked shark.
These are painful times.
I’m unapologetically outspoken in my beliefs, and that has frayed – and sometimes fractured – my relationships with friends and colleagues alike. I can live with that, because we are living in times where a tyrant can seize power and shake the world to its core and glance in the mirror and smooth his matted hair and laugh.
But we’re not helpless, and we don’t have to corrode who we are in spite of the hate and vitriol that is seemingly everywhere. I have many American friends, and I’ve told them I won’t be coming to visit them until their 45th president is reined in. I’ve also made clear I will not accept work trips. Economic sanctions have long been a global approach to punishing countries that punish its citizens, and we have the power to adopt that peaceful strategy.
Stay home this year. Or perhaps for the next four, I’ve no idea. One thing I do know is that Canada is one of the most fabulous places on earth to spend your vacation time and money, whether you have a little or a lot. Heck, a New York Times story just put it at the top of its list for travel destinations. I’ve been all over most parts of it, and I suggest on this, our 150th birthday, you spend your dollars at home.
Our national parks are spectacular, and for 2017 the federal government is throwing open the gates to them and providing free passes. Whether you fly and book into hotels or drive and camp as you go, there is no bad way to see this amazing country.
Rent an RV if you’re brave enough, though contact me for tips on that. It’s trickier than it looks.
Newfoundland is like no other place I’ve ever been, and it will stay in your heart forever.
Northern Quebec will let your kids test out the French they’ve been learning with some of the most patient people I’ve ever met.
Those ads for the Maritime provinces? They’re not lying. It is just that lyrical there, and the history comes alive.
Experience the often crazy weather in Calgary and trek through the Rockies and Banff.
We have hot springs in northern British Columbia (Liard), and glacial lakes in the Yukon.
Dawson City has to be seen to be believed.
Maybe your roots are on the prairies, like mine are, and the kids need to see what you, or Grandma and Grandpa, have been talking about.
Our major cities have all the dazzle of many of our American counterparts.
It costs a great deal of money to plunk a pair of mouse ears on your kids’ heads and stand in lines on hot asphalt. We live in the most amazing country on earth, and this year more than ever, I suggest you show it to them, and to yourself.
Appreciate this magnificent country.
Invite your American friends to join you.