*** Please note that Rob and I are enjoying a little down time this week, but the Journal returns next Monday, July 9th. Just a thought… When I’m in Canada I feel this is what the world should be like. [Author Unknown – but I would like to buy him or her a great Canadian craft beer…]
I’m having a little bit of a moral dilemma, but it’s one I’m going to have to deal with at another time. You see, for now, we have travel plans booked and paid for, and once again, they take us to the US.
It’s not that we don’t love Canada: we have travels planned to Winnipeg, Regina, Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto later this year! But it’s a matter of doing something we’ve wanted to do since forever: driving trips through the western US. Following highways along the ocean. Exploring new places and meeting new people, as we did last month during our slow route to Kelowna that took us through parts of Washington state.
I can’t help feeling a little hypocritical. I’m so furious at what is happening with the United States right now on their southern border and, of course, in the orange – I mean White House – and my disdain has no borders. Yet, I enjoy visiting parts of the country that have my heart, particularly in the US Southwest. Even if it is around 100F these days. It really IS a dry heat! And who can resist a 25-30% hike on our dollar right now? Ugh.
Why not Banff or Jasper? We were hoping to meet friends there this summer, but their plans have been cancelled. Perhaps head “up island,” as we say here, to Tofino? What – and be surrounded by tourists? Naw, I’d rather wait for September to do that. So we point south.
What’s echoing in my head are the words of Mark Bulgutch, who wrote in the Toronto Star a few weeks ago after the Trump G7 debacle, when he basically called our PM names and enacted a whole bunch of trade tariffs that take food from the tables of Canadians – especially farmers. To hell with that, says Bulgutch, who basically repeated the stance he held after the Mango Mussolini’s election: stop visiting the US. Fat lot of good that did; Canadian visits to the States rose by 6% (while other nations’ citizens stayed away in droves).
Star readers are a different breed, though: at last check, some 73% said they won’t go until #45 is out of the White House. I checked the box that said I’m indifferent to whoever is in there (although I breathe a sigh of relief when I enter the US after passing through customs and don’t see a portrait of HIM smiling at me).
There may come a time when we no longer cross the border, too, but until that day, I’ll gladly play amateur ambassador and show Americans who we really are. (Apparently after Trump’s Charlevoix outburst, US approval of us hit 66%, down from somewhere near 90% just back in February. Is he really that mad that we’re taking his name off our buildings…?)
But as we approach the Canada Day Weekend, I thought I would – with credit, of course – share with you some of Mr. Bulgutch’s words of wisdom.
It’s summer in Canada. There’s no better time to stay at home. It is no sacrifice to see your own country. From Cape Spear, Nfld., to Vancouver Island, and from Point Pelee to the top of Nunavut, there is something for everyone. There’s breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant city life, charming villages and towns, hunting and fishing, shopping and dining, museums and art galleries, historic sites and monuments, challenging hiking trails and quiet parks.
In Canada, your Canadian dollar is worth 100 cents. You don’t need a passport. The person at the amusement park probably isn’t packing a gun.
Tourism is very important to the U.S. It’s a $1.5 trillion industry. It employs 5 million people directly and another 5 million indirectly. Our federal government is doing its part to tell the White House that its tariffs are unacceptable by applying tariffs on American goods like orange juice, mattresses, and bourbon. But only ordinary Canadians can apply some pain to the tourism industry.
Go east. Go west. Go north. Enjoy yourself. Just don’t go south. Empty hotel rooms and campsites send a message.
Happy Canada Day! I’ll be back with a fresh batch of journals on July 9th.