If the New York Times were John Travolta, they would be in the Look Who’s Talking stage of their careers. But, seriously. Let’s not go too far with the Ad Hominem Tu Quoque jokes (even though those are the best jokes ever). Instead, let’s look at yesterday’s “Was Canada Too Good To Be True?” article in THE newspaper of record.
With the help of former Ryerson Journalism Ethics Chair Robert Fulford and Super historian Michael Bliss, Times writer Clifford Krauss exposes Canadians for thinking too highly of…ourselves on the North American stage. As it turns out, Canada’s “self-congratulatory virtue is…mixed with some old-fashioned hypocrisy.” Here are some excerpts, along with said hypocrisy:
While Canada signed and ratified the Kyoto accord, making a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions 6 percent below 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012, emissions have risen to 24 percent above 1990 levels.
U.S. greenhouse emissions make up about 24 percent of the world total.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada produces more nuclear waste per capita than any other member country and ranks as the fourth per capita emitter of carbon dioxide, following the United States, Australia and Luxembourg.
As of 2003, the United States accumulated about 49,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactors. In addition, there will be about 22,000 canisters of solid defense-related radioactive waste.
Canada has been slow to make amends to indigenous Canadians for a century-long policy of forced assimilation, under which parents were forced to send their children to residential schools where they were routinely punished for speaking their native languages and frequently abused sexually. Only a few more than a thousand victims in the schools, the last of which closed in 1986, have received minimal compensation in a process that has been hobbled by delays and bureaucracy.
Did someone say modern-day gulag?
Perhaps no other country puts such a high premium on its own virtue than does Canada.
Perhaps…although we haven’t ‘liberated’ anyone yet. After that, Canada is well on its way to a life of virtue.
Much like our shared environmental and native rights offences, along with that inflated sense of self, it would appear that Americans and Canadians are plagued with similar arrogance and hypocrisy. Some of us (Clifford Krauss) are just more vocal about it.