With this episode of the Pints & Politics podcast, we mark another step in our tradition of taking a critical look at what it means to live in this county every July 1st. There are many gaps between the polite and progressive social personas we like to display to the world and the frequently angry and vindicative expressions we flash at each other here at home. This year, 2022, has so far revealed even more divisions than in previous years.
Canada is much more than an aggregate of lofty values and postcard scenery. It is a messy, divided country, steeped in unresolved conflicts. English vs.French. Urban vs. Rural. East vs.West. Indigenous vs. settler. Indigenous/settler vs. immigrant. Rich elites vs. the rest of us. And now vaxxed vs. anti-vax. How do we bridge the gap between our ideal social face that we virtuously present to the world, and our less-charming, true day-to-day grimace?
Our guests –mayoralty candidate and city councillor Stephen Wright and law clerk, photographer and comedian Jill Tilley–assess the rise of strident populism as manifest by the trucker convoys of the past winter in Ottawa and across the country. Our discussion looks at the implications of Quebec’s Bill-21 for religious freedoms; we bravely try to unravel the arcane mysteries of our Charter’s infamous notwithstanding clause.
Then we briefly look at the regrettably Canadian habit of cloaking our racism in superficial politeness. Our discussion moves on to examine how much of our newfound argumentativeness is due to the explosive growth in the use of social media for political purposes, particularly during the pandemic. And we ask if this expanded use of social media is feeding the growth in overt expressions of racism in both Canada and Peterborough.
In closing, we explore the disquieting contrast between our immediate welcoming of white Ukrainian refugees and our bureaucratic tedium in admitting middle-eastern Syrians and Afghanis, also displaced by war. Oh, Canada…This discussion was recorded on Saturday, June 25, 2022