I just finished reading the complete, "Canada: A People's History" By Don Gillmor (Vol.1 and 2, by M&S Publishing, Toronto). It's a fantastic pair of books and I highly recommend it to you to read. In particular, the afterword by Mark Starowicz touched me. Here, he describes the common thread that binds almost all Canadians (with a notable exception being both the French Canadian, and First Nations experiences).
Of those who came to Canada from France, America, Scotland, Russia, Vietnam, China... "They were all the debris of history. The expelled, the persecuted, the landless, the marginalized, the victims of imperial wars, of economic and ideological upheavals. In a sense, we are all boat people. We just got here at different times."
"We are suspicious of governments and ideologies because we are refugees from governments, armies and ideology. We are vigilant that no one claim no more rights than we have. Canada - cranky, forever courting and rejecting a breakup - is a perpetual negotiation of its constituent parts...The genius of Canada is the constant search for equilibrium, where no one ever fully gains the upper hand."
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