Canada has devolved over the years into “a childish country incapable of solving big problems,” according to Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Ottawa-based non-partisan think tank, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI).

Writing in the National Post, Crowley argues that “childishness in the form of wishful thinking has taken hold of Canada’s political establishment.”

“The post-war period in Canada has created unprecedented order and stability,” writes Crowley. “However, it has also led to a comforting but childish illusion that the world was simply made this way.”

”Canada’s puerile political status-quo means that wishful thinking has replaced critical thought.”

More bluntly, post-war Canada is now a country of childish silliness that is incompetent when it comes to solving big issues.

An example?

“To combat climate change, we simply unilaterally declared that global energy use would be radically reduced, despite the fact that billions of people depend on cheap and abundant energy, which renewables are far from being able to provide,” Crowley argues.

Some harsh, yet simple, truths have to be faced. Nature is unaffected by our illusions. The laws of physics, the inevitability of biology and the march of time are indifferent to our purposes.

Death comes soon or late. Events happen that are beyond our control. When we engage in magical thinking and believe what we want to be true, rather than what actually is true, we become not just child-like, but childish.

“We thus plunged countries like Germany into crisis and gave Russia the whip hand in its invasion of Ukraine and its goal of disrupting the unity of liberal democracies,” says Crowley.

Here in Canada, for example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while supplying Ukraine with basic armaments, has chosen to sanction Russia and its oligarchs with an assortment of bans — as if seizing a Russian millionaire’s yacht would be some sort of crippling action that would impede Russia’s military action.

Other western nations have followed suit but have fallen short of poking the Russian bear in the cojones for fear of retaliation.

It’s obviously not working, as Russia ramps up both its war against Ukraine as well as its aggressive rhetoric such as threatening nuclear measures.

To maximize growth and use part of the wealth that’s created to invest in discovering new technologies that could help solve the problem, such as climate change.

“This approach has never yet let us down, and in fact is precisely the reason why, despite staggering population growth, we continue to be able to feed ourselves,” says Crowley. “A North American farmer who in 1940 could feed his own family and 18 other people can now feed his family and about 160 others thanks to a thousand incremental improvements in farm technology.”

This approach won’t satisfy those who want instant results, says Crowley. “Yet as any gardener knows, no matter how badly you want the flowers, you cannot make them grow faster by pulling on them.”

“It’s time for Canada to grow up, because, while we may not be interested in disorder, disorder is interested in us.”


  • Mark Bonokoski

    Mark Bonokoski is a member of the Canadian News Hall of Fame and has been published by a number of outlets – including the Toronto Sun, Maclean’s and Readers’ Digest.

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