Canada has a disproportionately low profile in the UK in my opinion. Australia, which is much farther away, is frequently in the news and kept at the front of British minds, thanks to among other things, the popular Antipodean daytime soap-opera Neighbours. Canada on the other hand is hardly ever mentioned, being judged by the UK’s media and “chattering classes” as too dull.
But perhaps that perception is beginning to change? Not only has the Economist recognised Canada’s hidden depths, but yesterday BBC Radio 4’s Sunday morning current affairs show, Broadcasting House, aired an interview (available for the next 6 days; RealPlayer required) with the outspoken mayor of Toronto, Mel Lastman. He can hardly be considered dull, having confessed to being afraid of Kenyans boiling him alive.
So thanks to Canada’s emerging liberalism and some of its less tactful politicians (Ralph Klein, the Premier of Alberta, is another that comes to mind), Canada may finally be shaking off its reputation for being boring.
The British will soon need to find another country for that old joke:
Canada’s a fabulously beautiful country. Wonderful place to visit. But not for the whole weekend.
P.S. – The Lastman interview occurs 51 minutes into the programme.