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September 15, 1959 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1959-09-15

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The Spark of Canada's Growth-
Today The Country's Young Men Hold
A Glowing Vision of The Future;
Tomorrow They'll Offer Leadership
To Make The Dream a Reality
By SUSAN IIOLTZER '|2

" HAVE such tremendous po- come the skeleton of a national
tential!" the young man ex- picture, one he clothes easily in
claimed, and there was just the the flesh and blood of people,
slightest note of irritation as he places and problems.
spoke. "Canada can be so great, And gradually, the picture emer-
but she moves so slowly!" ges as a determined vision of a
His voice brightened. "When the glowing future for Canada, one in
young men take over the leader- which her voice will be heard and
ship," Bob White declared, "the heeded. As he speaks of expansion,
country is really going to boom!" of internal growth and rising pow-
er, Bob speaks also of international
Canada: prominence and importance.
Throughout a discussion of his
Buried Treasure . . country runs the thread of this
REACH Bob White's home, intent-to "make, a difference in
an American need only follow the world when we do something."
his nose northward, produce some
sort of identification, and cross Les Enfants
"the longest unfortified border in de la Patrie..
the world." Once inside the na-
tion's southern boundary, he can ANY ANALYSIS of the Canadian
then proceed in any other direction people must subordinate itself
he chooses, spinning out the miles to the single most important fact
behind him until he reaches the the country faces-the stubborn
land's edge and looks out on the boundary line that separates Brit-
sea. He will still be in Canada. ish and French Canadians. For
On a map, Bob's home presents Canada's two great nationality
an imposing picture. Its 3,847,597 groups, living side by side within
square miles sprawl placidly across the country, have retained as many
the entire breadth of the North of their cultural differences as
American continent, sending sev- they have with practicality been
eral inquiring bits of island search- able to hold. In language, religion
ing northward nearly to the pole. and social customs, fifty per cent
The hugest nation in the Western of the nation adheres to its British
Hemisphere, Canada is composed traditions, and thirty per cent
of ten provinces with an estimated clings to the heritage it brought
population of 16,707,000 people. from France.
Within its borders are vast reser- As one of the fifty per cent, Bob
voirs of coal and oil, wonderful speaks with quiet resentment of
potential for tremendous power what he considers the senseless in-
stations, great wild lands where flexibility of the French.
fur, timber and other rich re- "They're isolationist where the
sources call out to be gathered. rest of Canada is concerned," he
maintained. He pointed to an
BOB, STUDYING journalism at imaginary map of the country, his
finger drawing a line around what
the University, has not been would be the province of Quebec.
home for more than a few months "They stay in Quebec," he said;
at one time in the last few years. "they haven't spread over the
The hockey scholarship that is country." If they move out of that
helping him through school takes province, he explained, they go to
up much of his time in practice New England, not to another part
and games. But when he returns of Canada.
to his country, it will be to take
part in the surging progress he [NDIGNATION simmered just be-
envisions for her, low the surface as Bob launched
Right now, of course, he does not into a discussion of his "big gripe"
have the precise figures that de- -the language problem.
scribe Canada. But he is thought- "They should learn to speak
fully familiar with the story those English," Bob argued, "but they've
figures tell. In his mind, they be- always refused to learn, while Brit-

ish-Canadian schools require stu-
dents to learn French." He admit-
ted that English is now compulsory
in Quebec schools, but called this
"just a recent development."
"The definite impression is that
the British culture would eventual-
ly become fully dominant. The
*French will be too far outnum-
bered," Bob explained. New arir-
vals to the country swell the Brit-
ish ranks, for the French, by jeol-
ously guarding themselves against
absorption, have outsmarted them-
selves by closing the doors to any
outsider.
Because the French must con-
centrate to such an extent on
maintaining their national iden-
tity, the growth of Canada rests
mainly in the hands and hearts of
the British population. And so the
future of the country will be guid-
ed by equal portions of pride and
a sense of conservatism that Bob
can both explain and demonstrate.
A DEEP CURRENT of pride runs
very near the surface of Cana-
dian feeling, but it is a discon-
tented pride that is on the watch
for a possible injury. More than
once, Bob's conversation turned to
World War II, each time as evi-
dence that Canada has been over-
looked.
"Canadians resent America's
whole attitude toward the war,"
Bob declared. "To the public, all
the battles were either British or
American, but Canada did as much
proportionally as either of them."
He noted American motion pic-
tures dealing with the war, and
also the American press treatment
of the fighting.-
"Actually," he mentioned point-
edly, "American troops might be
initially about the worst-trained in
the world; it takes some time be-
fore they're hardened."
But Canadian pride is tempered
by a strong dose of conservatism
that Bob explains historically and
justifies by saying simply, "that's
the way we are.".
It is a trait rooted in the origin
of the first British-Canadian set-
tlers, men who had fled the Ameri-
can Revolution because they did
not wish to leave the British Em-

Growth from Within
pire. These were, indeed, the con- limited by an often dismal climate
servatives, and they have retained and that curious condition called
that characteristic through every the "Canadian Shield." The Shield
change in their country. is an imaginary line that sweeps
And this conservatism, perhaps down from the north, cutting deep-
the strongest continuous strain ly into the central and western
running through British-Canadian portions of the country. The land
feeling, is at once their greatest it encompasses is completely non-
weakness and their towering arable.
strength. Growth, then, is heading west,
especially to British Columbia; iit
The Gentle is generally ignoring the frozen
north, Bob dismissed the vast
Juggernaut . Northwest Territories with a shrug.
CANADA'S internal expansion is, "Nobody goes there," he comment.
in a sense, almost awesome. For ed ."It's use less."
there is nothing in it of America'sBUT BOB SPOKE with anima.
explosive march to the western BTOBoe witima'.
sea, the series of blazing achieve- tion of the ceaseless activity
ments that erased her frontiers in that is taming the forests of Brit.
a few dramatic sweeps. Instead, in ish Columbia, describing in glow-
her own reserved way, Canada is ing terms a proposed power plant
quietly inching toward fulfillment the Canadian government is con-
of her vast promise. Unhurrying, sidering "
Canada is content to conserve her "If they do it," he explained, "It'
strength, taking only those steps will be one of the biggest power
for which she is prepared, stations in the wrid." and his eyes
And so the world is only now be- lit up as he contemplated the fu-
ginning to realize that this gang- ture of Canada's westernmost
ling child-nation is a child no long- province.
er. Canada's progress has sneaked Bob is not content with this
up on the world; she has quietly grudging bit of progress. "We still
edged her way into the ranks of have to open up the country fur-
the ruling powers, and she is ther," he complained. "We have to
readying herself now for the long take much greater advantage of
drive that will enable her to stand our natural resources.
in equality with any nation on "To do this," he went on, "we
earth. need a bigger population, and-"
Viewing her internal problems, he took dead aim on his subject
Canada is brought face to face "-our immigration laws are crip.
with the simple fact of her physi- pling our chances for a popula.
cal limitations. Most obvious of tion increase."
these is her size, for Canada is Under stringent government reg.
actually almost too big. ulations, the majority of Canadian
immigration comes from the Brit-
TRANSPORTATION is a con- ish Isles. Most of the rest arrive
stant nagging problem when from the nations of Western Eu-
one ventures outside the highly- rope; very few others swell the
populated southeast. Railroads ranks of Canadian citizenry. And
send silver tendrils across the Bob, whose view of the future en.
breadth of the nation, with addi- visions 50 and 60 million people
tional tiny shoots creeping into adding to Canada's greatness, grew
tiny corners; and yet it is never close to indignant as he spoke of
quite sufficient, always being ex- the immigration laws,
panded. For the result, as he sees it, is
But victory over stubborn spacetht"otfougrwh aso
is already coming, and Canadians that "most of our growth has to
are confident in their expectations be from withn, rather than from
of it. Bob pointed with pride to without.
the whistle-stop campaign con- Within. Canadians themselves,
ducted by Prime Minister John then, must be the instruments of
Diefenbaker in 1958's general elec- their nation's development. And to
tion, for what is standard proce- do so, they too must develop. Bob
dure in the United States was believes they are not being com-
breathtakingly excitin gto the iso'. pletely successful.
lated Canadians it touched. The conservatism that Bob $A-
Physical expansion is further cepts so easily when applied to in-
THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

The Pride of A Nation

Page Six

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