santa and canada

For Alberta’s sake, I’d ask for a pipeline. I know, it’s trendy to say that pipelines can leak, that oil tankers can sink and that oil is dirty. And that may be. But oil currently makes the world go. It’s what my car runs on, as does yours. Oil also powers trains, fuels buses and makes planes fly.

We’re stuck with it for the next while – so let us use our Alberta oil rather than that from distant countries, where rulers are less than considerate of their land, their people and the truth.

For Justin Trudeau, I’d like Santa to drop a whole bunch of perseverance down his chimney. Because he is going to need it. And whether you voted for him or not, he’s now our Prime Minister. To the world, he is Mr. Canada. So on our behalf, he is dealing with complex events in Paris, Syria and Iraq. Foreign trade agreements, global environmental issues and Economics G20 are crowding his life.

Additional issues here at home, in Canada, need to be dealt with. On top of which, he has the obligations of a young family man. And yes, I know. He wanted the PM’s job and he got what he wanted. But nothing is harder on a leader’s resolve than to be attacked by your own team.

We put him on the world stage. We entrusted him with the maple leaf. And so, if from time to time, he needs help holding it high, that’s our job. Mine and yours. We don’t have to applaud his every move. We can ‘Boo’ what we don’t like. But let’s do it politely, articulately and with the kind of determined resolve that once characterized us as Canadians.

Speaking of whom, I ask that you shower us with whatever it is that makes you so jolly, Santa. You could do it when you’re delivering presents. All we need is a little nudge to remind us that we all came from somewhere else. Which is how, I think, we’ve managed to tolerate all kinds of other people, beliefs and creeds, for almost 150 years now.

I know how hard it is to be ‘perfect’ when shock, rage or fear knocks us off our game. But we all know how to bite our tongue. And I know we can’t do much about our feelings – but we can control our expression of them. And that control may very well be the precious bit of magic that defines us as Canadians.

We were so famously nice, once, I don’t think it would take much for us to become famously nice, again.

– Shannon


P.S. Santa, we’d really like you to renew your contract for another 150 years. There’s a copy of it beside your milk and cookies. Please just sign where it says, “Ho, ho, ho”.