We feel very good about ourselves — but for no apparent reason.
Tristin Hopper’s weekend article in the National Post asked why Canada can’t get things done anymore, from procuring vaccines to renovating 24 Sussex Drive. Malaise about Canada’s performance is entirely justified as our pampered public sector fails to deliver and few Canadian brands dominate in the global marketplace.
Canada’s image was not always so dim. As the resource boom started in 2003, The Economist featured a cover story about “Cool Canada,” featuring a moose wearing hipster shades. With oil and gas prices soaring, Prime Minister Stephen Harper trumpeted Canada as an “energy superpower.” Our technology sector hit a home run with the Blackberry cellphone. The Great Financial Crisis further boosted our international stature, showcasing the world’s soundest banking system. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney parlayed this into becoming the first foreign-born head of the Bank of England. It seemed Canada understood banking better than anyone else.