Canada is a postnational place because we have no need for unique values in order to maintain a functional society. When Canada was first forming, it had smaller nations of people united under similar beliefs. These beliefs were fueled by historical hardships, which brought about heritage and culture. As the hardships vanished from prospering society and immigration increased, nations got exposure to different people and lost the emphasis on their own heritage. Furthermore, the headstrong, “back in the day” generations died over time, leaving us, the underexposed offspring to make the decisions. We do not know of the need to segregate people for our own survival. When hearing Justin Trudeau say “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada” (Foran, 2017), we need to understand that he comes from an age and family of privilege, and does not see the absolute necessity to be connected by a central motivation in order to prosper. Sure, some may argue that ‘multiculturalism’ is the central value of Canada, and while that may be the case, we are not united as a nation
by the fact that we’re all different. Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, “introduced multiculturalism as official national policy. The challenge, then, might have seemed to define a national identity to match” (Foran, 2017). But, because we still haven’t found a national identity, Justin Trudeau is okay with not implementing one at all, because it wasn’t there to begin with. Frankly, we are doing alright without the complexity of inspiring and harmonizing 36 million people with something other than capitalistic ideals.
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A Canadian philosopher, Marshall McLuhan, said that “Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity” (McLuhan, 1963). “According to poet and scholar BW Powe, McLuhan saw in Canada the raw materials for a dynamic new conception of nationhood, one unshackled from the state’s ‘demarcated borderlines and walls, its connection to blood and soil,’ its obsession with ‘cohesion based on a melting pot, on nativist fervor, the idea of the promised land” (Foran, 2017). In other words, McLuhan started believing that Canada does not need standard nationhood, or the beliefs of segregating people by ethnicity, history, or values. Instead, we can build our own idea of a stable community based on more generalized concepts. Almost 60 years later after McLuhan’s statement, “Trudeau claims Canada has no ‘core identity.’ On the other hand he says the Canadian identity is quite coherent — we all share the values of “openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice” (Todd, 2017). Although this lack of core identity may seem like failure to older people, it can also be interpreted as being stronger for being held together by these simple values in accordance with normal laws. These integral values also protect us from adopting less pure ones. A journalist wrote “[Trudeau is] saying this is a place where respect for minorities trumps any one groups way of doing things” (Todd, 2017). While that may be true, how logical is it to be ‘traditional’ and the other way around? How much does it make sense to enforce judgement on others because that's such a major part of our history? Our focus on multiculturalism encourages a good trajectory for laws, and keeps the nationalism very neutral. Canada is a postnational place because we do not need nationalism to keep this country together, and we are a better place for eliminating the inclusivity problems associated with strong beliefs.