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A Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada’s

Founding Values

Brian Lee Crowley

dacious and striking counter-cultural work that hopefully will shake up our moribund political climate.


rian Lee Crowley’s Fearful Sym-

metry: the Fall and Rise of Can-

ada’s Founding Values is an au-

It is eas-

ily one of the most thought-provoking and easy-reading intellectualizations of Canadian society to appear in the past decade. If like me you were born at the tail end of the baby boom, you have grown up with the common wisdom that Can- ada has historically been a more center- left progressive state than the United States. However, in Fearful Symmetry Brian Lee Crowley presents substantial evidence to the contrary with an inven- tive mix of historical record and cogent analysis of present day ills. Crowley argues that Canada, until the latter half of the 20th Century, was clearly a centre-right country whose founders and leaders put a clear empha- sis on the values of both “liberty” and “freedom.” It was only during the latter half of the 20th century that Canada’s leaders discarded these values. The life and death battle for survival with surg- ing separatists and Quebec nationalism began the head-on competition with the Quebec state to expand and dem- onstrate the value of “Canada” to the Quebec populace. An unintended con- sequence of this expansion in Quebec brought massive statism and big gov- ernment to the rest of Canada as well. The grave consequences of this were manifested in the stagflation of the 1970s and the current huge govern- ment apparatus, which crept into and then ran, across the country. To prove his argument Cowley fre- quently quotes many leading Canadian Prime Ministers – particularly the clas- sically liberal first French Canadian

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Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier – who said “Canada is Free and Free- dom is its nationality.”As well he notes a 1957 quote by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent that: “Any ideas of non-es- sential interference by the Government is repugnant to the Liberal Party”. Between 1957 and now, something significant happened to the values of the Liberal Party, and perhaps Canada as a whole, for the above statement seems incredible. One thing that runs through this

work is the author’s belief in the trans- formative power of vocation and the self-respect gained by work of any kind. To further confound his critics Lee Crowley boldly cites the workfare- like policies of the Saskatchewan CCF under Tommy Douglas. I have often wondered what hap- pened to those British symbols of the Queen and the Union Jack that were so prominent in my grade school grow- ing up in small town central Ontario, singing “God Save the Queen” every morning and celebrating Dominion Day every July 1st. To Lee Crowley, these vestiges of our heritage were col- lateral damage in a poorly executed counter attack by political elites in Eng- lish Canada against Quebec separatism. With these core symbols jettisoned Canadian traditions of independence, self reliance and personal responsibility soon eroded. The Trudeau era was the culmination of this transformation. Lee Crowley goes beyond economic policy and devotes a significant part of the book discussing the role and the value of the family and the cause and effect of anti-family policies, and the negative impact this has, on Canada’s future supply of workers. Taking off were Brian Foote led us in his ground- breaking work “Boom, Bust and Echo”,

Lee Crowley argues that the impending, massive, shortage of workers, and the huge resources needed to support the baby boomers in their retirement years, will incline Canadians to end their futile indulgence of Big Government and re- turn to a emphasis on small government and a ruthless focus on creating wealth. This will be the only way to produc- tively support such a large retired popu- lation on a relatively very small number of productive workers. Brian Lee Crowley has done a sig- nificant job in clearly bringing forward these arguments. I strongly recommend this work for the deft way its author brings together current concepts of property rights,

reworking and re-

understanding Confederation in a dis- tinctly counter-cultural way from the left-center consensus that now reigns in Ottawa and among our major media institutions. Highly recommended.

Stewart Kiff is the president of Solstice Pub- lic Affairs. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69
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