That long (Canadian) frontier from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, guarded only by neighbourly respect and honourable obligations, as an example to every country and a pattern for the future of the world.
The first time I ever felt the necessity or inevitableness of verse, was in the desire to reproduce the peculiar quality of feeling which is induced by the flat spaces and wide horizons of the virgin prairie of western Canada.
I suppose the half-breeds in Manitoba, in 1870, did not fight for two hundred forty acres of land, but it is to be understood there were two societies who treated together. One was small, but in its smallness it had its rights. The other was great, but in its greatness it had no greater rights than the rights of the small, because the right is the same for everyone.
Our country has shown a lack of will to resist its own disintegration .. . Canada is practically the only country left in the world which is a pure colony; colonial in psychology as well as in mercantile economics.
(Canada) - the most parochial nationette on earth ... I have been living in this sanctimonious icebox ... painting portraits of the opulent Methodists of Toronto. Methodism and money in this city have produced a sort of hell of dullness.
Scenery here in Canada is by the mile, whereas in England it is by the foot. In England there is a great wealth of 'pretty bits'. In Canada there is a great lack of them. But there are grandeur, vastness and expansive views.
The Canadian is often a baffled man because he feels different from his British kindred and his American neighbours, sharply refused to be lumped together with either of them, yet cannot make plain his difference.
He wants to be different from everyone else and daydreams of winning the global race, Parents unmarried and living abroad, relatives keen to bag the estate, schizophrenia not excluded, will he learn to grow up before it's too late?
One man out of every five who lands on our shores is a foreigner- i.e. non-Anglo-Saxon. He comes here with a foreign tongue, foreign ideals, foreign religion, with centuries of ignorance and oppression behind him, often bringing with him problems that the best statesmen of Europe have failed to solve.
If we can find out why the idea rather than the nation of Canada can win a growing loyalty rather than commanding it, then, it seems to me, we shall have come very near to trapping the elusive creature, the Canadian Identity.
Beneath their work the moral core of Canadian nationhood is found in the fact that Canada is a monarchy and in the nature of monarchial allegiance. As America is united at bottom by the covenant, Canada is united at the top by allegiance. Because Canada is a nation founded on allegiance and not on compact, there is no pressure for uniformity, there is no Canadian way of life. Any one, French, Irish, Ukrainian or Eskimo, can be a subject of the Queen and a citizen of Canada without in any way changing or ceasing to be himself.
We often say that we fear no invasion from the south, but the armies of the south have already crossed the border - American enterprise, American capital is taking rapid possession of our mines and our water power, our oil areas and our timber limits.
I was brought up in southwestern Ontario where we were taught that Canadian patriotism should not withstand anything more than a five-dollar-a-month wage differential. Anything more than that and you went to Detroit.
Of course, Canadians are different. There is no malice in us. We are the family doctor whom no one has called in for consultation. We are the children of the midday who see all in the clear, shallow light.