Part 1: This is an example of a formal summary I did for a government writing course. We were given a lengthy jargon-filled document and asked to write it in a brief summary that was easy to understand for those who didn’t work in the government profession. If you would like a pdf file of this summary, please contact me.
Part 2: This is an example of a formal summary I did for a government writing course. We were given a lengthy jargon-filled document and asked to write it in a brief summary that was easy to understand for those who didn’t work in the government profession. If you would like a pdf file of this summary, please contact me.
Regionalism: A Canadian Conundrum
(note: originally posted in March on my other blog)
I was following a debate on Twitter that began as a discussion on Don Cherry’s rant about the lack of Ontario-born players on the Toronto Maple Leafs and morphed into a discussion on the positives and negatives of regionalism.
Cherry argued that the Maple Leafs lose games because they don’t have any Ontario-born players. The idea that one player is better than another solely based on where they were raised is xenophobic. No one would say that Andy Sutton (from Kingston, ON) is a better defenseman than Shea Weber (from Sicamous, BC) or Nicklas Lidstrom (from Vasteras, Sweden). Yet by Cherry’s standards, he should be. His ideas are reflective of an unfortunately large part of Canada that would rather continue living in a bubble than recognize that something better may be out there.
Some suggest that regionalism protects a cultural identity. Without regionalism, that culture would be lost. Unfortunately regionalism can quickly go from promoting one’s own culture to criticizing another. When we build walls to protect our own culture, we don’t let other people experience it. We think that because they are different, that they won’t appreciate it.
Canada is a unique country in that many provinces seem pitted against each other. Whether it’s East vs. West, North vs. South, Ontario vs. Quebec, BC vs. everybody. There’s no end to bitter rivals existing in one country. Regionalism doesn’t have to result in hatred, but when you promote yourself over another, it does. It creates an “Us vs. Them” mentality that is limiting.
For the most part, Canada is a welcoming and polite place. And yet, I’ve seen a great deal of regionalist crap over the years. I grew up in a town that hates Albertans because it’s overrun with tourists in the summer. I know people from all over that hate big cities because the people are “ruder”. I was in Ontario last June when Vancouver rioted, and the vitriol spewed towards British Columbia was amazing. I heard several smug references to the Olympics as if it were inevitable that a Western city that held a world-class event would fall from grace only a year later. It was the idea that all British Columbians were like that and that something like that could never happen out East that disappointed me the most.
I honestly think humans are hardwired to distrust the something that’s different. But I think we can overcome it. I love living in BC and think it’s gorgeous. But I also think that nothing beats a prairie sunset, and that Ontario’s Cottage Country is the epitome of summer, and that Newfoundland culture is one of the liveliest in the world. Part of this comes from being raised by a truck driver. My early years were spent on the road to Vancouver, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. It sparked a desire to visit other places to see different cultures and landscapes. The world has so much to offer, and to appreciate your own culture and area you need to experience others, whether it’s the next town over or across the ocean in Europe.
By all means, enjoy your culture and promote it like hell, but don’t prevent others from enjoying it. Don’t let regionalism devolve into hatred for all things different.