Bye bye miss American pie
In the past ten days, I’ve read two lengthy articles – both in U.S. publications – about immigration to Canada. The first, in The New Yorker, described a place called Vive in Buffalo, N.Y., where since 1984 volunteers have helped 100,000 refugees, most of whom continued on to Canada. The second was a New York Times story about a family of Syrian refugees living in Toronto that opened on page one and ran three full pages inside.
Both articles were fascinating, well-researched and timely. Why am I not reading equally thoughtful pieces in any Canadian publications? Could it be because management has got rid of hundreds of journalists through firings and buyouts? Where, for example, are the good reads on what’s happening with refugees walking into this country? Are they detained? Do they jump the queue? Are they given free housing and hospital care? How many are there? Who knows?
Canada’s corporations have for too long been reliant on U.S. investment capital and takeovers. We have sent too many of our best young people to American universities only to see them remain in the U.S. after graduation. We have watched American movies, danced to American songs and embraced American retailers. Now that we are depending upon Americans to tell us about ourselves the takeover is complete.
If it’s money that’s lacking, I have an idea where to find some savings. The next round of firings should be foreign correspondents. Do I really learn anything new when CTV’s Tom Walters in Los Angeles does a voiceover with footage of events in Washington, D.C.? And do I really care as much as the Globe thinks I do about Woody Harrelson’s pursuit of happiness? There was a time when I counted on Canadian journalists for world news, but now I have ready access to dozens of sources. Let’s serve up Canadian stories, not warmed-over American pie.