The eh team

CNN’s Piers Morgan and his guest Colin Firth were talking last night about how tough it is for Brits to make it big in the United States. Which got me to thinking that Canadians are doing just fine in that department, thank you.

Even ten years ago Canada boasted multiple comics (Martin Short, Eugene Levy and Jim Carrey), some singers (Shania Twain, Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray), broadcasters (Peter Jennings and Peter Kent) and a movie star or three (Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, Christopher Plummer.) As for business, however, there were more failures than successes in the (Canadian Tire, Peoples Jewellers).

Now there’s a new generation who are not only successful in the U.S., but also have attained global stature. Think of Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Yann Martel and Malcolm Gladwell. In business there’s now a string of success stories including Cirque du Soleil, Lululemon with stores in more than 35 states and Tim Hortons with more than 600 locations in the U.S.

When I was bureau chief for The Financial Post in Washington, D.C., I shared offices with The Financial Times. One day, FT correspondent Lionel Barber (now editor) stuck his head in my door and said, “I’ve been looking at the awards hanging on your wall. For a while, I was intimidated. And then I thought, ‘Such a small country.'”

I didn’t tell him that some of the awards were from American organizations. But no matter. For a small country, I think Canadians are faring well in the U.S. and always have.

If that’s your measure of success.

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