“Is Canada a nation, simply a country, or a ‘post-national’ state?”


I believe that Canada’s diverse and multicultural population forms a country with multiple regional nations. We may be heading in the direction of a post-national state, however, “Canada has borders, where guards check passports, and an army” (Foran, 2017), so we have not yet reached the time when our physical borders are insignificant. Now, the debate over Canada being either a nation or simply a country is quite subjective, in my opinion. We live in a country where there is so much diversity that it is hard to argue for a specific “Canadian identity”. Since Canada is home to immigrants and refugees, a common value we share is to respect others with “multiple identities and multiple loyalties” (McLuhan). With this common value, many seem to think that Canada is a nation in which our differences are what makes us the same. “75 percent of residents believe there is a “unique Canadian culture” (Todd, 2016), and although this “unique Canadian culture” exists, it’s what defined us a country, not a nation. A nation is a group of people who are united by culture, language, or shared values and beliefs. Canada, being a welcoming country to multiple cultures, has no issue with people who don’t share the exact values as everyone else, as long as their individuality doesn’t go against the Canadian law or government. Our wide range of ethnicities, religions, and people with contrasting political views make it so that regardless of our few similar values, we are not united as a single nation. Trudeau, along with many Canadians, recognizes the culture of indigenous peoples, immigrants, refugees, and other minorities. Even so, we are not a “place where respect for minorities trumps any one group’s way of doing things” (Todd, 2016). We do appreciate and hold value to the multiculturalism in Canada, but these minorities are still considered unequal to the rest of Canada. In that sense, the smaller nations within Canada are what makes up parts of our country, but our country is not yet a post-national state or a unified nation.