We have friends and family on both sides of the political fence. We also have a bipartisan house. However, no one can doubt the phenomenal spirit in the air today. When we found out about our move to Canada this past summer, we knew it would be interesting to be on this side of the border during the last weeks of the campaign, the election itself and of course as the new President took over. The inauguration is all over the Canadian news today. Danielle’s school will pause to watch the swearing in ceremony. This is an historic day for most Canadians and they are excited about the change. The Canadian Embassy in Washington has one of the best views of the parade. In true Canadian spirit, they are having a tailgate party outside, complete with Beaver Tail on the menu. It’s safe to say they will have Molson available as well.
You may have heard that Canada will be Obama’s first foreign trip. It’s strange to think that Canada is “foreign” but it is. Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada said recently that it is a “wonderful gesture” that Obama chose Canada. In Ottawa (Canada’s Washington, D.C.), they see this new presidency as a sign of re-establishing the strong Canadian-American relations, which Canada has had for many decades. We have yet to meet a Canadian who liked George Bush as you can imagine. While the primary writer of this blog (Kish) is not a W fan, she will say that President Bush has shown great class during these last few weeks. Hopefully he will have a better time as a private citizen.
A new report was recently published by Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs urging Canada and Harper’s administration to become a “credible contributor” and not an “annoying diversion” in Obama’s new administration. I think we can say from here that we can look for increased cooperation between the two countries. Canada needs the U.S. and the U.S. needs Canada. However, most everyone admits that there will be challenges ahead. We pay taxes in both countries so of course we have a vested interest.
Being Americans in Canada has been interesting so far. Danielle has shared comments on what she has heard – much criticism from the younger generation about the U.S. “But I don’t understand why they vacation in Florida and go shopping in the U.S.,” she has said. There was something in the paper the other day about how Canadians are hockey players and Americans play hockey. Maybe that’s why not everyone likes our Blackhawks flag. All joking aside, most everyone we’ve encountered has been very welcoming to this American family in Canada. Hopefully the two countries will experience an easing of “us and them” with this historic change. We’ll be recording the event on Canadian Broadcasting (for the Canadian perspective even though we get U.S. TV) and having U.S. Senate Bean soup for dinner.