Canada: Beyond Grudges, Grievances, and Disunity

Donald J. Savoie
Formats: Cloth, eBook
May 2023, 344 pages
McGill-Queen’s University Press
ISBN 9780228017639
May 2023
Exploring how regions and groups in Canada view their participation in the Canadian family.

Canada’s political structure runs contrary to North America’s economic geography and the north-south economic pull. Canada imported political and administrative institutions designed for a unitary state, and its political leaders have struggled to make them work since the country was founded. Because of this, many Canadians, their communities, and their regions view themselves as victims, to a greater degree than groups in other Western democracies do.

Our federal government has shown a greater willingness to apologize for historical wrongs than other Western countries. Canada also outperforms other nations in helping victims make the transition to full participants in the country’s political and economic life. Donald Savoie maintains that Canada continues to thrive despite the many shortcomings in its national political institutions and the tendency of Canadians to see themselves as victims, and that our history and these shortcomings have taught us the art of compromise. Canada’s constitution and its political institutions amplify rather than attenuate victimization; however, they have also enabled Canadians to manage the issue better than other countries. Canadians also recognize that the alternative to Canada is worse, and this more than anything else continues to strengthen national unity.

Drawing on his extensive experience in academe and as an advisor to governments, Savoie provides new insights into how Canada works for Canadians.