There is a place on earth that most Americans never think about—a vast, strange land where the days can be cold, but the people are friendly and the health care is free. We remember this place exists only occasionally: when we find out our favorite comedian was born there, or when someone we know decides to move there for college. For the most part, though, it hardly enters into our conception of the world. Canada is there, and it isn’t.
But there is a new and unfamiliar wind blowing in the North—one of national ambition and passionate, even aggressive, patriotism. Its proponents seek to transform Canada from the polite and accommodating country it’s been for most of its history into a major, muscular force on the world stage. The Canada they envision will be powerful, rich, and influential. It will never again be ignored, or dismissed sneeringly as “America’s hat.”