Canada: The First Postnational State?

Is Canada a nation, a country, or a post national state?

When Justin Trudeau said that Canada is the world’s “first post-national state,” he speaks of a place where people respect one another, regardless of their culture (Justin Trudeau, 2015). However, contrary to our Prime minister, I argue that Canada is only a country. Canada is a country because it has “borders, where guards check passports, and an army,” and if Canada is a nation or post-national state, it is those things in addition to being a country (Charles Foran, 2017). A post-national state is a state where nationalism does not hold importance and “respect for minorities trumps any one group’s way of doing things,” which Canada has not accomplished (Douglas Todd, 2016). An Angus Reid Institute poll shows that “75 percent of [Canadian] residents believe there is a ‘unique Canadian culture,’” meaning that nationalism towards Canada still resides within many citizens (Douglas Todd, 2016). And although Canada has made efforts to reconcile with minorities, it is hard to argue that respect is triumphing over all other values. Liden Waboose, a 22-year old from Eabametoong First nations, has said that she “feel[s] like [Trudeau] doesn’t value [the] relationship he committed to in 2015,” showing that some individuals still don’t feel respected to this day. Additionally, a nation is a term used to describe a group of people that feel connected to one another through heritage, language, ethnicity, culture, etc… And although there is a Canadian nation (where many people feel like they belong), it is hard to say that all Canadians feel unified under this nation. On top of this, there are many groups in Canada that hold nationalism towards other countries and communities. This makes it difficult to say that Canada is a unified nation. Rather than a nation or post-national state, I argue that Canada is a country that hosts a community of nations, a multicultural country.




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