I’m sure that I’m not the only Canadian film-goer who has noticed, in recent months, a certain obnoxious trend towards the broadcast of bits of what can only be described as jingoistic, flag-waving, conservative propaganda. While none of these spots appear to trace directly back to the PMO, they seem to be very much in keeping with the Glorious Leader’s vision of the country.
For example, this unintentionally hilarious ad originates with the tar sands developer Cenovus, and appears to be part of a deliberate rebranding effort* to recast extracting oil from Northern Alberta as a triumph of Canadian innovation** (rather than, for example, turning pristine wilderness into a hellscape rivalling Mordor).
I am especially fond of 0:48; nothing like a steaming cup of crude in the morning.
The other video I saw (which I can’t seem to find on YouTube) was a spot commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (an anniversary which Stephen Harper, ever keen on recasting Canada as a martial nation, has thrown his full force behind). I must say watching this one with Nominatissima (who, in spite of her many other virtues, afterall remains a barbarous yankee invader swine) was quite amusing. Nevertheless, I find state-sponsored attempts to appeal to a sort of empty-headed, flag-waving, glorious past to be both sinister and wholly alien to the Canada in which I grew up.
My guess would be that these efforts will not meet their marks, in the end. Canadians, in my experience, are far too cynical.
*Yes, I wrote this article. Yes, I’m citing it.
**Which, of course, gleefully ignores the fact that these Canadian innovators are overwhelmingly owned by foreigners.