The New York Times' Hip Canada: Actually just Hip Toronto

  • National Newswatch

Did you see that flaky New York Times style-section article that thrust forward Justin Trudeau as the “hunky” symbol of a newly hip Canada? The piece cites a long list of highly current Canadian celebrities, fashion mavens, and trendsetters, never really stopping to notice that a similar list could have been generated more or less anytime after 1900.No evidence is presented that Canadian access to the world's pop consciousness has changed recently, much less that it has anything to do with Justin Trudeau. Given that Trudeau was the leader of the third party in the House of Commons 14 weeks ago, and was struggling badly in the polls another 14 weeks before that, perhaps the Times' Hip Canada should be read as a tribute to the Stephen Harper decade.What I notice about the list, in comparison with ones that might have been drawn up in the past, is how Ontario-dominated it is — Toronto-dominated, really. The Times, blind to the intricacies of the country it is celebrating, pays passing tribute to older Canadian icons Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen — which is to say, two refugees from the west and the Pope of anglo Montreal.