Canada exists because people made a decision to not follow the bright lights, higher wages and greater opportunities south of the border. Staying was an emotional decision - a love of the soil, family ties, patriatism, emotional ties to the founding nations or maybe inertia and fear of success or the unknown.
To understand the relationship between Canada and the U.S. watch the movie "A League of their Own". The U.S. is Dottie and Canada is Dottie's Sister Kit. Dottie is the beautiful, talented older sister who everyone notices and who attracts opportunities. Kit desperately wants a life - something, anything - one small break but she can only board the train if she can convince Dottie - the one they really want.
No matter how often I watch that movie I can't figure out the beginning or the ending. Why did she call her grandsons over separately and give them different messages on how to play together. Did the younger sister grow stronger or did the older sister throw the game? Which sister made the better choice - going home or staying?
The economic downturn in the States is distressing not mainly because it will inevitably lead to a similar downturn in Canada. It's upsetting because we're sisters. It's upsetting because our whole culture is built around having this older sister that dazzles us as much as, if not more than, she dazzles the rest of the world. It's upsetting because fighting her dominance gave us strength and hope and dreams.