James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Greatest Canadian

CBC will air the special tonight, based on a television format the Brits invented. Check the link for the nominees. I would have hoped they would have done better. Nominating Don Cherry for greatest Canadian is like nominating Howard Cosell for Greatest American. How about Robertson Davies or Mordecai Richler? Or Joni Mitchell?

If Alexander Graham Bell is nominated, though his Canadian years were his retirement years (after inventing the telephone) how about nominating Canadian-born James Naismith, who invented basketball after he moved to the USA? Bell shouldn't be on the list.

Pierre Trudeau? PIERRE TRUDEAU? Among people who believe in government, a case could be made for Tommy Douglas and John A. McDonald, and a particularly strong one for Lester Pearson. But Pierre Trudeau's fiscal and economic incompetence can not be excused.

Terry Fox, Wayne Gretzky, and maybe David Suzuki were worthy entries. But the nod has to go to Frederick Banting.

But overall, I find the list wanting - the dearth of artists and entertainers is surprising considering, especially, the impact of Canadians on the international pop culture (probably because their success was largely due to American radio and television). And these lists should always have more scientists, inventors, and businessmen, and fewer politicians. Oh, well.

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