TORONTO – With diplomatic tensions between U.S. and Canada rocked by recent comments about trade by president Donald Trump and his advisers, some Americans are finding ways to acknowledge Canada’s other exports in popular culture.
From Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to poutine and northern hospitality, many of Canada’s internationally known trademarks became fodder for compliments on social media using the hashtags #ThankCanada and #ThanksCanada.
The gestures of support came after Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a clash of words after the G7 leaders’ summit over the weekend in La Malbaie, Que.
After Trump left the event, he launched a scathing attack on Canada’s tariffs, while Trudeau called the U.S. president’s steel and aluminum imports tax “kind of insulting,” and insisted that Canadians “will not be pushed around” when it comes to further talks.
Music critic David Wild reacted to the conflict on Sunday by encouraging others to consider what Canada has given its U.S. neighbours.
“My Fellow Americans, let’s all #ThankCanada for things we love they’ve brought to our lives,” he wrote, naming a number of people, including Drake, Leonard Cohen and comedy series SCTV.
“Also hockey is cool,” he added.
Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier added her voice by pointing out that her career brings her to Canada “several times a year.”
“The Canadian government actively supports the arts. They do this WAY better than the US gov’t, and I am forever grateful,” she tweeted.
When Shaun Kelly saw the tweets he started thinking about how the conversation could be expanded into the physical world, which is why he called on his fellow Americans to plant a tiny flag on their lawn in support of Canada.
The English and history teacher from Greenwich, Conn. wanted to find a way to stand in unity with his northern neighbours. So he logged onto web retailer Amazon and searched for the Canadian flag.
“I thought, ‘Well that would tick off Trump a lot because he hates Jeff Bezos,'” Kelly said, pointing to the feud launched by the president against Amazon’s founder.
“I found a little five-dollar Canadian flag that’s very modest, sort of like Canadians are, that you could put by your front door — maybe in a garden.”
Kelly said he’s enthused by how many people have responded positively to his suggestion.
“It was simply a little tweet,” he said.
“But almost everybody has said either they’re going to do it, or they support it.”