The New Canada: A «Globe and Mail» Report on the Next Generation


297 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 0-7710-0752-3
DDC 971'.071




Reviewed by Kimberly J. Frail

Kimberly J. Frail is a librarian in the Science and Technology Library
at the University of Alberta.

Public Services Librarian
University of Alberta Libraries
Bibliothèque Saint-Jean


In his introduction, Edward Greenspon, editor-in-chief of The Globe and
Mail, claims that the nation’s citizens are demonstrating a new form
of nationalism and confidence, embodied by such tendencies as embracing
multiculturalism and mixed-race marriages, the increasing acceptance of
freedom of choice for personal lifestyle choices (such as sexual
orientation), and an “overwhelming attachment” to the nation. These
tendencies were examined in The Globe and Mail’s New Canada series in
2003, which was updated to form the basis of this book.

To rein in such an unwieldy topic, the project directors decided to
focus on Canadians in their 20s as, by virtue of their age, they are
active participants in most aspects of society (voting, parenting,
working, studying, travelling, etc.). These tendencies are illustrated
via numerous interviews with young Canadians as well as data from an
Ipsos-Reid poll of 2000 Canadians conducted in 2003. The interviews help
put a face to the larger societal trends discussed by the book’s
contributors. Interviewees are predominantly from larger urban centres
such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. But one trend
revealed in both the 2001 Census of Canada and the Ipsos-Reid poll is
that more and more Canadians, particularly young Canadians, live in
urban centres; thus, focusing on this demographic is somewhat
appropriate and consistent with the book’s overarching themes.

Although the book is chock full of immigrant success stories and
celebrations of the vibrant new multiculturalism embodied by areas such
as Toronto’s Bloor Street, some sections address racial tensions such
as those that linger in the meat-packing town of Brooks, Alberta, where
Sudanese immigrants and self-described “rednecks” work side by side.
Numerous charts appear throughout the book, and an appendix provides
quantitative evidence to reinforce some of the ideas and trends gleaned
from the interviews. The book concludes with the chapter
“Contradictions in the New Canada” by Matthew Mendelsohn, which acts
as a summary and raises some interesting open-ended questions about
future directions for Canadian society.


Anderssen, Erin, and Michael Valpy et al., “The New Canada: A «Globe and Mail» Report on the Next Generation,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,