And the Greatest Canadian is...

Bruno Gerussi. Unfortunately that's not true. The star of Canada's most beloved TV show, The Beachcombers, was not even nominated in the CBC's search to find The Greatest Canadian. If I had've voted, it would've been a write-in vote for Mr. Gerussi, or at the very least Relic. To the Canadian public's credit, I can't really argue with their selection of Tommy Douglas as the Greatest. The former Premier of Saskatchewan and the man credited with introducing Medicare in this country, was voted the top choice by the Canadian public. He was followed by cancer activist Terry Fox and former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. I can't really complain about them either, and I'd say on the whole the exercise was positive in that it educated Canadians, young & old alike, about the accomplishments of Canadians like Tommy Douglas, Frederick Banting, and Lester B. Pearson.

But I thought the "debate" they had on Sunday night, where celebrities were shilling for their Greatest Canadian, was counter to the point of the whole thing. They had Canadian "celebrities" as the advocate and spokesman for each Greatest Canadian in the top 10. Those people gave speeches detailing the reasons their Canadian was the greatest of them all. These inevitably turned into debating sessions where the celebs were basically taking shots at each other's chosen Great Canadian. Melissa Auf Der Maur took a jab at Brett "Aladdin" Hart and his man Don Cherry due to Grapes' dislike of her native province of Quebec. I don't need to defend Don Cherry, but I doubt she knows anything about him other than what her hipster boyfriends have told her. Ron McLean almost soiled himself as he jumped up to defend his Coach's Corner co-host and meal-ticket. I was hoping The Hitman would put her in the Sharpshooter. This went on for far too long. Some windbag politician named Deborah Grey was interrupting everyone in the name of the Great One. I love Wayne and would almost vote for him as the Greatest One in Canada, but he must have been salty that she was representing him. She must've annoyed everyone else too because Wayne finished 10th.

Here's my point, this should have been a celebration of Canada's greatest achievers, but hearing these people bicker amongst themselves and put down the people we're celebrating as being our 10 Greatest was ridiculous. How great can David Suzuki really be if Sook Yin Lee is downplaying his merits and promoting Terry Fox? If the guy from Due South doesn't think much of Wayne Gretzky, why should I? It came off like a terrible political debate with twice the annoying people talking. It was silly, these people took it all personally and were attacking the others to prove their worth. "I prefer Lester B. Pearson, so I'm smarter than you." I don't think such a competitive edge was needed for an event like this. If they wanted it to be Canadian Idol they should've at least had Farley Flex on board. I'm all for celebrating great Canadians, so let's actually do that next time.


@ 3:55 PM, Mike kicked the following game:

Sorry I missed that debate...actually, no I'm not. I was pleased for the most part to see that Canadians had enough sense to recogize people who truely are "great" Canadians in the top 10 and not just turn this into some kind of foolish celebrity contest by voting for singers and actors. The artists are important, but most aren't top 10 worthy. I wish Sir John A. MacDonald finished a bit higher since it was his vision that was so influential in forming Canada.

 

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