Dear Canada,

It’s been a while. I’ve tried calling but you won’t pick up. I don’t understand where things went wrong between us.

I know you’ve got a boatload of problems and are under a lot of stress. Anyway, an old fashion letter instead, hoping you don’t pitch it in the shredder unopened.

I’m writing to say that I appreciate what you are going through. You went all-in on the tar sands and it looks now like it was a bad bet.

I’ve been there. I once put it all on fish. I placed side-bets on timber and minerals. And I lost. And given a chance to fix the fishery I went and cocked it up again. Then you took over responsibility for the fishery and you cocked it up. Shit happens. I went double or nothing on offshore oil and now, as I write, they’re towing my shiny new Dodge Ram Laramie Longhorn from the driveway. I didn’t even need a truck!

You were once “the best country in the world” and “paragon of nations” and now you’re a carbon pariah (“Present”), exporter of asbestos to the third world, broker of arms to Saudi Arabian lunatics, the only industrialized country without door-to-door mail delivery or a Public Broadcaster.

You were once considered progressive and now you stand against arts and science. You decided empiricism was wrong, that’s your choice, let the world laugh. The only friend you’ve got left is Israel and you’re fine with that because you’ve decided you aren’t going out any more, you’re happy to stay home out of it.

Anxiety about your housing bubble is keeping you up nights. Listen, the royalty deal I cut with the resource multinationals starts my guts to boiling every time I close my eyes.

You’re thinking now that NAFTA maybe wasn’t such a good deal in the long haul but you bought into that neoliberal magical thinking thing so you’re sort of obliged to see it through. I feel that way about Confederation once a week. But I’m Canada’s Happy Province, so you know what? I grin and bear it.

You were taken over by creeps and thieves. Hey, I lost my national Government that way, I know how it can happen. And think about this, if the corruption endemic in my state hadn’t destroyed it, you and I would still only be neighbours instead of … well … whatever it is that we are now.

You’re hurting because you got shafted. Here’s what I want to say to you: you are allowed to be angry. This act you put on; this polite, hockey-loving, good-natured-jokes-only, I-Am-Canadian, Tim Horton’s swilling face you are showing to the world, everyone can see it’s a mask. Those are bikers, Meth-heads and evangelical Christian nutters in the Ontario rust belt, not autoworkers and apple farmers. Stop saying you’re sorry, go ahead and say you’re pissed-off.

Let it go, Canada. Get past this bad patch and regroup. There nothing stopping you from making a clean start. You know where I am. Call me if you feel like going out for a drink or something.