Country mouse


Justin Trudeau got caught last week with other world leaders mocking U.S. President Trump at the NATO conference. This has already been commented on, so far with no support for Justin, as far as I have seen, so I won’t bother. I will say, what did they expect? This is totally in character and nobody should be surprised.

Kerry Knudsen

The rest of the story, of course, is to be seen. We can claim that Trump is an idiot and will forget about it tomorrow, but we should also consider that Trump won’t forget it and will wish to rub Justin’s nose in it, catching all of Canada en passant. Unfortunately for us, Trump has a habit of retaliation. 

We also heard last week that under Justin’s tutelage Canada suffered its largest job loss last month since the financial crisis of 2008. Concurrently, the U.S. under Trump experienced a whopping 266,000-job gain. Taken together, it’s one of those things that make you want to go “Hmmmm, I wonder…. Could there be a correlation between the relative effects of a Trump policy and a Trudeau policy vis-à-vis the respective economies of the U.S. and Canada?”  

I sure hope not, ‘cause otherwise it looks like we made a mistake. A big one. 

There’s more grist for the mill since our October election. For example, Trudeau’s Liberals failed to take a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan. 

Of course, that means, lacking a Liberal from either Alberta or Saskatchewan to appoint to a cabinet seat to appease Alberta and Saskatchewan, Trudeau has nothing much with which to appease Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is a problem, because Alberta and Saskatchewan’s people don’t like Trudeau. They voted, which is the only real poll. 

When I heard that, I couldn’t help but note that maybe the West should join Quebec and the East in a Confederation and throw Ontario the hell out. What can I say? I doubt I was the only one to figure that one. Too obvious.  


The thing is, there has been a growing divide between what we call Left and Right in recent times, but it’s hardly new. Aesop wrote his “The City Mouse and the Country Mouse” fable somewhere around 500 BC. In that fable, Aesop explores the differences in viewpoint between people that live in the city and people that live in the country. 

It is not a false distinction, although, as with all stereotypes, it does not apply universally, but only generally. Stereotypes are what they are, or they would not be stereotypes. 

Another way to view city and country might be to view one group of people as producers, where they have to be sure to have the resources to create next year’s income. For farmers, you have to be able to buy seed, fertilizer, feed and fuel. For manufacturers, you need to have raw materials, consumable supplies, equipment, and sales costs. 

The other group might be urban and consumers, in which case they view food, flooring and furniture as stuff at the store, subject to having a better job with more perks to get it. 

Among both groups would be a subgroup I sometimes refer to as the twits, who inherit position and wealth and adopt an air of privilege and play dress-up. 

This city/country dichotomy might fairly well define the tension that now exists between red ridings and blue ridings in Canada, and between blue counties red counties in the States. 

This is interesting to me. I don’t want to “go political” today, but if we look objectively at the current strife in the States over “impeachment,” you can see without partisanship that Republicans are mad. Specifically, they are mad at Adam Schiff and the way he has conducted the House Intelligence (sic) Committee. I think we can all agree on that, right and left. 

Now, here’s the thing. The people that are involved on both sides, to include congressmen, senators, witnesses, accusers and counsellors are mostly lawyers. We have lawyers subpoenaing lawyers with lawyers counselling the subpoenaed in front of lawyers interrogating the subpoenaed, et cetera. 

However, all the lawyers are city mice with essentially the same coiffures as Trudeau. Blue suits/brown shoes/bespoke ties and “original” socks. Don’t they cut a rug? (That’s old country talk.) 

So all the Republican lawyers are digging and barking, feisting and posturing, insisting that what the Democrats are doing cannot be done, and wondering how to undo it. 


But they are city mice, and all of them, to invoke a stereotype, are grounded in committees and loopholes and ways to circumvent the direct will of the people in the special instance of their patron special interests. 

There isn’t a one among them that can simply go straight for the throat and execute justice in a timely and fair manner. 

It will be fun to see how the impeachment effort ends out. I have my theory, but maybe we do that another day. 

Mainly, in the Aesop story and all the cities and debauchery since, the city mice have led the fat life and the country mice have survived. 

I have been proud my whole career to report on the lives and work of country mice — producers across North America that have an idea of a market to serve, a way to serve it and the ambition to “get ‘er done.” Nothing could have given me greater pleasure that to work together with people that work for a living and keep their streets clean. 

I don’t know what the upshot will be of Justin’s girl party insults, but I imagine we will face it together during the next few years. In the meanwhile, if anybody wants to move the nation’s capital to Moose Jaw, I’m for it. 

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year from the staff in the countryside, as far away from Toronto as we can get and still have a job. 

W.I. Media’s back property line in Cheltenham, Ont.
Photo by Kerry Knudsen