With the G8/G20 meetings about to begin, the attention of the international media will inevitably, if fleetingly, focus on Canada. What kind of impression might be conveyed?
For journalists prepared to eschew the backdrops, sound bites and briefing books and to venture beyond the sterile secure areas, there may be a few surprises.
Even the least intrepid would soon discover that in a world of well-established, pre-packaged national identities, this country is different.
That difference has little to do with beavers or moose, with the cold climate or the scenic attractions.
It is not the place. It’s the people.
No matter where you’re from, if Canada were a mirror, you would see your own face reflected.
And because everyone is here, no one stands out.