By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday November 28, 2012
A British Take on Mark Carney
Mark Carney, the new Governor of the Bank of England, is a remarkable man. He studied economics at Harvard, racked up a Master’s and a doctorate at Oxford, and, for the past four years, he’s been governor of his national bank – all before the age of 50. Carney is married to a glamorous British economist and has four lovely daughters. According to Time magazine, he’s one of the 25 most influential people in the world.
But – wait for it – there’s something even more remarkable about England’s new top banker. He’s a Canadian! Carney, he of the snappy suits and slicked-back hair, hails from the nation affectionately known as “America’s attic”. What’s more, he’s proud of it. He’s a maple syrup-drinking, poutine-loving, moose-spotting, beer-swilling ice-hockey fan, who once dreamed of playing for his local team, the Edmonton Oilers.
A couple of decades on, his selection for the coveted BoE job has raised a few eyebrows – not least because of his nationality. “Canadians have a reputation for being the boring good guys,” says Oxford academic (and bona fide Canadian) Margaret MacMillan. “If you want to say something is really tedious, you say ‘as dull as a Sunday in Canada’. We’ve never been loudly patriotic, probably because we live next to the US. As a result, people think we’re dull and quiet all the time.”
You see, even Canadians admit it: their country has an image problem. It has long been subjected to stereotypes – perpetuated by South Park and Due South – and rather than deny them, Canadians have simply got used to being the butt of bad jokes. “A Canadian,” goes the gag by the author Pierre Berton, “is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe.” (Source: The Telegraph)