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Canadians out of touch with global identity: new research

Canadians have an out-of-date perception of their country’s global identity, according to new research from Simon Fraser University.

"At the same time that Canada has one of the most globally connected populations in the world, the focuses of our political conversations have been very parochial and very, very domestic; that has been at the expense of seeing ourselves as a international player,” Shauna Sylvester, founding director of the project, told The Tyee.

The project named Canada’s World, is a collaboration of individuals, organizations, foundations and academic institutions. It reached 100,000 people across the country how they feel about Canada’s role as a global entity, project member Shantini James said.

Sylvester said the goal of the research "is to develop a new vision for Canada based on who we are now as a country, not on who we were 50-years ago."

“Many Canadians still believe that Canada is a global peacekeeper and influential middle power, these notions are outdated and bear little resemblance to our current reality,” read a press release by Canada’s World.

According to Sylvester, political parties in Canada have concentrated on domestic problems so much that the country has lost a spot on the global and international stage. The report contains citizen opinion on how Canada should regain its place.

"Canadians want their government to play a global leadership role,” Sylvester said. “They believe that in order to regain a foothold in the world, Canada must rebuild its credibility by focusing on those areas where it can be an international role model.”

Morgan J. Modjeski is a staff reporter for The Hook.

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