The informal title bestowed upon – sometimes ironically – politicians who invoke Canadian patriotism in their political crusades.
Pierre Trudeau was a regular recipient of the “Captain Canada” moniker for his occasional forays into economic nationalism and his more than frequent battles with Quebec Separatists.
Former Liberal Cabinet Minister and Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin was dubbed “Captain Canada” for standing up to European overfishing during the Turbot War in the early 1990s, and for his inspiration to hold a massive pro-Canada rally in Montreal’s Dominion Square in the tense days leading up to the 1995 Quebec Referendum.
Stephen Harper has also benefited from the “Captain Canada” designation for his annual (and highly militarized) visits to Canada’s Far North and his sometimes blustery avowals of the country’s “Northern Sovereignty.”
In short, playing Captain Canada is the Canadian version of the more familiar American inclination of “wrapping oneself in the flag.”
Image source: Wikimedia