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Linda McQuaig

Holding the Bully’s Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire

Date Recorded: May 8th, 2007
Recorded At: An event produced by the Necessary Voices Society, at the Maritime Labour Centre, Vancouver, BC
Recorded By: Tomas Hicks, Necessary Voices Society
Duration: 57:56  

Topic Background

In Holding The Bully’s Coat, Linda McQuaig explores Canada’s traditional role as a leading peacekeeping nation, and a fair-minded mediator, and asks why our government has so suddenly abandoned these values? McQuaig has poised her latest work on issues surrounding Canada’s complacency and has crafted a rallying call for a new, defiant Canada.

McQuaig argues that as the Bush administration has turned the United States into a belligerent and lawless force in the world, the Canadian government has followed in close step. Attempting to please our powerful neighbour, she contends that Ottawa has abandoned the values that have for so long been the core of Canada’s identity, and we have adopted instead a more militaristic, warlike stance, battling insurgents in Afghanistan as a junior partner in the U.S. “war on terror.” McQuaig explains how Ottawa has also lost sight of Canada’s traditional role as mediator and conciliator, most notably in the Middle East conflict. She further explores how, under the government of Stephen Harper, Canada has joined the United States in becoming a leading obstructionist in worldwide efforts to deal with climate change. The switch in direction evident in these positions, she continues, has redefined the way Canada operates in the world, transforming our country into a helpful assistant to an aggressive U.S. power, increasingly out of sync with our European allies and with the rest of the world.

This talk was recorded by Tomas Hicks of the Necessary Voices Society in Vancouver, for more information on their important work, visit

Speaker Biography

Before being hailed as Canada’s Michael Moore for the national bestseller IT’S THE CRUDE, DUDE, featured in the first season of Canadian Voices, Linda McQuaig won a legion of readers when she challenged fiscal policy in SHOOTING THE HIPPO, Free Trade in THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, and Canada’s tax system in Behind Closed Doors.

Linda McQuaig is the author of seven Canadian bestsellers and winner of a National Newspaper Award. She has been a national reporter for THE GLOBE AND MAIL, a senior writer for MACLEAN’S magazine, and most recently a political columnist for the TORONTO STAR.

She lives in Toronto with her daughter, Amy.

For more information about Linda McQuaig visit

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