Aarhus-based Briton Holly Chabowski, 30, toured parts of Canada with a friend from Denmark, Nanna Sorensen, 23.
The two spent time in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax. They also rented a car and saw
various national parks, including Forillon, as part of their 5-week visit. Apparently, on the whole, they encountered
an unhappy shock. It stands to reason they found lots of cars, highways and congestion in those major urban
centers. But they were equally appalled by a sense of active bias against anything that wasn't car-oriented.
So they wrote an Open letter to the people who hold power and responsibility in Canada which was published
in the Ottawa Citizen (daily newspaper).
The letter caused a flurry of reactions, from the usual tribal outrage when an outsider criticises one's way of
life, to explanations that Canada is too cold and/or too sparse to be anything but car-centric; this post in the
Hazlitt Magazine blog does a good job of debunking the latter.
"This has gotten so much attention because it's obviously an issue that people really care about," Chabowski
told The Local. "I would encourage everybody who feels strongly about an issue, regardless of what it is, to
do something about it. Whatever your issue is, I think you should stand up and direct your energies toward
people who can make change."
Meanwhile, Toronto mayor Rob Ford, the champion of the car-dependent suburbs who started his career with
photo opportunities tearing up bike paths before going spectacularly off the rails, stands a chance of reelection
Related topic: If You See Something, Say Something, an op-ed piece re: scientists and climate change.