—By Joel Johannesen, ProudToBeCanadian.ca founder and Executive Editor
This site started in one way or another in the 1990s — way before most other conservative blogs or Facebook pages, and before most other websites, period! So there wasn’t much of a template to go by. It was originally just a discussion section — called the ProudToBeCanadian section or forum — on more global or American-centric discussion forum sites (notably JOJOJO.com in the earliest days of the internet and the World Wide Web; then later, NotNaked.com —both sites created and owned by me).
I originally registered and fired up the ProudToBeCandian.ca website in about the year 2000.
The site soon became popular both in Canada and in the United States not just because of my brilliant and insightful writing (heh), but because I’d soon signed on several well-known conservative columnists, from both countries, to include their weekly columns here at this site. Conservative ideas and principles can cross the border —legally! These columnists agreed to join us in spreading the conservative viewpoint and saw us as a great vehicle to do that. (They still do, as far as I know… well maybe except for one.)
The popularity of the “PTBC” site (as it came to be known) rose quickly in Canada because recall that at that time, Fox News Channel did not exist in Canada — it was banned in Canada until 2004 when it was finally unbanned thanks in no small part to our efforts (if I may say so). Fox News tolerates conservatives, whereas the state-owned CBC, liberalvision CTV, Global, and nearly all the Canadian newspapers, simply do not — at least not without warnings and caveats and eye-rolls and unfair questions posed only to conservatives —a form of political activism disguised as reporting or anchoring. So most Canadians didn’t really have a clue what actual conservatism was really all about. They were rarely able to read or hear anything truly conservative, unless a particularly conservative politician got away with saying something, or they did some hard digging. There was no outlet except us and two or three other brave conservative Canadians website pioneers (brilliant, all of them!). Also, then and even now, many “Conservatives” are far from being actually conservative. The Party dropped the “Progressive” from its name in 2003, but many progressives hung around, and alas, continue to hang around.
So what’s with the name?
I was proud to be Canadian. And the site is about being politically conservative. Both things. At the same time. I found that Canada’s liberals, socialists — the progressive-left generally — seemed to find these things to be totally incongruous. Blasphemous. Unnatural. They still do. They were actually offended and couldn’t stop telling me. They angrily demanded that I change the name of my site! It was really quite astonishing. It often went like this: “Like you can’t be all like ‘proud to be canadian’ if your conservative!^#@” (and very often they mangle the spelling, punctuation, and use the wrong word your when they mean you’re). And a lot like this: “This is a joke site, right?” and “Is this satire dude?” They really got hostile about the name of the site. It was as if they deserved the name more, or were entitled simply by virtue of their being progressives, and as if they deemed Canada to be a one-party state which didn’t tolerate differing opinions or political views. So they demanded I give it up.
They were angry at us describing ourselves as “proud to be Canadian”, while at the same time being conservatives, and owning that name! Moreover, they really mostly hated that a conservative website was getting such traction.
I like to remind people that no liberal or leftist registered “Proud To Be Canadian” as a website name — it took a conservative to do it. Nobody on the left registered “ProudToBeCanadian,” or “ProudToBeACanadian,” until I did. I think that speaks volumes. And it really says all that needs to be said about ownership of the name. Either they were lazy, lacking any foresight, didn’t feel proud to be Canadian, were too arrogant, too cheap, or just dumb. Or maybe all those things.
And of course their contempt over the name of the site helps proves the effectiveness of the site. This apoplexy over our name and our existence exposes them in many interesting and unflattering ways. Mostly they expose themselves, by writing scathing emails full of anger and hate, demanding that I leave Canada, thereby helping to expose that famous liberal-left “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” and “diversity” they’re always on about.
Nonetheless, I maintain that the name of the site represents a question, not a statement, necessarily. I am not proud of everything about Canada and being Canadian. Some days I seriously question it. Some days are worse than others. You may feel the same.
But it’s always been more about the content. ProudToBeCanadian.ca is an unabashedly politically conservative Canadian Web site. It’s a straight-up, no holds barred, full-on socially and economically conservative Web site. I like to call us “normal,” therefore. So no, that does not mean I’m what liberals love to call a “radical” or “extremist”, or any one of the plethora of lies and insults they hurl at their opponents (“denier,” “Nazi,” “racist,” “alt-right,” “white supremacist…” etc., ad nauseum). I’m a normal mainstream Canadian, and I’m conservative. Like millions of others.
I am proud of Canada as a general matter. I am proud of our history. I am a patriot. I love life. I love our freedom. I love families. I love our Judeo-Christian heritage and our history. I love our traditions. I love our free enterprise. I love free markets and capitalism. Small governments. Law and order. The natural, God-given right to defend ourselves — including, very importantly, gun rights, which are always under attack by leftists. I love people of all races, nationalities and religions; of either of the two (2) sexes, and of either sexual orientation. That doesn’t mean I love everything that everybody does, nor how they act out, but it does mean I’m tolerant, and I’m inclusive, and I’m likely far more diverse and tolerant than most on the left. And, hey what do you know, I’m capable of discussion and conversation too.
Unlike the liberal-left mainstream media including even the state-owned media in Canada, I don’t even remotely pretend to be “balanced” in our presentation, or to offer a “balanced” viewpoint — we are here to help advance conservatism, and a conservative groundswell in Canada (and the U.S. to the extent I can, although I own and run U.S.-centric sites for that purpose too). And I strive to expose the perfidy of the liberals and progressives, whatever they call themselves — their politics, their media, academia — and shame them as necessary.
What keeps this place ticking?
Legal Risk – Financial Risk
ProudToBeCanadian is not state-owned, or state-funded, or subsidized by the government, and it wasn’t created with the help of any government grants, loans, or special tax breaks. Yes, unfortunately, that too makes us rather unique in Canada today. Increasingly so.
Running a Web site like this is a costly proposition in terms of time, mostly, but also in terms of money. I bankroll this site, because alas, unlike Americans, many Canadians don’t see the need to help finance their own defense, ever, no matter how beneficial to them (that’s one of the weird — and kind of unproud things about Canada!). I get a few contributions from our visitors and extremely small revenues are derived from ads and trinket sales like our PTBC lapel pin (no longer sold, as it was made in China. Principles, people!). Please support this outsized effort and help advance the cause of conservatism in Canada. Everybody thinks somebody else — or “the government” — is going to finance it (this is another liberal-induced Canadian cultural norm, now). So please do pitch in.
No political parties support this site financially (or in any other way either, for that matter).