— By Joel Johannesen, ProudToBeCanadian.ca creator and executive editor
This site started in one way or another in the 1990s — way before most other conservative blogs or Facebook pages, or most other websites period. So there wasn’t much of a template to go by. It was originally just a discussion section — called ProudToBeCanadian — on a more global topic discussion forums on web sites of different names (JOJOJO.com, and NotNaked.com).
I originally registered and fired-up the ProudToBeCandian.ca website under this name in about 2000.
The site became popular both in Canada and in the United States because I’d soon signed on several well-known conservative columnists, from each country, to include their weekly columns here at the site. Conservative principles transcend 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!)
Popularity continued to rise in Canada because recall that at this time, Fox News Channel did not exist in Canada — it was banned until 2004 when it was finally unbanned thanks in no small part to our efforts — so most Canadians didn’t really have a clue what conservatism was really about. Fox News tolerates conservatives, where CBC, CTV, Global, etc., did not to any great extent. Also, then, and even now, many “Conservatives” are far from conservative. The party dropped the “Progressive” from its name in 2003, but many progressives hung around, and continue to. But filtered by that exceedingly liberal Canadian news media and academia, there were few good outlets for true conservative commentary, spoken in what Ronald Reagan called “bold colors.”
But an amazing thing happened.
I was proud to be Canadian. And we’re about being politically conservative. Both things. At the same time. We found that Canada’s liberals, socialists — the political progressive-left, generally — seemed to find these things to be totally incongruous. Blasphemous. Still do. They were offended. They demanded that we change the name of our site. Angrily. It was really quite astonishing. It often went like this: “Like you can’t be all like ‘proud to be canadian’ if you’re conservative!” And, “This is a joke site, right?” They got really pretty hostile to the name of the site. It was if they deserved it more, or were entitled to it, so I should give it up. They were angry at us describing ourselves as “proud to be Canadian”, while at the same time being conservatives, and owning the name! Moreover, they hated that a conservative web site was getting such traction.
I like to remind people that no liberal or leftist registered “Proud To Be Canadian” as a web site name — it took a conservative to do it. We think that speaks volumes.
And of course it proves the effectiveness of this site. And of course this apoplexy over our name and our existence exposes them in many interesting and unflattering ways. Mostly they expose themselves, not surprisingly, by writing us scathing emails full of anger and hate, demanding that we leave Canada, thereby helping to expose that famous liberal-left “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” and “diversity” they’re always on about.
Nonetheless, we maintain that the name of the site represents a question, not a statement, necessarily.
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 we’re a bunch of what liberals love to call “radicals” or “extremists”, or any one of the plethora of lies about their opponents (“Nazi,” “racist,” white supremacist…”). We’re normal mainstream Canadians, and so we’re conservative.
We are proud of Canada as a general matter. We are patriots. We love life. We love our faith. We love families. We love our Judeo-Christian heritage and our history. We love our freedom. We love our free enterprise. We love free markets and capitalism. Small governments. Law and order. The natural right to defend ourselves — including, very importantly, gun rights. We love all people of all races, nationalities and religions; of either of the two sexes, and of either sexual orientation. That doesn’t mean we love everything that everybody does, nor how they act out, but it does mean we’re tolerant, and we’re inclusive, and we’re likely more diverse than the left. And, hey what do you know, we’re capable of discussion and conversation.
Unlike the liberal-left mainstream media including even the state-run media in Canada, the dreaded left-wing CBC, we 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 we can, although we own and run U.S.-centric sites for that too). And we strive to expose the perfidy of the liberals — their politics, their media, academia, and shame them as necessary.
What keeps this place ticking?
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.
Running a Web site like this is an enormously costly proposition in terms of time, mostly, but also in terms of money. We almost totally rely on me to pay for this site, because alas, unlike Americans, Canadians don’t typically feel the need to help finance wars of any kind, ever, no matter how beneficial to them. We also hope for and get a few contributions from our visitors and extremely small revenues are derived from ads and trinket sales. Please support this enormous effort and help advance the cause of conservatism in Canada. Everybody thinks somebody else is going to (it’s a liberal-induced Canadian cultural norm, now!), but no, nobody else does. Unless you do.
No political parties support this site financially (or any other way either, for that matter).