Happy Canada Day!

Brian  Ebright

While many Canadians were getting an early start to their long holiday weekend, our group had the privilege of watching The Comedy of Errors at the Studio Theater. The play starts out with a man being condemned to death. Egeon had set sail from from Syracuse (in Sicily) searching for his lost family and landed in the port city of Ephesus, not knowing there was a trade war going on. In retaliation for the Duke of Syracuse executing several Ephesian merchants while they were conducting business in Syracuse, the Duke of Ephesus declared that anyone from Syracuse discovered in Ephesus would have to pay an outrageous ransom or else have their goods seized and be executed as well. Sports rivalry was the closest example I could come up with to put this situation in a modern context. Even though I have taken some good natured ribbing on the rare occasions I have gone to “that state up North”, I have never feared for my well being. Two weeks earlier, the Syracuse vs. Ephesus beef seemed to be the most implausible out of all of the unlikely comedic misunderstandings in the play.

Earlier in the week, there had been much discussion about the U.S. tariffs and Canadian counter-tariffs. The Toronto Saturday Star newspaper even had an advertisement that read “Beat the tariffs ! Buy Canadian”. I’m not going to get political – I’ll admit that I don’t know enough about politics or finance to put up a good debate. I do know know enough about human nature to know that is generally not a good idea upset your neighbors by running your lawn mower through their flower bed or waking up early in order to steal their Sunday paper.
After the play, my wife and I walked around Stratford looking for a place that was a) open on a holiday Sunday and b) not packed. Several stores had signs advertising that they were tax free for Canada Day. The taxes got me thinking about the tariffs. The tariffs got me thinking about the ridiculous and almost tragic consequences of trade war in The Comedy of Errors.

All I can say is thank you Canada, for not reacting like the ruler of Ephesus and treating your visitors like they were Egeon from Syracuse. After all, our countries are kind of half brothers, having the same Mother England.