Patriotism vs. Nationalism - What’s the difference? Why is this important?  

Patriotism and nationalism are two very different concepts, though they are often viewed as the same thing. Patriotism is defined as “love of and devotion to one’s country and support for it’s interests.” Nationalism, on the other hand, is “extreme patriotic feelings where one believes in the superiority of their own country over others.”

Better Together Canada wholeheartedly encourages patriotism, but condemns nationalism.

“Real patriotism is about saying that yes, we love our countries, but that we love them flaws and all, and that we are committed to improving them, even if it means tackling head-on past systems of power. This makes recognizing Canada’s colonial history and the devastation wrought on the Indigenous peoples of this land a prerequisite of being a patriotic Canadian, rather than something oppositional, as it is sometimes cast. Being a patriot in our context also means understanding deeply that we have always been a nation of others, of hyphenated-Canadians who each have their own painful histories” (Kaleem Hawa, The Globe and Mail, 2017).

Click here to read more of this article on what real patriotism is in Canada!


This comic cleverly captures the important distinction between patriotism and nationalism.

“Pierre Trudeau’s single most important statement as he introduced his new policy in 1971 may have been that no singular culture could, or would, define Canada. Canadian leaders of both major parties had historically promoted both immigration and citizenship, but the idea that no singular culture would define this country – in other words, that there would be no overriding cultural identity to assimilate to – would become the root of our contemporary success in the world . As populism and intolerance increase elsewhere, it is this deliberate looseness when it comes to identity, this unique approach to pluralism, that will help to protect us – if we remain vigilant” (Erna Paris, The Globe and Mail, 2018).

Check out this opinion piece by Erna Paris at:

Did you know, in 2015, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service declared right-wing extremists as a bigger threat than Islamic terrorists? Let’s change the discourse! Check out this YouTube video posted by TRT World which looks the importance of recognizing and challenging right-wing extremism within the Canadian context!