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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

I got home from Paris last night. One result of the time difference is that this morning, I am up at 4:30. I did nearly the same thing when I got to Paris. So I have this neat comparison to make: Paris vs. Ottawa at 4:30 a.m.

Immediately noticeable: no throbbing sound of humanity. No honking horns. No scuttling scooters. No clipping high heels. At 4:30 in Ottawa, we are silent.

In Ottawa, when I look out the window I see black sky, scattered stars, low amber lights. In Paris – Another wall, a slice of orange clothed clouds.

In Paris, even at this time, there is a sense of shoulder-to-shoulder, cheek-to-jowl crowdedness. In Ottawa – space.

We’re trying to ramp up Canada’s image abroad. Pristine environment, democratic expression, libertarian social values … In my books, “We’re quiet and there’s room” would be enough to rake in the multitudes.

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