Jay Baruchel may be a movie star, but he shares a fear with many ordinary Canadians: that our little northern haven is not long for this world. He's worried the United States is simply too big and too powerful.
The star of "How to Train Your Dragon 2" told The Guardian he's afraid "Canada will cease to exist sometime in the next two centuries."
Baruchel said fears Canada will go the way of the Crusades-era Kingdom of Jerusalem, which lasted a little less than 200 years.
"I'm sure at year 100 they thought they'd be around for ever. And now no one has any idea about them!" he said. "So I can't help but think that way about my tiny little country of 30 million people next to a superpower of 300 million."
Baruchel is voicing concern amid mounting evidence that Canada's TV and movie industry is entering a difficult period.
Major budget cuts have led to a wave off layoffs at the CBC and the broadcaster recently announced it is planning to pull back from television to focus on digital initiatives. The network is essentially shuttering its in-house documentary unit and recently lost the rights to broadcast NHL hockey.
The changes come amid an explosion in popularity in Canada for all-you-can-eat video services such as Netflix. Unlike conventional Canadian broadcasters, these services are not required to produce and air Canadian-made content.
While Baruchel has become a major star in the United States, he has clearly made an effort to continue working at home, starring in modern-day Canadian classics like "Goon" (which he co-wrote) and "The Trotsky." He still lives in Montreal, where he grew up, and the city co-stars in many of his films.
In 2013's "This Is The End", in which Baruchel played himself, he repeatedly voices his distaste for Los Angeles and U.S. celebrity culture. And it seems he has a solution to keep it out of Canada.
"A greater degree of localisation," he told The Guardian. "There's no such thing as a one-world market and there never will be. I believe that in Canada we should build products for Canadians and sell them to Canadians."
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