Towards a Canada of Light


B.W. Powe’s visionary work of political philosophy dares to re-imagine Canada. First conceived in 1993, this fully revised, expanded, updated edition, complete with an inspired new introduction that considers Canada in a post-9/11 context, is a landmark book that has become a classic text for understanding the work-in-progress that is Canada.

Countering George Grant’s pessimistic Lament for a Nation, which defined the intellectual climate in Canada for decades, Powe argues that our country is in fact a completely original model of what an enlightened polity might be for the 21st century.

Here is a passionately inspired portrait of Canada as a communication state – a counter-nation of loose ties and subtle associations where dialogue, ideas, debate and the exchange of information is the currency that holds us lightly together.

Towards a Canada of Light points to the urgent realization of a new and liberating way of what it means to be Canadian.


When I read the first few pages of A Canada of Light I had to put the book down to catch my breath… a soaring alchemical vision.

Pico Iyer, author of Cuba and the Night and The Global Soul.

Gloriously poetic…. Read aloud to anyone you love.

The Victoria Sun

A new vision of Canada, freed of borders and race.

John Ralston Saul

An innovative view… a challenging meditation.

The Edmonton Journal

Powe has discovered the roots of an informal Canadian democracy and shows is its poetry and wonder.

The Toronto Star

Exciting, demanding, and pathbreaking… a bold new answer to questions about Canada.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau

About the Author

Bruce W. Powe

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Bruce W. Powe photo

Bruce W. Powe

Bruce W. Powe is a Professor of Humanities at York University. He is the author of a number of influential books including The Solitary Outlaw and A Climate Charged, as well as the novel Outage and a book of poetry The Unsaid Passing.