We hear much about "millennials," the generation ahead set to save the world. But a distinctive feature of our times, as we rise out of the first decade of the millennium, is the rise to authenticity of brand new states. Canada is first among these new millennial states, free of the burdens of the old and ready to awaken the new.

Canada’s rise in the world started in a hockey game in the 2002 Winter Olympics between the Canadian and U.S. women's teams. The dour American Vice President Dick Cheney was on hand, and the call was for another “Miracle on Ice.” Why America would see Canada in such a light remains a mystery. Possibly it was our way of showing that we did not consider only Russia to be an enemy; Bush/Cheney considered the entire world to be the enemy. It is like when the wishful queen Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones" was asked by the wishful child king: Who is the enemy? She replied, “Everyone who is not us.”

The Canadian women won the gold, and something happened. A Canadian awakening came about that would bring Canada to world leadership in a single decade.

Since, Canada has risen to the top 10 world nations in hard studies like math and science, while America sinks beneath the top 25. Canada rises in prosperity and every Canadian today is per capita $60,000 richer than every American. And in temperament, Canadians have changed. Canada is no longer, as Canadian poet Robertson Davies claimed, the introverted half of America.

Current markers:

Ottawa, the center of the world: Nebraska senate candidate Ben Sasse created controversy a few weeks ago when he called on moving the capital of America to Nebraska. It got a good laugh, but Sasse made his mark. The case was made in this column early on that the capital of America was in the right place in 1776, the benign vortex between North and South, but America is now an East-West country in an East-West world, and the capital is in the wrong place. Victoria was more forward-thinking when she put Canada’s capital in Ottawa. Ottawa then, in today’s world, finds the center. 

Toronto: Mayor Rob Ford’s clownish antics are only a prelude to a prime-time show ahead, as Toronto rises in world status and leadership. The impressive and popular Olivia Chow is ahead.

Global Brief: A must-read for all with an eye to Canada rising is the fascinating and electric Global Brief magazine on “World Affairs in the 21st Century.” From editor Irvin Studin’s "When Canada becomes the West’s Second State":

“By century’s end, if Canada still exists, it will be the West’s second state. It will be less important than both China and the U.S., but larger than any country in Europe, with the likely exception of Russia.” 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “Canada supports Israel because it is right to do so. This is a very Canadian trait, to do something for no reason other than it is right. Even when no immediate reward for, or threat to, ourselves is evident.”

Israel has a clear friend in Canada, possibly since both are born free since World War II. They are young, while most, save Singapore and a few others, are old. They are the millennials who rise first, fresh and free from the burdens of the dead. The press in Canada is yet to catch up to this awakening and still travels in the comet’s tail as fellow travelers and imitators of passing American opinion and sensibility. That is soon to change.