Canada’s 150th birthday is tomorrow, and we hope you’ll find something to celebrate.
Is Canada a perfect country? No.
Does that mean we don’t have anything to celebrate? In our view, also a no.
Many have been in a reflective mood as we approach the 150th anniversary of confederation. There’s no doubt that to some over the years since our nation’s birth, Canada has been kinder than it has to others.
There is much to ponder and to answer for in our country’s treatment of our First Nations, with whom reconciliation is only beginning. Many still face problems with water quality, pollution, and lack of services that are a national shame.
But they aren’t the only ones. We consider the treatment of our Chinese settlers, the Japanese Canadians sent to internment camps during the Second World War, and the stripping away of their lands and belongings. Many black Canadians have likewise faced an uphill battle against racism, and immigrants to our country have sometimes not found it to be as welcoming as we might like to believe it is when we extol our national vision of multiculturalism and tolerance.
But there are also things and people of which we can be proud.
We are a democratic society, meaning we get to choose our own future. We have universal health care. We have universal primary and secondary education. We have labour laws to protect us.
Our country is not at war. We are not afraid of bombs dropping on our homes, schools and shops as we go about our daily business. When we go to the grocery store there is food on the shelves.
Great Canadians include the likes of Terry Fox and Tommy Douglas, Frances Kelsey and Dr. Frederick Banting.
And in our your own lives, we hope you will find something worth celebrating. Even if it is only a promise of a better possible future.