July 1 is Canada’s 150th anniversary. For those readers of my blog who are not from Canada, the historical moment we commemorate is Confederation when a number of politicians in 1867 signed a document that bound a loose collection of provinces controlled by the British Empire into a somewhat vague and discontented unity. Continue reading “Happy 150th birthday Canada! Let’s Celebrate!”
There was a report in the world news that someone in Pakistan had placed an ad in a newspaper with an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian-any Canadian. Who in God’s name would want to kill a peace-loving people like Canadians kind of boggles my mind but I guess there are a lot of unbalanced people out there.
Any way according to this item I read (which unfortunately does not have a source) an Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so that they would know one when they found one. Here is what he wrote.
” A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan.
A Canadian may also be a Cree, Metis, Mohawk, and Blackfoot, Sioux or one of the many tribes known as native Canadians. (Note he forgot our northern neighbors the Inuit). A Canadian religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan. The key difference is that in Canada, they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which recognizes the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds. But they also welcome the least,-the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected. These are the people who build Canada.
You can try to kill a Canadian if you must, as other blood- thirsty tyrants in the world have tried but, in doing so, you could just be killing a relative or a neighbor. This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be Canadian. “
We are very fortunate to live in a country where no wars have been fought for two hundred years. A country with big freedoms – freedom of movement, freedom of political choice, freedom of religion, freedom from arbitrary persecution, Yes, Canada is no Utopia. Yes we still have poverty and racism and the environment and all the other problems people wrestle with – including, petty stuff that we sometimes agonize over where many countries wish they had our problems. But on Canada Day it is time to celebrate what we have … a great country.
Happy Canada Day!