Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canada day 149

This may date me, but here goes. Do you remember this song? I'd forgotten the trumpet solo went on so long, but the rest was just like yesterday. I don't think we're going to get such a catchy tune for the 149th. Maybe 150, now that the sourpuss Harper is out of office and won't be throwing a damper on the party.

And, dammit, we have a lot to celebrate! I don't want to get into a laundry list because some of you might think I'm rubbing it in or something. But there isn't another country quite like Canada anywhere else. Somehow, we've taken a mix of 3 cultures, added a jigger from just about every other country, and ended up with a place where we mostly all get along.

Somehow, the old white tight-assed Scottish Protestant men that ran the country at the beginning have given way to a multi-cultural world that hasn't produced a Donald Trump. A few wanna-be's I have to admit, but that's all. We should be proud of ourselves for that at least.

Virtually everyone here is an immigrant, or the descendants of immigrants. When the government talked about bringing over Syrian refugees, there was an outpouring of help. It seems counter-intuitive, but this is the thing to do. These people will remember being welcomed. Their children are more likely to be productive citizens. Marginalizing them only creates problems down the road, as UK is discovering.

Do you remember the "boat people" of the 70's? You'd have thought that the world was ending, according to some people. That it would be the end of Canada. Where are they now? Your neighbours, two houses down. Their kids went to university and might be your doctor or your accountant.

We need more immigrants. Our birthrate is gradually lowering, and there's lots of old geezers (like me) who will be cashing CPP cheques for many years, and I want a bunch of people working to keep the economy ticking over. And sooner or later, I'm going to be in a home for decrepit people, and I'll want someone to take care of me. That they might have brown skin, or might be Muslim, or might not speak English all that well means nothing to me. So call me selfish for being concerned about my own comfort.

That isn't to say we don't have issues, we do. Living without issues would be boring. But we talk about them; we don't shoot each other. We come up with a compromise that leaves most people at least not too unhappy. Most of us understand that you don't get everything all the time. At least the grown-ups do, and by and large, Canada is run by grown-ups. Though I was wondering during the Harper interregnum.

Canada has a reputation for being a boring country. Everybody overlooks us. Maybe that's for the best. We don't have to be number one. But if any country is the secret number one, the place people want to live if they can't have their first choice, I'll bet it's Canada.

I don't have any particular plans for Canada day. Sleeping in, for starters. It's been a while since I was on vacation, and I have a week off. It will be nice.

What are your plans for the day?


  1. I love my diverse, lovely, open-minded, interesting friends because of their languages, customs, ethnic food, clothing. I love discovering that although we may come from different religious or political backgrounds, we are more alike underneath than different. A bike ride, a visit to the local festivities, a run & a rollerblading session make for a great day!

  2. That tune was awesome! Track me down the trumpet music and I'll learn it for you ;) No plans since it isn't a long weekend for us. Dave has to work tomorrow, but gets next Friday off because the parade blocks all the entrances and exits to Metro. Have a great week vacation.

  3. Probably run a few errands. Still hoping to entertain my kid and myself at either Fort Calgary, Heritage Park or (admittedly most likely) Prince's Island. Just the two of us though, because Kris has to work. His boss(es) are generally from Europe and don't know what Canada Day is.


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