A Happy Canada Day from Niagara At Large

A Brief Message from Doug Draper, journalist/publisher, Niagara At Large

Posted July 1st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“It’s so nice to visit a country where we are not called ‘enemies of the people’,” a news reporter from the Buffalo, New York area told me after covering a recent visit by Canada’ Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to Niagara-on-the-Lake for an Environment Day event.

The Ontario and Canada pavilions at EXPO 67 in Montreal in 1967.

The reporter was referring to the relentless campaign by the current occupant in the White House to undermine a press essential to the workings of a free and open democracy.

In my regular cross border trips to the Buffalo, New York area, I cannot count the times since Trump took the oath of office that I’ve had friends and associates I meet there if they would be welcome to come live in Canada.

It is a reminder that for all of the challenges and problems we Canadians face in our region, province and country – and we will continue addressing those in news and commentary on Niagara At Large in the times – we are still very fortunate to be living here rather in many other places in this world.

I say that with a heartfelt wish to so many of our American friends across the border for a happy Fourth of July and for much better days ahead. I am old enough to remember the impeachment of a U.S. president and a country that came out much better because of it.

Now here is a Canada Day message circulated earlier this July 1st by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and I follow it with a link to a recent article about Canada that was written by a Canadian author and appeared in the New York Times this past June 25th. I hope you find it interesting.

July 1, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Canada Day:

“Today, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. We come together as Canadians to celebrate the achievements of our great country, reflect on our past and present, and look boldly toward our future.

“Canada’s story stretches back long before Confederation, to the first people who worked, loved, and built their lives here, and to those who came here centuries later in search of a better life for their families. In 1867, the vision of Sir George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, among others, gave rise to Confederation – an early union, and one of the moments that have come to define Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talking to young people about the need to protect the environment during a recent visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Photo by Doug Draper

“In the 150 years since, we have continued to grow and define ourselves as a country. We fought valiantly in two world wars, built the infrastructure that would connect us, and enshrined our dearest values – equality, diversity, freedom of the individual, and two official languages – in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These moments, and many others, shaped Canada into the extraordinary country it is today – prosperous, generous, and proud.

“At the heart of Canada’s story are millions of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They exemplify what it means to be Canadian: ambitious aspirations, leadership driven by compassion, and the courage to dream boldly. Whether we were born here or have chosen Canada as our home, this is who we are.

“Ours is a land of Indigenous Peoples, settlers, and newcomers, and our diversity has always been at the core of our success. Canada’s history is built on countless instances of people uniting across their differences to work and thrive together. We express ourselves in French, English, and hundreds of other languages, we practice many faiths, we experience life through different cultures, and yet we are one country. Today, as has been the case for centuries, we are strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.

“As we mark Canada 150, we also recognize that for many, today is not an occasion for celebration. Indigenous Peoples in this country have faced oppression for centuries. As a society, we must acknowledge and apologize for past wrongs, and chart a path forward for the next 150 years – one in which we continue to build our nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationship with the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation.

“Our efforts toward reconciliation reflect a deep Canadian tradition – the belief that better is always possible. Our job now is to ensure every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success. We must create the right conditions so that the middle class, and those working hard to join it, can build a better life for themselves and their families.

“Great promise and responsibility await Canada. As we look ahead to the next 150 years, we will continue to rise to the most pressing challenges we face, climate change among the first ones. We will meet these challenges the way we always have – with hard work, determination, and hope.

On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we celebrate the millions of Canadians who have come together to make our country the strong, prosperous, and open place it is today. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Canada Day.”

Here is the New York Times column – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/opinion/sunday/canada-doesnt-know-how-to-party.html

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


One response to “A Happy Canada Day from Niagara At Large

  1. Linda McKellar

    The thing about Canada is, as Justin Trudeau said, we aren’t a melting pot like some countries. We keep our individual identities while still being Canadian and “are strong, not in spite of our differences, but because of them”.

    I think an apropos comparison would be a salad. Put the ingredients in a blender and you end up with an unappetizing, bland mush. Keep the uniqueness of all the ingredients whole but together and you have a feast for the eyes and palate. I hope Canada remains like that salad, everyone unique but great together. As his father said in the accompanying piece, “The concept of an ‘all Canadian’ boy or girl is absurd. A society that emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate”. It seems the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in that family.


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