Oh Canada – You May Not Be Perfect, But ….

I’ve Never Felt Safer and Possibly Never Felt Prouder Than I Do Living Right Here, In Our Canada!

Much to the pride of many young Canadians, the flag we all now know  was raised for the first time in 1965. And wouldn’t you know it. The federal Conservatives were among the strongest opponents of our country cutting the U.K. apron strings and having a flag of its own.

A Brief Happy Canada Day Message from Doug Draper

Posted June 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

“Possibly never felt prouder?”

Okay, I know. I may be hedging a bit on the proud part.

Hope you cut me a  bit of slack though. I’ve had a lot of years to collect some proud moments in this country of ours. 

The Canadian and Ontario pavilions at Expo 67 in Montreal. Another proud moment, when it seemed like the whole work came to our centennial party.

I’ve had  moments when I found myself spilling over with pride,  like that day back in 1965 while I was still attending grade school in Welland, and we watched our country’s very own Canadian flag being raised for the first time.

Then there was that family trip to Montreal a few years later to Expo 67 when, during the centennial of our country’s birth, we, the people of ‘the Great White North’, showcased a Canada coming of age to the whole wide world.

Then there were all of those time during the 1970s when friends and I would travel to Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square for a concert by one of Canada’s most quintessential of bands, Lighthouse.

Lighthouse. They were our great Canadian band with great songs like Sunny Days and One Fine Morning. They got away from us here, with a live concert, captured on one hot two record album, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

There wasn’t much that could match the rush of thousands of us jumping to our feet and cheering at the sound of the first power chords of one of Lighthouse’s most beloved anthems, ‘One Fine Morning’.

Yet as crazy as it may seem, this COVID nightmare we are still fighting our way through has made for times when I have felt proud to be a Canadian too – especially around the way so many of us have come together collectively to beat the COVID case count down.

In spite of all the flaws in our economic and social systems that this pandemic has also amplified, there is still a sense of community and common good in this country, unlike anything that exists in so many regions across the Canada-U.S. border.

And at least we still have a more or less functional universal health care system, as much as the more marketplace-based, right wing conservative parties in our country have been working to privatize it. How many times friends of mine in the United States have told me, especially over the past several months of COVID illness; “You are so lucky to have health insurance.”

She may now spend much of her time living in Hawaii, but she remains one of Canada’s national treasures – Buffy Sainte-Marie. She’s a true sweetheart.

There was no doubt they meant it when they said it, and it was heartbreaking to hear it. Then again, when are they going to vote politicians in that will give them one.

I confess to growing up in a region bordering the United States and so often getting hypnotized by all of the fanfare and glitter on the other side, only to remember what Canada’s first Prime Minister Trudeau (the one named Pierre) used to say; “It’s a great place to live if you are young, healthy and rich.”

So I think I will just take out some of my old Lighthouse albums, and a bit of Buffy Sainte Marie, Gordon Lightfoot and The Guess Who, and count my blessings at a time like this that I live in Canada.

To All Niagara At Large readers, Have a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Canada Day.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

P.S. – If you have any Lighthouse or Guess Who records around – if you are younger, maybe your parents have some – this Canada Day is a good time to give them a spin.

Just before I go, you can click on the screen immediately below to hear Lighthouse perform ‘One Fine Morning’ –

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

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

2 responses to “Oh Canada – You May Not Be Perfect, But ….

  1. Pat Winstanley

    Your memories are my memories. I agree with you about Lighthouse, what a great band. Over the years, I have probably seen them in person more than any other band. They were still performing, although in a scaled-down version, until a few years ago. With the passing of Skip Prokop a couple of years ago, I don’t think they are carrying on.
    So many great musicians. Skip Prokop as drummer and Paul Hoffert on keyboards. Bob McBride, the original vocalist. And, of course, Howard Shore, who would go on to win Oscars for writing the movie soundtracks like The Lord of the Rings.
    You’re right, there was such power in their music. The basic rock band at the centre, then the strings and brass contingents with equal prominence, it was exhilarating.
    Thanks for the visit to memory lane. And “Sunny Days” to all.


  2. Yep. It’s a good time to count our blessings.


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