I said I was going to write something to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday today, but I'm kind of stuck.

     See, everything that should be said has been said -- and far more eloquently and at far greater lengths than I ever could. So I'll just hit some high -- and low -- points.

     We so-called "Found-Ins" are all descendants of immigrants. Most of us get that -- ask the Syrian refugees or Vietnamese Boat People about the reception they got when they fled here.

     We have a former diplomat and later prime minister (Lester Pearson) who was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for coming up with the entire peacekeeping concept during the Suez Crisis and that we've (mostly) kept it up ever since.

     In peace and war, our military has acquitted itself with distinction in whatever role it's had since ... well, since forever, it seems. Plus, just this week, a Canadian infantry captain was the first woman to lead the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace (the British don't permit women in infantry regiments; Canada has done so for something like 20 years.)

     We have some of the grandest nature on offer anywhere (and a sense of humour to go with it). Just listen to the lyrics of the song above (and watch the video). Sense of humour? With place names like Moosejaw, Marrowbone and my favourite, Dildo, how not?

     Where I live, I'm closer to the Equator than the North Pole (roughly 4,685 km and 5,317 km respectively).

     Astonishing, that, for a country whose unofficial Quebec anthem is "Mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver" ("My country is not a country, it's winter"). Not to mention having the second coldest capital city in the world, after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

     Our parliamentary sergeant-at-arms, who normally goes through the day unarmed, heard gunshots in the building, calmly went to his office for a side-arm, and just as calmly hunted down the intruder (who had murdered a soldier on duty at the nearby Tomb of the Unknown) and shot him dead.

     For all that we can pat our collective back today, though, it's also worth remembering that we sometimes get things horribly wrong.

     Witness our historic and current mistreatment of First Nations peoples -- the real "Found-Ins" -- or ask the families of the six Muslim men murdered at prayer by an ethnic Quebecois.

     Or the fact that tens of thousands of Chinese were imported as little more than slave labour to build the transcontinental railroad through the Rockies. Thousands died -- no one knows how many -- and their long-term reward was the Chinese Exclusion Act.

     Or that during the hysteria surrounding the outbreak of the Second War, coastal people of Japanese descent were rounded up, their property and fishing boats and businesses confiscated by government and sold at fire sale prices to West Coast greedheads.

     Or that there were, well into the 1950s, "Sundown" bylaws in some places to make sure African Canadian and other visible minorities were out of town by nightfall.

     So yes, by all means let's celebrate that Canada is "Something to sing about/Tune up a string about" -- but just because we're consistently rated among the top three countries in the world in which to live, let's also never forget that we aren't perfect.

Best Countries:

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Lester Pearson:

Sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers:

Changing the Guard led by Capt. Megan Couto, PPCLI:

Arab World Responds to Refugee Sanctuary:

Vietnamese Boat People Welcomed:

Chinese Railroad Workers:

Japanese Canadian Internments:

Quebec City Mosque Murders:

Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Deliberations:

Sundown Laws:

Views: 81

Comment by Steel Breeze on July 1, 2017 at 6:21am

well,happy birthday to our closest and staunchest ally.......R&L..

Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 1, 2017 at 7:37am

Happy B'day Canuckers, funny that Gordon Lightfoot didn't mention anything of the thousands of dead Chinese:

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on July 1, 2017 at 8:05am

Happy Canada Day, Bo.

I saw this and, even though I dislike a lot about your PM AND the new Wonder Woman, this made me think of you (and made me more then a little jealous)...

Image may contain: 3 people, text

Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 1, 2017 at 10:07am

And will you hosers be celebrating by taking in a Bluejays game with a Labatt Blue and a heap of Poutine?

Comment by Boanerges on July 1, 2017 at 11:58am

Thanks, Steel. Although your president seems bent and determined to ruin relationships with everyone, I hope ours endures.

Ironically, the Trilogy was commissioned for the Centennial in 1967, JMac. It's very moving, overall. There is, however, a reference to "navvies" working in the "hot blazing sun", and the last line is, "And many are the dead men, too silent to be real". Suspect that was Gord getting a little bit of a dig in where he could.

Thanks, Amy. I have a lot more use for Trudeau than I did for his predecessor Harper, who would already be in bed with the GOP if he was still in power. The LGBTQ community up here -- particularly in Vancouver and Toronto -- manage to have a great time, while also taking no prisoners when the occasion arises. I like that.

Arrrrrgh. Poutine isn't food. It isn't even a food-like substance. It's a heart attack on a plate (or in a bowl). I can feel my arteries hardening just looking at the picture. As for baseball, nuh-uh. We're football fans in this household, and we'll be watching the BC Lions take on the Toronto Argonauts later today (pre-recorded, bien sur, so we can skip the commercials).

Comment by older/exasperated on July 1, 2017 at 12:14pm

Just the right touch Bo the sentiments are hard to forget and yet the same prejudice still persist and is increasing in our times there is a better way. Enjoy the celebration (look for a note) and no doubt give my best to TPR.................o/e

Comment by koshersalaami on July 1, 2017 at 12:38pm

The post is cool. Thanks for the links and I learned a lot. The North Pole/equator thing is startling. Didn't know y'all did the same thing to the Japanese. 

Comment by Boanerges on July 2, 2017 at 7:51am

Yeah, O/E, there has to be. Between that inflammatory NRA ad and the Oregon GOP turning over security to militias like the Three-Percenters and the Oath Keepers, things are not looking very good, at least in the short term. And yes, we enjoyed the celebrations last night very much.

Oh yeah, Kosh. Environmentalist David Suzuki was one of the displaced children. The threat wasn't real, not ever -- it was an excuse for rampant thievery from 22,000 innocent people. The federal government finally apologized and granted some compensation in 1988. The BC government didn't get around to it until 2012. Just one of the incidents I'm deeply ashamed of.

Thanks, Terry. We try, and mostly we get it right (with the exceptions noted). The celebrations last night started with a First Nations elder welcoming guests to Parliament Hill, which is on land never ceded by the Algonquin Anishinabes.

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