I am a proud Canadian, and not just during Olympic years or even for the brief World Junior Hockey Championship in January. Those times just make me extra proud when you can feel the magic as Canadian accomplishments on the world stage make us rise to our feet with joy.
Our history might not be a long one, but Canada certainly has come far. In 1867, the British North America Act set our borders. Pierre Trudeau oversaw the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and legal independence from Britain with the signing of the Constitution Act, 1982, which turned our great colony into a great nation. Over the years, Canada has grown to represent so much. Peace and prosperity and a drive for innovation have paved the way for Canada’s growth. Times have change drastically from World War I when Canada followed Great Britain to war to World War II when thanks to the Westminster Act, Canada had the autonomy to decide to join the battle. World War II had some spectacularly defining moments for Canada as a nation – from Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach in the Battle of Normandy on D-Day.
Canadian nationalism has struggled since the dawn of the 20th century. Encroaching American culture has always been knocking on our door as we share the longest peaceful border in the world with the United States. The bottom line is that while we share and have a lot in common with our neighbours to the south (excluding how we spell neighbours), we Canadians are different (and I still like the Molson Rant even if it no longer airs since the merger with Coors). Perhaps we struggle with our national identity as we are more of a mosaic than a melting pot. We have different backgrounds, ideas, and ways of doing things. That said, we should be proud of being different and embrace it – all while waving our Canadian flag. We might be known around the world as being polite, but that should never be mistaken as being complacent. Times continue changing, and Canada will keep evolving. We aren’t perfect, but we certainly are a great nation with a lot of be proud of, and that’s something to brag about.
Happy Birthday Canada!