The Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. In typical British-Canadian ways, it didn't require a Revolution to spark the formation. It wasn't nationalistic pride. No, it was an orderly and planned start to uniting what was then called British North America. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec) formed the new Dominion of Canada. Other provinces and territories were slowly brought into the Dominion in later years.
We Canadians should be proud of the formation of our country. We should celebrate Canada Day with remembrance of how Canada began and the steps it took to becoming an independent nation. Instead we spend more time thinking about a 3-day weekend with a 2-4 in the back yard and a barbeque with friends. (For those unfamiliar with our Canadian lingo, a 2-4 is a case of 24 beer). Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with wanting to spend holiday time with our buddies! We Canadians are passionate about our summer barbeques after our long, often brutal winters. But are we as passionate about our country?
One man who is, is TV personality Rick Mercer. His pride in Canada and passion for encouraging the rest of us to step up and care recently earned him the honour of being awarded the Order of Canada. i wish more of us were like Rick Mercer - committed to our country, caring about its future and passionate in trying to change things for the better.
I'm not one of those. Yes I care about Canada. I am proud to be a Canadian (and believe me I know many Canadians who shrug their shoulders and dismiss such pride with a "whatever..."). But I don't have the energy and motivation that is needed to encourage more patriotism.
I wish we as Canadians knew more about the history of our country- the Loyalists who settled here and opened up what had been wilderness, the various wars Canadian soldiers fought in. I doubt that many Canadians could name our Prime Ministers, even our first one Sir John A. MacDonald!
But in general our culture and way of life doesn't permit passionate nationalism. It's just not the way it's done - don't make a scene, don't stand out, be polite and reserved are traits we are taught from childhood. And those are all good things! But I sure would like to toss in a little flag-waving pride to that mix. And we have so much to be proud of! If you can't think of anything, please take a few minutes to read 50 Great Gifts Canada Gave the World
As for me, I'm staying quietly at home this Canada Day but I'll be thinking about all the wonderful things I love about Canada and how our nation came into being. For all my Canadian friends and family, Happy Canada Day, eh!!