Happy Canada Day, everyone. I do really love this holiday to be unabashedly patriotic, to reflect on the great country it is, and to envision the greater one it could be in the future.
It is by no means a perfect country: the issues facing many of our aboriginal brothers and sisters are chronic, neglected and ignored; the wealth disparity is growing, putting more of our population in dire circumstances; our inaction on environmental issues is frustrating; many public attitudes and government policies are increasingly fear-based; the list can go on for quite a bit further. But let’s leave that to another day to discuss.
I celebrate that our institutions and most of the population recognize that love is love. Even those that don’t personally agree or condone at least refrain from making it a divisive political issue.
I celebrate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and acknowledge important role the courts play in establishing what the Charter means in a practical sense. It is a long, evolving, strenuous process . I’m also thankful for our strong civil service institutions that is the backbone that enables the government to run. It’s boring, and I take it for granted, until I see what happens in other countries where this is not the case.
I celebrate that we’ve decided as a nation that healthcare should be universally available regardless of ability to pay. The model does mean certain individuals need to sacrifice some convenience or exhaustiveness in care, but I’m glad that the majority of us agree that triaging care based on need, and not pay, is the right thing to do.
I love watching a good hockey game. The speed of action and flow of play is so exciting.
I admit feeling a burst of pride every time I find out about a contribution of note that was done by a Canadian.
I love many of the stereotypically Canadian foods: poutine, Caesar drinks, Tim Hortons coffee for long drives, Coffee Crisps, Swiss Chalet, butter tarts, Montreal bagels. I also love that here in multicultural Greater Toronto Area, I have access to authentic foods from all over the world.
Most of all, today I want to celebrate that it doesn’t matter if you’re born a boy or a girl, you have the same opportunities to pursue an education, any career in any field, to have the sole agency to make decisions about your body, to vote and hold property…in general, to have the freedom to make choices. I look at the bright eyes of my two daughters and I’m just so thankful that in this country, they have the privilege, opportunity and resources to pursue whatever ambitions they have.
Happy Canada Day.