It’s that time of year once again. Today everyone will be dressed in a sea of red and white clothing, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, and the company of our fellow Canadians. The Cherry on top will be the delightful displays of fireworks across our country tonight. One day each year put aside to remind everyone how lucky we are to have this country.
We may have had our struggles with some tough issues this year. Our Nation has always been celebrated as one of multiculturalism and peaceful freedoms. It should come as no surprise that our continued issues centralize around the freedom and protection of one group of people, and the freedom and aggression it could lead to for another. We need to continue to find this balance again, Canada. Respect for all sides of the issue.
- Many citizens continue to fight big business for freedom on the internet.
- On the subject of the internet: twitter controversy anyone?
- We have continued to struggle to find the balance of tolerance and acceptance for many issues.
- We didn’t do right by a community struggling in our nation; and there are continued protests in Quebec which have led to human rights criticism by many people, including the UN, of the now infamous bill 78.
Ouch. Not a great year when you look back at some of the many issues that grabbed our headlines.
However, there is also a lot of good we did, Canada. We continue to defy the odds as a Nation. As I continue to travel around the world, I continue to uphold the belief that my nation is really cool. We’re friendly, outgoing, courteous (for the most part), and open-minded on many issues (although we need to revisit our tolerance/acceptance stance once again – we’re good at this Canada!).
- Politically we can look at the issue of Attawapiskat. Yes it was mishandled on many levels, and the rally for help came later than it should have, but in the end we did send some mobile homes over to those who needed it.
- The Premier of Nunavut is fighting a good fight - why are food prices so high up north in this day and age? Good question and a great cause for the people up north.
- Macleans’ annual “How Canadian Are You?” poll shows that Canadians are giving on average $260 per year to charity, which is pretty fantastic when you look at the big picture.
- We are looking at bullying in a different way. But we may be missing our step, new bullying laws could open discrimination to others who do not share the same view points. Again, this comes down to teaching everyone what tolerance and respect means to people – something Canada use to be very good at. We need to learn to disagree, but still show the respect that must be earned by every citizen.
There is so much more locally, provincially, and federally we could go into. There was a lot of bad moves we made, a lot of hurt we caused, and a lot of missteps we took with good intentions. This was a year which followed the Vancouver 2010 patriotism that swept the nation; we are proud of what we have accomplished and want to share our goals on a larger global scale. Beautiful idea.
But, Canada? Let’s not forget who we are. We’re a nation who embraces tolerance for most ideas; we’re a nation of kindness, respect, generosity, global minds, and patriotic hearts. While we navigate our new global mindset, which is needed in our global world, let us remember that we came from humble beginnings and made something great. People love us for our qualities as a Nation, so why should we change it now?
Who am I kidding? I love you Canada. Happy birthday.