Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Happy Canada Day
I've been asked before about Canada Day and its meaning, and my reply is pretty much this: "It's similar to the 4th of July for Americans. It is Canada's birthday."
Here is a bit more information:
July 1st marks the joining of the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and what was then the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec) into a federation of four provinces on July 1, 1867. Although Canada is regarded as having become a dominion in its own right on that date, the British Parliament kept limited rights of political control over the new country, which were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were ended in 1982, when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.
Canada Day thus differs from Independence Day celebrations in some other countries in that it does not commemorate a militant assertion of political self-determination, but rather recognizes one of the major milestones of the long and peaceful political process which formed the modern nation of Canada.
I found it interesting that the last of the control that Britain had over my country was given up in my lifetime. Amazing. And a little funny that no one taught us that in school too.
My most memorable Canada Day is from 1985. I was with my family traveling in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. We had rented a camper and we swam in a river and played in a glacier on that day. My Mom has pictures kicking around somewhere.
Today I am pondering how to make it a special day with my two boys.