July 1, 2007

Canada Belongs to All of Us

Canada Day. Or as it is known in Montreal…Double Time and a Half Day, or Moving Day, depending on your situation. Every year, we hear horror stories about how Canadians wouldn’t pass a citizenship test, or how they know nothing about Canadian history. In a very Canadian way, we seem to be much harder on ourselves then we are on others.

Maybe people no longer know what the national policy was, or that Dominion Day was created by Dief the Chief to strengthen our ties to the old country. Canadian culture has changed. I bet everybody knows who Wayne Gretzky is. I bet they also know what a double double is, when we wear toques, or that we call our Dollar and two-Dollar coins Loonie and Two-nie respectively.

Canada belongs to all of us in our own individual way. We associate many things to Canada, each in our own way. Everybody defines Canadian identity differently, which is partly what makes it so great. That is why it upsets me when political parties try to assign parts of their platform as Canadian, implicitly stating not adhering to it is “un-Canadian”. Nobody was more notorious for doing this than Paul Martin’s band of merry men.

The famous “shoot me in the face” ad of 2004 highlighted that the Conservatives, if put into power, would change Canada so much, it would not be the Canada we all knew. Liberals were actually saying that the Tories were making Canada un-Canadian.

This brings me to the “Take Back Canada” stunt the YLC pulled across the country today. I teased my good friend Justin when I first saw the initiative. Did Stephen Harper hide Canada somewhere? I couldn’t celebrate Canada today because I needed to take it back? It made me smile. Seems the Young Liberals have adopted the old Earnscliffe adage of appropriating Canadian values to Canadian citizens.

What do YOU associate with Canada? Hockey, Tim Hortons, politeness. I am not saying all Canadians believe this. I am saying that these would be the more common answers. Where on the list do Canadians rank government run 9-5 daycare centers, having a different environmental approach than the Liberal one, and fiscal policy regarding income trusts?

Truth is Canada has not changed much at all since Stephen Harper took over. Provincial governments are still bitching. Our economy keeps chugging along. The Stanley Cup remains in the United States, and French Canadian players keep turning down more money rather than playing in Montreal.

So the Tories did not take Canada away. They took Liberal policies away. Does it suck? Yes. Does it mean that Canada itself has fundamentally changed? It will take a lot more than that to change Canada.

Happy Canada Day!

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1 Commentaires:

Blogger WJM a dit...

Dominion Day was created by Dief the Chief to strengthen our ties to the old country.

A neat trick, considering that the name Dominion Day was coined almost thirty years before he was born!

7/02/2007 10:29 PM  

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