© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Flags were very much in evidence during celebrations marking Canada Day and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference that led to the formation of Canada.
Canada isn’t perfect.
We’ve got a long, bloody and unresolved history with our First Nations brothers and sisters.
Our universal healthcare system, while treasured by the vast majority of the citizenry, that becoming ever more potentially unsustainable as we face hordes of ageing baby boomers.
Our natural resources, on which we’ve built a huge part of our economy, are oh so incredibly finite.
Our thirst for more of those same resources has left great tracks of Canadian land looking like a science fiction movie set; destruction on an unimaginable scale.
We have a parliamentary system that allows a party with a mere fraction of the popular vote to form government.
We have a senate that is well … what does the senate do again?
We’re obese (many of us anyway).
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
Despite about 1,000 years of trying French and English people still can’t seem to get along most of the time.
Racism, bigotry and religious prosecution, while no where near as overt as some places in the world, is still alive and well here.
Women generally earn less than men for the same amount of work.
Multinational corporations hold far too much sway with our leaders and lawmakers.
Speaking of our leaders, could they not try to get along and cooperate every once in a while, regardless of political colour? Watching a session of parliament could turn a goat’s stomach sometimes.
We could go on.
These are our faults - some of them anyway.
But you know what?
Canada will overcome them.
There is no doubt. It is inevitable.
Canadians have suffered war, disease, civil strife, referendums, rebellion (look it up), martial law, depressions and the list goes on.
We’ve had a long and sometimes unpleasant history.
But we carry on and even, sometimes, learn from our mistakes.
Canadians have managed to build one of the most stable and prosperous democracies in human history. And we did it on our own.
By the blood of our heroes, by the inspiring words of our great leaders and by the great works of our scientists, artists and business people – we did it.
And we will continue to do it.
Come what may.
Happy 147th birthday, Canada