There may be differences of opinion at present on where Canada is heading politically.
Some may be sounding the alarm over moves they feel not only damaging to democracy in Canada, but deleterious to Canada’s international prestige as a guardian of the environment and the perception of Canada’s role – long cherished by the public – as a peacekeeper.
Those partisans who confuse the fortunes of political parties with the national interest must remind themselves that dissent is only another manifestation of a deeper caring and love for the country we call home.
We can only hope that Canadians are passionate enough about their country to debate all these issues in the coming federal election, and manifest their love of Canada, so evident in red and white flags on July 1, in attendance at the polls.
In the meantime, we turn to celebration of Canada’s 148th birthday as a nation.
And there is much to celebrate.
Even before Confederation Canada was a country that established its own independence – not by revolution, but by degrees – and which pursued a separate path in the difficult process of settlement and reconciliation of heritages as North America grew and changed.
Although it has had its share of stumbles along the way, Canada won for itself, through blood and toil, a right not to be considered the shadow, or puppet, of any other nation.
For all our lapses of stewardship it is still a country of unmatched beauty, of wildernesses that dwarf the imagination, and natural wonders that daily give us pause, and reason to reflect on our great fortune.
It is still a multicultural, humanist land where neighbours care for neighbours regardless of colour, creed or heritage; where we can play hard and also share enjoyment of our leisure; where we can toil together, not just to fill our own or others’ coffers, but also to make things that much better.
For all our grief and strife and the pressures on us to follow paths of hatred, greed and selfishness there are just as many reminders that Canadians are tolerant and giving, kind and accepting and willing to work hard to make our country, and the planet as a whole, a better place.
And that, in itself, is well worthy of celebration.