Four Young Canadians Share Their Thoughts on Canada Day

Par David Koroma, Mieka Buckley-Pearson, Gabrielle Fayant, Adam Moscoe

Cdn flag

Four young people have differing views on what Canada and Canada Day means to them.

Some real pride and some real concerns…..

I am a very proud Canadian. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I’ve always thought of Canada as a friendly and inclusiveHeadshot place to live. In the past, we have been known internationally as peacekeepers and great diplomats who are leaders on the world stage. As a big supporter of international dialogue, I am disappointed by our diminished role at the United Nations, where we were once leaders who led initiatives like banning land-mines across the world. I am proud of Canada because I don’t think there is a more fair, egalitarian and forward-thinking country on the planet. Of course there is still room for improvement, but I’m thankful that no political party in Canada can afford to be blatantly divisive or bigoted. Our Charter of Rights & Freedoms ensures that all Canadians have an opportunity to succeed, so I am proud of this country because it continues to be welcoming and progressive.

Happy Canada Day!

–David Koroma

WMiekahy am I proud to be Canadian? I am proud to be Canadian because the spirit of Canada is one of openness, inclusion, tolerance and equality. Because this spirit, and these principles, are why Canadians are great leaders, innovators and solution-seekers at home and on the global stage. Because we know that through collaboration and working together we can live in a Canada that is greater than the sum of its parts, and I have to say its parts are extraordinary. Canada is diverse in every sense of the word, and though at times our differences may seem too great or too divisive, undermining our strength and unity as a country, nothing could be further from the truth. Our diversity is a profound, privileged and enviable asset. When we embrace the Canadian spirit, when all Canadians are treated equally and included in opportunities, when we welcome new Canadians with open arms, we are truly greater than the sum of our parts. I am proud to be Canadian because we are always striving to be better, not only as Canadians but as global citizens. Because a better Canada means a better world.

–Mieka Buckley-Pearson

I have mixed feelings about Canada Day. I think every country and every nation should have a special day to celebrate its culture and pride and I believe that Canadians have a lot to be happy about. However, much of that pride and happiness rides on the back of the original inhabitants of this land that have never truly been acknowledged or respected. There is a large part the story of this land and country that is omitted from most history classes, books and museums. Broken promises, unhonoured treaties and continued threats of aggressive assimilation and destruction of the land plague Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people, the Indigenous people that have been the protectors of the lands since time immemorial. I do apologize if I am offending anyone however the truth is Indigenous people living on this land are suffering from the pain from the past, while the current government creates new wounds, blow after blow. I will not be able to celebrate Canada Day whole heartedly knowing there is 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women but yet the government will not call for a national inquiry, knowing that the land from the east coast to the west are at risk of irreversible damage and knowing that the rate of Indigenous children in care is higher than at the peak of the residential school era. For these reasons, just to name a few, I will find it difficult to celebrate Canada Day until a new relationship between Canada, the Crown and the original inhabitants is rebuilt.

–Gabrielle Fayant

I am proud to be a Canadian and I am especially proud of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Having been born almost a decade after the Charter was signed into law, I have never known a day when I was not covered by its clauses and protections. Yet I am keenly aware that the Charter was a major innovation that harnessed incredible legislative muscle and political will to create a document that enshrines our government’s fundamental social contract with its citizens. Indeed the Charter has become a model that has influenced constitutional developments in post-Apartheid South Africa and in many other places. While Charter protections for freedom of expression, association, and non-discrimination are well known by Canadians, many of us may not be aware that under Section 4.1 of the Department of Justice Act, the government is required to ensure all proposed legislation conforms with the Charter. Our elected officials are expected not only to make smart, financially prudent policy decisions but also to engage in an active and ongoing defense of the Charter as a gold standard to which all ideas for tackling the issues of our day – from combatting crime to advancing trade relationships – must be held.

–Adam Moscoe

 

 

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