Friday, 7 July 2017

Oh Canada, Our Canada!

Canada has just turned 150 years old and while this is a milestone worthy of great celebration, it is important to remember that our country is actually much older.

As we look at the past 150 years, many Canadians have different interpretations on what exactly it has meant. The truth is that while our country is the best in the world, it has had a spotty record with regards to how it has treated certain minority groups, indigenous groups and as of late the environment.

To understand all of this, it is important to question what truly makes someone Canadian? While we are a country of immigrants, many people believe they are a native Canadian simply be being born in this country and as such live by its stereotypical Canadian image. There is some truth to this in the legal sense of the definition, however being Canadian is so much more than Maple Syrup, Poutine and even the flag.

When the "new" world was discovered and explorers from all nations braved to visit it and meets its inhabitants, much was discussed with regards to a wild natural land that challenged even the mightiest of people. As such, people came here in search of a new life and the riches and demons that came with it. The Hudson's Bay Company, which is now 347 years old, was created to facilitate an economy between Europe and these inhabitants.

Being Canadian, was not simply being born into this country, but by experiencing it, surviving it. Living in an area that could test you with its hot and humid summers, while also try and kill you with its long and dark winters. Canadians became resilient beings as they worked together to fight off nature and the many things within it that could kill them. 

At times, this would require alliances with anyone also experiencing the same conditions, as everyone became equal in the face of adversity, while at other times this would lead to genocide and massacre in an effort to secure resources and land.

Fast forward hundreds of years and you have a Canada that becomes an independent nation, not by war, but because of the financial strains incurred by war and empire on the British. We are truly a country of politics and discussion, but just because we didn't fight a war for our freedom, doesn't mean we are innocent by any means. In all truth, no country can claim to be innocent of any harm, but it is important to recognize this and remedy it in any way possible.

Looking at 2017, Canada is a much different place than before or at Confederation. Now, instead of fearing and fighting to control it, man must learn to recover nature and live peacefully with it. We live in a world that is much more connected and one that claims to be more advanced.

While much has changed, much still remains the same. People are still fighting with each other and politics is still bloody and dirty in many ways. Our indigenous allies, many of whom are just as Canadian as anyone born here from immigrant parents, are living in squalor and in need of a brotherly hand.

Our government has spoken greatly regarding the need to atone to tragedies of the past, but unfortunately has decided to remain at giving nice speeches and has yet to actually do anything.
Our country is still divided, Canada is not one country, but a combination of four distinct groups: English speaking Canada, Alberta, The Indigenous and Quebec.

And all the while, we celebrate 150 years of living, fighting and surviving the growing pains that this beautiful country of Canada has gone through.

The time now arrives, where Canadians must continue to define ourselves in new ways and provide an example to the world on how we can not only make amends for our past errors, but also move forward with a focus on unity and truth. We are a country of Peace, Order and Good Government and must continue to utilize this as a way of improving life for everyone, equally.

While there are buildings in Europe still standing that are older than the Canada of 2017, everyone must look forward to the next 150 years, or 50 years in my case, with the optimism of contributing toward a Canada that defines the world and is not defined by it.

Congratulations on reaching 150 years of age Canada, you don't look a year over 100, but there is still much more to be done and luckily, many great people in this country ready!

-The Political Road Map

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