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Happy Canada 150

I am wearing my red moose t-shirt and my sparkly maple leaf pin; both radio and TV are tuned to CBC’s coverage of the day. Auntie Do is sequestered in front of her television in Ottawa. Anna, Thomas, and the boys are visiting a  friend’s trailer in the country, a place with no toilet, no running water or electricity – doesn’t get more Canadian than that. I think Sam is playing baseball with friends and then going to work, ditto.
I just set off on my bike to check out Nathan Phillips Square and other festive places, but the sky is dark, rain is imminent, and I turned back like the coward I am. Rain has forced the cancellation of the popular air show on Parliament Hill. But Prince Charles and Camilla, who are in attendance, did not get wet.

Today the whole country feels like family, a big warm family. Even the First Nations surely admit that things are getting better; money is being given for much-needed improvements, at last, and the Prime Minister and his wife went inside the protest teepee on Parliament Hill yesterday and stayed, talking to the indigenous protestors, for 40 minutes.

I have lived in this country since October 1950, when I was 2 months old; I remained a landed immigrant with an American passport for decades, finally taking the oath of citizenship in my early forties. A proud day. I remember July 1 1967; I was 16, and we were on our way from our home in Ottawa to Expo 67 in Montreal. Perhaps I will live to see July 2067. I will be 116 years old.

But let’s assume not.

I read in the paper this morning about the arrival of health care in Saskatchewan, on July 1 1962 – how all the doctors went out on strike in protest, and many citizens joined them, fearful of what the new system would mean. But eventually the fuss died down, and before long, all the other provinces had health care too. Watching what’s going on in that benighted country to the south, I am even more grateful than usual for the enlightenment we take for granted. Our respect for government, for gun control, for the public school system, for inner cities – all things many of our southern neighbours despise.

I love my country. Happy 150, Canada. We stand on guard for thee.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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