I was born in Canada, as was my sister.
My parents were not. Mom was from mainland China, Dad from Hong Kong. They both came to Canada via America; I still have many relatives on my mom’s side of the family who live in the States.
Why did my family choose to come to Canada, rather than stay in the States? Because that’s where the work was: a community in Manitoba needed a physician, and Dad needed to launch his career. Even though he’s been retired now for almost twenty years, I don’t believe he has any regrets about that decision.
Me, I have a different relationship to the idea of Canada than my folks do. Growing up in BC, I totally got the idea of Canada as proclaimed by the Trudeau government. It was why I put more effort into learning French in high school and university, even though after thirty years I’m still considered an anglophone. It was also one of the reasons why I enlisted in the Canadian Forces reserves, as well as why I opted for a career (sort of) in the public service.
Okay, fine. Call me a lapsed Liberal, if you like. Or a modern Canadian Tory. They’re really the same thing.
Yes, they are.
I totally believe that Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair love the idea of Canada. All the noise you hear from Parliament is just detail work based on what people think the Canadian community should look like. Where people run into trouble is when they confuse the Idea with the Detail, or think that their own place in the Detail cements their place in the Idea. It’s why you get thunderous tantrums from activists who say that “change X” equals “the destruction of Canada.”
That’s really what the Liberal Party is grappling with: they’re only now understanding that a big-L Liberal Canada is, most emphatically, not Canada The Idea. It’s one of the reasons why Justin Trudeau got into so much hot water when he said he couldn’t love the Canada that the PM was trying to make.
Canada isn’t being “destroyed”; rather, the country is in the process of evolving. Evolving in demographics, attitudes over what’s acceptable in society, economics, technological change. And government, and government policy, has to evolve in order to better meet the needs of the nation.
Yeah, I know. It’s a little heavy for a stat holiday. Sorry about that.
I might go downtown this afternoon to check out tea at the Chateau Laurier, but since I’m not a big fan of crowds I’ll be watching the fireworks from home. Have a happy Canada Day, wherever you are.