celebrating my love of
Canada. The two on the
ends are Maritime landscapes,
and the one in the middle is the
school yard up the street.
Since the invasion of Ottawa in January, 2022, Canada Day
has changed. Before the right wing, anti-vaccination (for
COVID) truckers invaded Ottawa, Canada Day used to be
a very obvious celebrate-the-country holiday. Our street
would be hung with the Maple Leaf flags on almost every house.
Since that insurrection, almost no one in Toronto hangs a Canadian
flag because the flag is connected with the people who parked
their trucks in front of the parliament buildings for two
months in the winter of spring 2022.
Still we are all proud of many things about our country.
Here's what I said last year -- it still applies.
What I like about Canada:
My own ancestors, great, and great, great grandparents
came from Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and France. My
husband is descended from Dutch and Indonesian
2. My city. Each time I come back to Toronto, after
visiting other countries, I notice how people are here.
At the bus stops all of us hang out together. It feels
different from other cities in the world.
3. Our humour. Canadians are self-critical -- and
that is the core of our humour. And we're funny.
Our humour gets exported big time, especially to the
United States where so many of the top comedians, and
comic actors are Canadian.
4. We're boring. We're allowed to be boring and
safe. We want good and happy lives, and it doesn't
matter if that means we live by routines.
5. No guns. (Or almost no guns). We don't think
it's cool to use/have guns. We don't have guns in
our houses, our cars. Guns are not cool here.
Criminals and hunters use guns. The police have
guns, but the general public detests gun violence,
and thinks guns are scary, and worse -- stupid and
6. We say we're sorry. You know you're in
Canada when you bump into someone's cart
in the supermarket and the sorry fest goes on
for 10 minutes -- first you. "I'm sorry," then
the other person, "No I'm sorry" and that
7. Free health care. When relatives of mine
have gone through treatments for cancer, or
had surgery, or babies, or any kind of reason
to need healthcare -- it's free. Some doctors
charge a yearly fee -- maybe $200, but otherwise
healthcare is free.
8. We're a vast country. I've traveled from one
side of the country almost to the other, and there
is still so much to see, so many places I haven't been.
9. Our art -- it's exciting being an artist in Canada.
Although we're a young country, our art has a
distinctive quality. Canadian artists love this country,
and that comes out in so many forms -- in art, music and,
other countries might find that boring, but we don't.
are far from perfect. We are dealing with righting the
terrible mistreatment of indigenous people at residential
schools. We are not free from disturbing and violent acts.
And we have been struggling with the pandemic too.
But in Toronto, where I live, violence is not the norm.
local park watching fireworks together tonight, and
wishing each other Happy Canada Day."