Happy 145th Birthday Canada
Surrey, Vancouver, June 27, 2012
Canada will be celebrating its 145th birthday on July 1. During these 145 years, this nation of more than 34 million people has undergone some very drastic changes. Till early 1950s, Canada’ population consisted mainly of aboriginals and European settlers. However, during the past 60 or so years, it has become a truly multicultural country. It is a matter of great pride for every Canadian that we have managed to build a very prosperous, tolerant, peaceful, free and democratic society. To-day, Canada has become an envy of the world. It is mainly due to the hard work, dedication and determination of Canadians to make this country as one of the best places on earth.
At present, more than 200 ethnic communities spread throughout this vast country call Canada their home. There will be hardly any country, culture or language in the world that is not represented here. On the whole, each of these communities gets along well with other communities. This country’s recognition of multiculturalism and inclusion as well as a strong desire to live peacefully, has made it as one of the most desirable countries to live in. Not only that, our free, secular, liberal and democratic society is the envy of others.
On special days like this, we get to reflect on Canadian culture and values. What does it mean to be a Canadian?
To most of us, it means living in the most peaceful, open, inclusive and welcoming country in the world. Canada’s policy of inclusion, openness as well as respect / appreciation for cultural diversity makes it a shining model for others. In addition to that, Canada’s relatively young yet rich history and its amazing beauty from coast to coast to coast have made it as one of the most pleasant places to live. Our strong sense of values as well as economic and political stability has made Canada a land of great opportunity.
A recent perceptions poll of 370gender specialists conducted by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation placed Canada as the best place for women. In this regard this country leads other G-20 nations like Germany, Britain, Australia and France. Farah Mohamad, president and CEO of Canada based G (irls) 20 Summit states that though a lot more still needs to be done in this area yet we are very fortunate to have universal health care, education and other services designed to give equal opportunities for our girls in Canada to excel. This is what makes this country so unique.
Certainly, like any other country, Canada also has some problems of its own. But in the greater scheme of things, they are very minor. The kind of respect Canada and Canadians have earned around the globe, is something that all of us can be very proud of.
Canada truly is a land of opportunity. There are countless examples of the high level of achievement by both Canadian born citizens and immigrants. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that everyone will be treated fairly and equally.
On special occasions like these, we need to celebrate all of this and much more that this great country has to offer.
Happy Birthday, Canada!
(Retired School Psychologist and Community Activist Balwant Sanghera is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Order of British Columbia)