On this Canada Day, it felt especially good to be Canadian.
After all, most of the time, the thing we celebrate most about being Canadian is that we’re not American.
A Mexican acquaintance did once point out that we’re actually all “Americans” on this side of the world, from Ellesmere Island all the way to the tip of Tierra Del Fuego. He and his friends expressed a lot of resentment over Americans co-opting the name from both of the western hemisphere’s continents, as if no other country mattered.
“That is their arrogance,” I remember him saying. “That is where their arrogance comes from and where it lives.”
Just as people from Spain and Germany and Italy are all Europeans, he pointed out, we Canadians and Mexicans are also Americans, just as Brazilians and Chileans are Americans.
“It is sad,” he concluded, “that the people from the states where they call themselves Americans have no name of their own.”
So having a name of our own on Canada Day was just one thing that I celebrated.
I also celebrated that, unlike Americans of ambiguous nationality, we tend to be a safer country because we don’t celebrate guns.
And I also celebrated that our country no longer steals children from their mothers, locking them in “residential school” cages, causing irreparable damage that will last past their lifetimes and into following generations. I would have celebrated harder if we were doing more to atone for those past crimes.
I also celebrated when I heard that former prime minister Stephen Harper planned to visit with President Donald Trump without first consulting with the Government of Canada – eerily similar to Dennis Rodman’s visits with Kim Jong Un.
Some folks have expressed displeasure at Harper’s “meddling,” while others think he can step in where, they believe, the current prime minister has failed.
I prefer to believe that his unofficial visit with Trump is about back-channelling. If he accomplishes anything worthwhile, well and good. If not, it doesn’t leave anyone on any side with any scars… because the visit was “unofficial.”
Or… he could be going to Washington to talk to Trump about becoming the governor of the Canadian Allied States of America after the invasion.
And that wouldn’t be good… because with all that’s happening down south these days, there has never been a worse time to be an ambiguous American.
– Bob Groeneveld is the retired editor of the Langley Advance who still proudly calls Langley his home.