It’s not often than anyone in the world gets to celebrate the 150th birthday of anything, let alone your own country. It’s unfortunate that the heaviest security anyone in Ottawa has ever seen is such a big part of the Canada 150 story. It’s a response to the world in which we live in 2017, and we are after all, the land of ‘Peace, Order and Good Government’. It’s quite different from the mantra of our American friends .. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’.
We are proudly different than the Americans in many ways, and Justin Trudeau is becoming as skilled a ‘tightrope’ walker as we’ve ever seen, as he works to keep that cross border relationship strong, and ‘in balance’ in the unpredictable era of Donald Trump.
John Kennedy defined that relationship best when he visited Ottawa 56 years ago, and spoke to parliament just before putting his back out while planting a tree on the Hill.
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Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends.
Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies.
Kennedy finished with the words …
Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder.
But our big birthday celebration is about so much more than our relationship with those to the south of us. In those 150 years, no government, provincial or federal, has ever been brought down by violent force of arms.
Despite how much we complain about it, we are blessed to live in one of the world’s great democracies. If you ever need a reminder of how fortunate we are, just spend a few minutes with someone who has come here from a different place, where democracy may not exist at all, and where human rights are only a dream.
Happy Birthday, to all of us.
I’m Roger Currie