On July 1st we celebrate our country’s sesquicentennial, 150 years. That is an amazing feat when you think of it.
When Canada was founded, it was in part to avoid becoming a branch of the United States; a small group of British colonies with the desire to remain British. A century and a half later here we are; a thriving independent nation, known around the world for innovation, fairness, and also for maple syrup and bacon.
Our country has achieved a great deal in 150 years. We’ve spanned a continent from sea-to-sea-to-sea, settled the west and built a nation. Canadians served in two world wars, fighting and winning battles no other country had been able to. Later we established ourselves as peacekeepers, with our soldiers preventing others from fighting from the Suez to Kosovo.
Canadians have been the masters of innovation in any field we’ve been a part of. From the Canadarm, the telephone, Hockey and Basketball, insulin, the electron microscope, the pacemaker, egg cartons, the Robertson screw, IMax movies, right to time itself; (Standard Time that is). Those are just a handful of our accomplishments. Our contributions aren’t always known to the rest of the world as being Canadian, but we know.
Canadians are not known for bravado. We prefer to be known for doing good work at home, and abroad.
This country has led in so many ways. We celebrate not only 150 years since Confederation this year, but 100 years of women voting. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is held up as a standard around the world for equality regardless of gender, race, and orientation.
We have come a long way. In 1867 we were connected by horse, buggy and the steam engine. Now by pushing a button or tapping a screen, we connect with our friends and neighbours around the globe.
What are the next 150 years going to bring? The appeal of George Jetson’s flying car aside, what will Canada look like in 50 or 100 years?
We still have a way to go with issues of true equality, the first nations, the income gap, and making education affordable and accessible for all. But as a country we will be successful at those challenges, as we have in all the challenges we have faced in the past 150 years.
Our Canadian story has made it this far. We’re excited to see what will be written in our next chapters. Happy Birthday Canada.