Canada's NDP


June 26th, 2024

Canada Day a Reminder of the Power of Community

Canada Day is once again just around the corner, and it means something a little different for everyone. Of course, it’s our national holiday, a day to remember Confederation and the building of our nation. It’s a day we remind ourselves of our collective past and our shared future of this place we call home. It’s a celebration of the red and white of our maple leaf, and the values of freedom and democracy. It’s all of these grand things, but Canada Day can also be small and intimate, a day spent with friends and family in our communities enjoying the smells of barbecue and the bright sun. Here are some of the things that are worth celebrating on Canada Day in 2024.

This year marks the anniversaries to some very important milestones in Canada’s history. It may shock some people to be reminded that it’s been a mere 25 years since Nunavut separated from the Northwest Territories (1999) to become our newest territory, the most significant change to the map of our nation since Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) was incorporated into Confederation in 1949, 75 years ago.

Also in 1999, the Ottawa Treaty was ratified by the U.N. Otherwise known as the Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention, the Treaty would go on to be signed by some 133 U.N. Member States initially and is now signed by 164 of 193 member states across the globe, a significant step towards eliminating anti-personnel mines across the world.

75 years ago, Canada joined other North American and European countries to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). And a full century ago, in 1924, the Royal Canadian Air Force was created as the third service branch of the Canadian Armed Forces.

These are vital milestones that have helped shape Canada. They were often reactions to pressing changes in the country and across the globe, and showed a nation growing, changing, and maturing.

That, in many ways, is what we celebrate during Canada Day. It’s likely not a specific event or a challenge we’ve overcome, but more a celebration of those individual moments, collected over the 157 years since Confederation, that define Canada as a nation. Some of those moments may fill us with an overwhelming sense of pride, such as Banting’s discovery of insulin, the passing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Some moments may cause deep reflection and contemplation. With the 80th anniversary of D-Day just a few weeks ago, it’s vital that we remind ourselves of the price that far too many Canadians paid to fight fascism and help liberate Europe. And some of those moments may still fill us with regret, such as our nation’s terrible legacy of colonialism and discrimination towards Indigenous peoples, and the reminder of all the work that still needs to be done to complete the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

I hear many different points of view as I travel throughout Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, but one thing that’s always been consistent is how people join together on Canada Day. Whether it’s a small family barbecue in the back yard, a beach day with friends, a picnic, a parade, or a fireworks display, the one commonality seems to be how we can all come together to celebrate. And I really can’t think of anything more Canadian than creating a new memory with each other.

Happy Canada Day!