Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

As with Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birth Days, Christmas and other event days,
we should celebrate Our Canada every day of the year!

For years I have supported two charities...
one of which is The Canadian Wildlife Federation.
The info they send me is amazing ~ plus a calender of wildlife photos.
This calendar I daily view, as it is my 'date/data organizer' which sits atop my desk printer.
Today I received by email...an invitation to enjoy Canada's nature every day.

Oh, Canada! 150 years young. The true north, strong and free. As Canadians it's time to express our true patriot love with a celebration worthy of this great land. At the Canadian Wildlife Federation, it's in our nature to celebrate the awe-inspiring wildlife that people around the world associate with Canada. And so, in the spirit of Canada Day celebrations coast to coast, we've got some great ways you can join us as we inspire Canadians to #ConserveTheWonder for the next 150 years.

Bioblitz Canada 150: Join CWF and partners at one of our Bioblitz Canada events...a series of FREE outdoor initiatives that let you contribute to real science. Get outside, get dirty and have fun!
Find a blitz near you.
Limited Edition Canada Day Adopt-an-Animal: Take an active role in conservation with this program, the newest edition, “The Painted Turtle.” Buy a limited edition Canada Day adorable plush animal with a Canada scarf...and your purchase will directly impact CWF's species at risk program.
150 Ways Wildlife Celebrates Canada: How has Canadian wildlife inspired the world? Find out in our list of 150 fun and unique ways wildlife has been celebrated by Canadians. What do you think made the list? Browse the List.

Hinterland Who's Who: In honour of the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, HWW has released special videos highlighting the importance of Canada's most iconic wildlife species and celebrating the heritage of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Check out our latest video ~ the Right Whale!
Watch the video.

From all of us to all of you, a very happy Canada Day. We hope, no matter how you chose to celebrate today, you take a moment to appreciate the natural wonders that make Canada, well, Canada!”Yours in 'conservation'...Rick Bates,
CEO and Executive Vice-President.

Party on Canada...Party On!
(The Spectator's view...by John Roe)

The time is July 1, 2017, all day and night.
The place is wherever you are in Canada.
From Vancouver Island...to Baffin Island...to Prince Edward Island...and every city, town, village, farm, forest, farm, forest or lake in between, if you're here, you're in.
From sea to sea, everyone's welcome.
Citizens, landed immigrants, refugees and visitors lucky enough to be here
at this moment ~ or young if you consider our glowing future.
The men, women and children who welcomed the creation of the Dominion of Canada ~ as it was then known ~ on that momentous July 1, 1867, could have never predicted how big and wonderfully that child of a nation would grow. That Canada, with a population of just 3.4 million included Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the southern portions of today's Quebec and Ontario. (In the next 50 years, the new country expanded and grew to the north and west.)
Railways were built to the Pacific Ocean, crossing prairies and mountains.
New cities rose up. Newcomers streamed in.
In the 50 years after that, Canada fought two world wars, suffered through and overcame the Great Depression, experienced a population surge with the baby-boom-generation and watched its economy boom too. More newcomers arrived. In 1965, we started flying our own Maple Leaf flag.

By July 1, 1967, the population had hit 20 million and jubilant Canadians partied heartily in our Centennial Year. But more changes were coming. Official bilingualism, official multiculturalism, open doors to newcomers from around the world, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the patriation of our Constitution. These were the major accomplishments of the late 60's, 70's and 80's.

At the top of the list is Canada's First Nations who have too long endured racism, inequality, poverty and what, at times, amount to Third World living standards. Canadians are sincerely trying to set things right with Indigenous People...and even at 150, Canada is not a finished product.
Whatever our regrets, we have much to be proud of!
This country is the greatest gift any of us could receive.

Suffering from Aggressive Violence to Canada's Freedom and Opportunity
Photographer, Cathie Coward, has been documenting citizenship ceremonies in Hamilton since the beginning of the year ~ and was deeply moved by each one. “ Our newest citizens come from around the world ~ from Lebanon and China to Yemen, England, Trinidad and beyond.”

Portraits of New Canadians: Her portfolio of colour photos in The Hamilton Spectator's Friday issue (many of them) mirror the happy and proud faces of children dressed in their finest wear...teens sharing joys with other teens...mothers and tots...husbands and wives. The photo capturing my attention was of Roy Ifeanyi Ayeh's pride as he patriotically sings the Canadian national anthem for the first time as a Canadian citizen in June (without any reference to the words of Oh Canada on paper). With flag clasped in hand and right hand on his chest, he was dressed in a suit with purple shirt and tie.

Cathie comments, “All of these families and individuals are brave risk-takers. Each time, it reminds me how lucky I am to have been born into a country where we share much freedom and opportunity.”

Cathie, my cudos to you for your heart-warming photographs
and sentiments of our new citizens.
Most immigrants here consider Canada...a safe harbour
for themselves and their children's future.

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...July 1, 2017

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