As we are nearing that date, there is always a burning question this time of the year: “Do we have July 4th in Canada?” Indeed we do. It is the day that comes after the 3rd and before the 5th. Indeed, I understand they have the 4th in many jurisdictions throughout the world.
Of course Canada’s ‘big day’ is tomorrow, July 1st. And as a resolute blogger I feel it behooves me to say something to mark the day of our whatever it is we are marking, but in feeling so behooved I am also left The quandary of WTF can I say? I’m at a loss. Anybody have any ideas?
There are those who hold that the date was chosen as a commemorative of July 1, 1857, which marked the last day our first prime minister, John A. MacDonald drew a sober breath. Others think it was the birthday of Jacques Cartier, but that was via the old French calendar and his real birthday was November 23rd. Anyway, a lot of countries have their notable patriotic days in July because mainly the weather is good and a lot of people are on vacation, so why not whoop it up?
It is also a day set aside so that patriotic Canadians think what their country means to them. For many it mainly means that we are not Americans, though I harbor no such North American antipathy. We should be grateful our nearest neighbor is the US. It could be North Korea or Afghanistan.
So, what does Canada mean to me? I mean, I’ve lived here for much of my life so it must mean something.
Mainly it means:
– Proudly reveling in the fact we have a national capital with the 2nd worst climate of any global capital with the exception of Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Ulan Bator is reputedly more interesting than Ottawa. I’ve been to Ottawa once; I have never had an overwhelming desire to return.
– Canada is very large. Second largest country in the world. Also has the most fresh water in the world. Also has lovely scenery, but having traveled across I found that the scenery lagged a bit in drama after the Rockies had been passed.
– Canada is not perpetually cold and our Mounties don’t wear red serge tunics all the time; only for ceremonial occasions. Mostly they look like regular cops from anywhere. And their motto is not: “We always get our man.” I believe it is, “Please blow into this little gizmo because we saw you driving like an asshole.” Back to the cold myth. Yes, 90% of Canada is Siberia-like in the winter, but here on the balmy west coast it is, well, balmy. Wet, albeit, but balmy. Balmy sounds nice. Sounds like palm trees. And there actually are some palm trees here on this coast whence I choose to reside rather than in any other part of the country.
– Canadians are not perpetually polite. We can be surly bastards, too, but maybe that’s just with other Canadians. Maybe visitors get to see the nice side of us. The one that suggests we apologize when we bump into a piece of furniture. Actually, in my travels, I have found most nationalities polite and pleasant. Well, maybe except for the French, but they have a reputation to uphold.
– There are a few famous Canadians and you’ve probably heard of a number of them. There are also some Canadians that we’d rather weren’t. Yes, for every Michael J. Fox there is also a Justin Bieber. For every Kim Cattrall there is also a Celine Dion. Sorry if you think she’s wonderful, but if I ever hear that awful Titanic song again I think I’ll do away with myself. Mediocre movie and dreadful theme song.
– I was going to write something about Canadian politics but July 1 is supposed to be a celebratory time. Suffice it to say most Canadian regard the happenings in Ottawa in much the same context as Americans regard Washington shenanigans.
Other than that, have a glorious July 1, folks.