July 1 is traditionally a day we proudly wrap ourselves in the extraordinary quilt that blankets our country from coast to coast.
It’s a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate what Canada has become during the past 155 years and reflect not just on our triumphs, but on our shortcomings as well.
We are a patchwork nation of colours and cultures that has defied the test of time, despite the rips and wear and tear that continues to tug at the seams of the fabric that binds us together.
The principles of equality, diversity, and politesse that are trademarks of who we are have been tested in ways that shredded us like few could have imagined during the past two years of a global pandemic.
The ugly spectre embodied in the rise of the “you against me- us against them” mentality that boiled to the surface has subsided for the most part as we weave our way a stitch or two at a time back toward that way of life we took for granted until it simply wasn’t there one day.
Even the best-tailored garment needs a facelift from time to time, a stitch here or there to reinforce the fabric. The efforts at reconciliation that moved to the forefront in the wake of tales of horror that unfolded at residential schools are a reminder that on Canada Day, as it should be on every day, there is still much work to be done.
All sides must learn to accept the differences none of us can control before we reach that magical place where we can all walk together. There’s a long, hard journey ahead before we share equal footing with our Indigenous neighbours, people of all colours and every member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, which aptly celebrated Pride Day the week before our national holiday.
It will require equal parts of patience, perseverance, understanding, tolerance, acceptance and grace under fire, but we will get there eventually, because that’s the Canadian way.