This past weekend, we celebrated Canada Day. Or maybe we didn’t.
Whether it is with a party, a barbecue by the lake, a family get together, an escape to the cottage for three days of solitude, or a chance to visit Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park and take in the crowds at the multicultural festival that is our country, we all celebrated a day off.
For some people, they chose to spend the day protesting against government abuses.
Or, at least, government abuses as they see it. “How dare a government try to keep its citizens safe by ordering everyone to get vaccinated? Who do they think they are? How dare a government legislate public safety? They can’t tell me what to do!”
In their own way, even the protesters celebrated Canada Day and the freedom this country affords its citizens to peacefully assemble and speak. It is a rare thing throughout human history for a people to be able to openly criticize their own government.
Indeed, it is a rare thing in the world today.
Something worth celebrating.
We live in a very special country at a very special time in human history. We are more affluent than any generation before us.
We have inalienable human rights. We have food, water, and air which is, for the most part, clean and healthy. We live longer lives on average. But we often forget this. Things are not perfect here.
Far from it. We maybe focus too much on the imperfections instead of being thankful for all that we have. People around the world move to Canada because it is a country with a better standard of living than many, many other countries.
Yet with all the wealth we have, there is still much to be done. In a country with so much, how do we still have people who go hungry? Who do not have access to clean water? Who work long hours with no hope of getting ahead? Who cannot access medical aid or do not have a family doctor?
On a per capita basis, Canada is among the richest countries in the world. But there is still much work to be done before we can all fully participate in and celebrate our country.
Todd Whitcombe is a chemistry professor at UNBC.