9:30 a.m., July 6)
In celebration of being Canadian
By Fred Sherwin
year, for the first time in 12 years, I spent Canada Day
downtown with a couple hundred thousand of my fellow Canadians
and a few tourists thrown in for good measure.
struck me the most milling among the throng was the sheer
diversity of the crowd. At a time when racism and xenophobia
is on the rise in the United States, and more recently
Great Britain, it was refreshing to see thousands of people
from over the world, celebrating our countrys birthday
as one. It made me even more proud to be Canadian than
I was already.
our flag wasnt the Maple Leaf, it could just as
well be the rainbow banner adopted by the LGBTQ community.
Forget Benetton, we are the United Colours of Canada and
its a beautiful thing
makes Canada different from our neighbours to the south
is our willingness to embrace and celebrate our diversity,
rather than use it as a tool for division. Which made
me think about our future.
the week leading up to the Canada Day celebration, thousands
of high school graduates attended their graduation ceremonies
filled with optimism and hope for the future. This sentiment
is usually reinforced by a fellow graduate who delivers
a rousing and inspiring convocation speech, which more
often than not, touches on their potential and the desire
to be successful.
I was ever chosen to deliver a convocation speech to a
group of high school graduates, I wouldnt talk about
making the most of their untapped potential and being
more successful than the generation that preceeded them.
I would simply ask them to be human. To be kind and caring,
and to treat others as they would want to be treated.
The rest will take care of it self.
would remind them about what sets Canadians apart, what
makes us special, and to celebrate their diversity. I
would ask them to continue to stand guard against bigotry,
racism and ignorance. They are the latest stewards of
the most precious country in the world, with all the responsibilities
that come with it.
is no question we are heading in the right direction.
One of the things I am most proud of as a Canadian, is
our governments decision to take in more then 28,000
Syrian refugees during the past year at a time when the
United States closed its doors.
who doubted our countrys policy needs to watch a
CBC video of a young Syrian refugee answering a question
about how she felt to be on Parliament Hill celebrating
her adopted homes birthday a year after she was
trapped in a refugee camp with little hope for a future.
young girl was overcome with emotion as she talked about
Canada and her familys sponsors who rescued them
from their plight.
she choked back the tears, the youngster summed up what
this country is all about and why we should all be proud
to be human and Canadian.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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