Na­tion build­ing

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Editorial -

This Canada Day, spe­cial ci­ti­zen­ship pro­grams are planned in five cities across the coun­try to of­fer an in­sight into how this na­tion was forged and the sac­ri­fices to make it great. Two of them are sched­uled for Atlantic Canada. Peo­ple lead­ing th­ese events aren’t vet­er­ans of war or his­to­ri­ans of note. In­stead, they are teenagers. Six of them will lead round­table discussions on what it means to be a Cana­dian and an ac­tive cit­i­zen.

The events are meant to of­fer hope and in­spi­ra­tion for our new­est cit­i­zens. In St. John’s, Haleh Zabihi and Owen Martin will chair discussions at the Rail­way Coastal Mu­seum. In Char­lot­te­town, Charlotte Arm­strong will be at Ard­gowan Na­tional His­toric Site.

The teens are Vimy Foun­da­tion alumni who, in 2016 and 2017, vis­ited sites of the First and Sec­ond World Wars in France and Belgium, ex­plor­ing the wars’ legacy on our young coun­try.

The Bat­tle of Beau­mont Hamel 102 years ago lives on as a crit­i­cal mo­ment for New­found­land and Labrador, as hun­dreds lost their lives or hun­dreds more were wounded. The bloody Bat­tle of Vimy Ridge saw Canada be­come a true na­tion on the world scene, but it was also an event which forged a be­lief that diplo­macy, re­spect and com­pas­sion must al­ways be our goals in na­tion-build­ing.

We should take time this week­end to con­sider how for­tu­nate we are to live in Canada and the many rea­sons we have to cel­e­brate our na­tion — the True North strong and free. We have to ap­pre­ci­ate what we have to help pre­serve Canada and make it bet­ter for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Count­less Cana­di­ans will gather on Par­lia­ment Hill and in city parks and vil­lage squares across the land on Sun­day for speeches and in­spir­ing words. But it’s also a time to cel­e­brate with bar­be­cues, ice cream, hot dogs, flags, party hats and fire­works.

In Atlantic Canada, it’s the long-awaited start of sum­mer with warm, hu­mid weather fi­nally set­tling in. It’s the end to the spring sea­son for many fish­er­men. Schools closed this week and the sum­mer break is upon us. Our thoughts are di­rected to­wards hol­i­days, travel or a cot­tage get­away.

There is a burst­ing feel­ing of pride and op­ti­mism across Atlantic Canada where more than 70 per cent of cit­i­zens be­lieve the over­all qual­ity of life in their city, town, vil­lage, or com­mu­nity is ex­cel­lent, and has im­proved since 2015, based on re­cent polls.

Yes, there are trou­bling is­sues loom­ing. We have watched the U.S. pro­claim an “Amer­ica First’ pol­icy, that is spilling over to­wards a trade war that poses se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for Atlantic Canada. Ot­tawa is putting re­tal­ia­tory tar­iffs in place this week­end. We are urged to buy, build and sell Cana­dian. It will be a test of na­tional char­ac­ter. Canada needs your sup­port.

The U.S. is also pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate its na­tional hol­i­day — the July 4 In­de­pen­dence Day. As we cel­e­brate na­tional hol­i­days, our two coun­tries should fo­cus on the many is­sues which bind us closely to­gether, in­stead of the cur­rent dis­agree­ments that are push­ing us apart.

There was a spe­cial em­pha­sis on Canada Day last year as we marked our 150th birth­day. We should con­tinue those cel­e­bra­tions and good feel­ings for num­ber 151.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.