Celebrating Canadian values
July 1 is a day of celebration across the country, as Canada Day parties take over backyards and city parks. This date corresponds with the creation of the Canadian confederation through the British North America Act, which took effect on July 1, 1867. It is a moment in time stamped with the values we hold dear.
We often hear that Canadians believe strongly in the importance of defending their values on the international scene. But what are Canadian values, exactly? Let’s zoom in on a few of those that seem to be embodied in the works of our artists, scientists, athletes, governments, and great minds.
The main value we see reflected there is respect of universal human rights. Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was issued, and right up to the more recent Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada has been on the front lines in the fight to win an international consensus on the freedom and dignity of the individual. It follows that Canadians are seen as staunch supporters of women’s and children’s rights.
Democratic traditions are also very important to Canadians. The development of a pluralist and participative civil society is strongly encouraged in Canada—that means we are serious about allowing the expression of diverse opinions and offering all citizens the possibility and means of participating in the life of their community and their country.
In economics, Canada is among the great defenders of the rule of law. Canadians want their governments and corporations to play by the rules in the business world, and generally support clear and transparent regulations along with both fiscal and environmental responsibility.
Canadian values also include sustainable development and the promotion of culture and education.