Cel­e­brat­ing Cana­dian val­ues

The Compass - - OPINION -

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.

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