Canada Day Means Different Things To Different People

Pipestone Flyer

On July 1st, the annual celebration of National Day of Canada, each and every one of us should stand up and proudly declare, “I am a Canadian.” Or, “I value being Canadian. I am so proud to have my Canadian citizenship.” Still, this isn’t the case.

Unfortunately most of us are not like that. We were either born in Canada before 1947 and automatically acquired our Canadian citizenship on January 1st of that year, or were born subsequent to that date, and acquired Canadian citizenship at birth. We became Canadians by right. By an automatic legal status.

As a result, we take being a citizen of Canada for granted. Sure, for- the-most-part we appreciate being a Canadian, but we do not treasure it. Some of us will put a flag in our window on July 1st, Canada Day. Or we may go to the local venue, sing O Canada and listen to dignitaries remind us of the importance of being a Canadian citizen. However, since the National Day of Canada is also a federal statutory holiday (long weekend) many of us will be sitting in a campsite thinking of a different type of ‘Canadian’ that is in the cooler.

It was different for forty-one people on June 6th, 2014 including Katembo Eugene Mango. They stood before a judge at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Reynolds Alberta Museum and declared, “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.” Judging by their faces, it was a very sincere declaration.

It is sad, but most Canadians rarely think about and acknowledge the privileges, benefits and rights that we have as citizens of Canada. Instead, we hear people grumbling about a vast array of issues such as high gas prices, the delay in approving pipelines to get our oil to foreign markets, foreign workers…. and if these topics run out, well there is always the Edmonton Oilers.

It was noticeably different with the newly approved citizens. These people have a humble understanding of the importance of what it takes and what is required to become a citizen of Canada. Each-and-every one of them exhibited their pride of achieving the new official status as Canadian citizens and each-and-every-one of them cherished this earned privilege. Following the ceremony, Mango stated, “Today, my beautiful wife, my two kids and I, are proud to live in a land of opportunity whereby everyone gets a good education and a job. In fact, Canada has changed my family life. As a new Canadian citizen, Canada is my new home, a home to my entire family.”

Being a citizen of Canada should be acknowledged by all Canadians as much more than a legal status. Citizenship grants certain privileges and rights. In many cases new Canadians know that for the first time in their lives they are entitled to the country’s (Canada) protection. They know they have earned the rights and responsibilities offered by Canada such as the right to vote, having a Canadian passport and being able to live in a democracy. It’s a country where girls and women are free to go to university and feel valued. There are no dogs and soldiers with guns patrolling train stations. Canadians can participate in a religion of their choice. Police can be trusted. That's what makes living in Canada so special.

We may not have had to earn our citizenship like Mango, but each of us should begin to genuinely appreciate and celebrate our status. So this year on July 1st, don’t be a modest, quiet Canadian. Be ready to jump up and declare, “I know we have the best of everything. I am a Canadian and darn proud of it."

Just Posted

New app could address Wetaskiwin crime issues

‘Block Talk’ available now for Wetaskiwin residents

UPDATED Leduc RCMP seek older suspect in alleged assault

UPDATED Leduc RCMP seek public assistance in identifying assault suspect

Potato and cheese with Ecuadorian flavour

Soup recipe from south of the equator this week

County of Wetaskiwin ‘open for business’

Updated Hwy #2 development policy approved by council

Wetaskiwin offers good value for taxes: mayor

Tyler Gandam speaks to chamber of commerce about 2019 budget May 14

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Alberta NDP cries foul as Speaker Cooper names new legislature clerk

Shannon Dean will replace Merwan Saher as the clerk of the assembly effective immediately

‘Her life mattered:’ New trial ordered in death of Indigenous woman Cindy Gladue

In a 4-3 decision, Supreme Court said evidence about Cindy Gladue’s sexual history was mishandled

Emergency funds for High Level evacuees to start flowing by Monday

About 5,000 people in High Level and surrounding communities have been out of their homes for a week

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

No-vote option: Alberta legislature changing rules to allow MLAs to abstain

The changes are expected to pass, given that Kenney’s party has a majority of seats

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read