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

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Cullen, Dormaars win gold for Wetaskiwin Wrestling

Rookie wrestlers step up for Wetaskiwin team

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

Most Read