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Canada Day, a pause to celebrate

"Canada is strong because of our diversity." ~ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | "At our best, Canada is a place where we take care of our neighbours." ~ BC Premier John Horgan

Friday July 1, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC & NATIONAL

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

On this first Canada Day in three years that people can comfortably gather in collective spaces, there is a sense of relief and cautious optimism about how communities and the country overall is moving forward.

Social and personal isolation required for public health reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic left 2020 an 2021 without in-person Canada Day celebrations.

Pandemic not over:

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Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Teresa Tam says Pfizer & Moderna are working on COVID vaccines that include protection against Omicron, June 30, 2022. [CPAC/Twitter]

The pandemic is not over; concerns about a resurgence of illness, hospitalization and death was behind a reminder and plea yesterday from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam for people to get vaccinated and boosted (and to keep shots up to date).

The economic and community impacts of over two years of disruption has left its mark, and most aspects of personal, social, community, business and civic life are reengaging with the awareness that much has changed.

A pause to celebrate:

Today people might get back to Canada Day celebrations or relaxation of the past.

But everyone knows there are deeper worries that are coursing through the Canadian fabric like a bleeding dye: inflation, new levels of unaffordability, the work of reconciliation with our country’s past together with the expectations of establishing socioeconomic inclusion for everyone moving forward.

The so-called ‘freedom convoy’ that dug in its heels earlier this year has a core base. It starkly reminds us of the importance of the need for science education in schools (re public health science) and that politicians need to pay closer attention to disgruntled sectors of society before sociopolitical temperatures rise.

The inflationary pressures of 2022 are not like any previous recession. The federal government can just stand back and let the chips fall where they may. As many as 20 percent of homeowners will lose their homes as interest rates are robustly cranked up by the Bank of Canada.

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Federal Employment, Workforce Development and Disabilities Minister Carla Qualtrough, July 16, 2021 in Zoom call announcement about the new BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy.

The federal government and especially Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland needs a more creative look at — and fast — at how to underpin the grinding impact of rising prices that are impacting every Canadian and businesses, across the board.

The societal chaos that was avoided with CERB payments in 2020 shows that shoring up the safety net really works. Evidently some thought is happening with this (Federal Employment, Workforce Development and Disabilities Carla Qualtrough recently Tweeted about addressing the needs of the gig economy) but hopefully with results not too late, and certainly hopefully not constrained with the currently rigid and outmoded EI system.

And while it’s admirable to promote diversity and inclusion, the work of that is really only beginning. Clashes between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ still lie ahead.

That the opposition Conservatives in Ottawa — particularly one leadership candidate — is wooing the attention of grassroots negative approaches to civic life, is worrisome for everyone who votes and who thinks perhaps it’s time for change in how the federal electoral system works.

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Pretty good here in Canada:

Here at Island Social Trends — a news publication now ongoing for 14 years in the west shore of south Vancouver Island — we wish everyone a Happy Canada Day. This country has challenges, but look around… we’ve got it pretty good here (no war on our immediate doorstep, a reliable food supply chain, mounting attention to concerns like climate change, attempts at inclusivity, and civil discourse.

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At Island Social Trends every day is Canada Day (the editor has a coffee mug with multi-colour maple leaves on it)… working hard to earn your readership on issues that matter.

Trudeau on Canada Day:

In Ottawa this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a relaxed but rousing speech outdoors, in LeBreton Flats park about 1.7 km away from Parliament Hill (a safe enough distance from a protest convoy); people have been encouraged to visit at the Hill, even though the majority of events are elsewhere.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Colwood on April 11, 2022. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez also energetically connected with the crowd, on stage… future PM material? Trudeau attended the outdoor event with his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, and seated beside him at the event was also Governor General Mary Simon. Trudeau’s formal Canada Day statement is below.

NDP Leader on Canada Day:

In Burnaby today, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will be at three public events from morning through evening, meeting with people at outdoor festivals.

Premier John Horgan on Canada Day:

premier, john horgan, june 28, 2022
Premier John Horgan announced his plan to step down, at a press conference June 28, 2022.

In BC this morning, Premier John Horgan is likely taking the day off.

Earlier this week Horgan announced his intention to slow down and step back from being Premier as soon as a new leader is chosen by the BC NDP Party (coming up this fall). His official Canada Day statement is below.

Langford local:

In Langford today there is the first-ever public Canada Day celebration, along with the City’s 30th Anniversary. That all takes place at Starlight Stadium on July 1, 2022, from 10 am to 10 pm.

Previously Langford left this day for staff to have time off and council to be on vacation or personal time.

Moving forward:

Island Social Trends is wishing peaceful vibes to everyone on this day, as local communities and Canada overall inches forward from tough times into times of regeneration anew.

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It is the public’s expectation that leaders take on whatever additional mantles of leadership that are required in such tough times that we are in and that lie ahead. Society and economy — indeed the world order — are shifting, right before our eyes as well as in our pocketbooks and among families and communities. Strong leadership is the call to all who are in public office and positions of community leadership.

CANADA DAY STATEMENT – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Today, we celebrate the country we love, and the people we share it with. Canada is home to over 38 million people: Canadians who live in cities and towns – big and small; people who are indigenous to this land; and those who’ve been here for weeks, months, years, or for generations.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during press conference in Ukraine on May 8, 2022. [pooled TV]

“Canada is strong because of our diversity. No matter what our faith is, where we were born, what colour our skin is, what language we speak, or who we love – we are all equal members of this great country.

“Today, we celebrate the place we all call home. I know for some, our country’s historic wrongs can make that difficult. But while we can’t change history, we can put in the work to build a better future; one that reflects our values of hope, resilience, kindness, respect, and generosity.

“Generation after generation, Canadians have shown that we can deliver on those values. We did it when we adopted our charter in 1982, we did it when we took care of each other during the pandemic, and we do it every day when we welcome refugees with open arms.

“Today is an opportunity for us all to recommit ourselves to those values – values that the Maple Leaf represents. Because our flag is more than a symbol, it’s also a promise. A promise of opportunity. A promise of safety for those fleeing violence and war. And a promise of a better life.

“As we come together today, let’s think about what this country means to us – and tomorrow, let’s challenge ourselves to find new ways to live up to the great promise of Canada. From my family to yours, happy Canada Day!”


“After one of the most challenging periods in our history, many people are coming together again to celebrate Canada Day at community events and backyard barbecues across the country.

“As we do, it is important we reflect on this place we call home – its past and its future – to recognize all we have to be grateful for and all we must do together to build a better Canada that works for everyone.

Sooke Canada Day, Premier Horgan, cake
Cutting Canada Day cakes in Sooke on July 1, 2019 (from left): JdF Director Mike Hicks, Canada Day organizer Judithe Ann Gatto, Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, Randall Garrison MP (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke), Premier John Horgan, MLA (Langford-Juan de Fuca), and T’Sou-ke representative Jackie Planes. [Photo by Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

“We are fortunate to live in one of the most welcoming countries on the planet. People from all over the world come to Canada in search of a better life for themselves and their families. But there is a lot more we need to do to break down barriers and end systemic discrimination that is a lived reality for many. Central to that work is confronting the dark truths of our colonial history so that we can move forward through reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous Peoples, many of whom have been on this land since time immemorial.

“At our best, Canada is a place where we take care of our neighbours, no matter who they are or how much money they have in their pocket. There is no greater expression of this than our universal public health-care system, which provides Canadians with the life-saving care they need without having to take out a credit card. A global pandemic has exposed underlying gaps and added additional strains. To ensure that strong public health care is there for future generations will require a renewed partnership between governments.

horgan, jdf, constituency, office

“As Canadians, we enjoy a vast landscape of natural beauty and resources, from mountains ranges and beautiful coastlines, to rich farmland and abundant forests. While a rapidly changing climate is putting these things we cherish most at risk, if we act now with the urgency required, we can reduce the most severe effects and become a global leader in the emerging clean energy economy.

“This is the country we celebrate today, a place that is special, not because we are perfect, but because we are always striving to make progress and life better for people.

“Over the past few years, we have shown how much we can accomplish if we reject division and work together in common purpose. That’s why I have never been more optimistic about our future than I am right now. Together, I know we will continue to build a stronger and more inclusive Canada – where everyone feels like they belong and no one gets left behind.”

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