Should Canada Day Celebrations Be Cancelled?

Today, I will tackle an interesting question that has come up in the public discourse within Canada recently. Given the recent discovery of yet more mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified murdered indigenous children, is it a time to be celebrating a nation built on genocide?

Though I know full well what the reactionary response to this question will be (let the latest Cancel Culture hysteria begin!), there is an interesting case to be made when it comes to those of us unconcerned with blindly protecting mindless patriotic tradition and pageantry. Do proponents of cancellation of the holiday for this year have a point?

Though there are no doubt hundreds (if not more) of articles covering this subject available, I will focus on 1 from CTV Winnipeg for the sake of simplicity. This is an opinion piece, after all.

But, let us begin.

 

Movement calls for cancellation of Canada Day celebrations in Manitoba

https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/movement-calls-for-cancellation-of-canada-day-celebrations-in-manitoba-1.5486437

WINNIPEG — A movement is calling for the cancellation of all Canada Day celebrations in the wake of the discoveries of unmarked graves at former residential school sites.

Gerry Shingoose, a residential school survivor, took to Twitter to call out the celebrations earlier in June.

“I’m asking that you wake up,” Shingoose, who was wearing a shirt reading ‘CancelCanadaDay,’ said in a video posted to social media.

“I’m going to be wearing it on Canada Day. It’s Cancel Canada (Day) and no pride in genocide.”

With the discovery of hundreds of unmarked children’s graves at former residential schools in B.C. and Saskatchewan, some communities are not celebrating Canada Day.

Cities in New Brunswick have cancelled plans and earlier this month Victoria did the same.

In Manitoba, the Shamattawa First Nation is going one step further.

“I don’t think this year is a year to celebrate,” said Shamattawa Chief Eric Redhead.

Redhead said his community will not celebrate Canada Day, as a way to honour the children who never made it home from the residential schools. All Canadian flags in the community have been taken down.

“Those flags that we’ve taken down will not go back up as long as I’m Chief—until the government recognizes the residential school system as an act of genocide.”

 

The first thing I will note from this is its nature as a request. No one is demanding that Canadians do anything. It is more of a “please consider this before. . . ” situation. This sentence being for the patriotic hysterics that will no doubt latch onto this for all the wrong reasons.

As for my own opinion on the matter, I am not in disagreement with the sentiment. I find the concept of patriotism and absolute pride in one’s nation as problematic, to begin with, so frankly I can go either way. While I am in favour of communities making their own decisions on this matter, I don’t feel negatively toward communities that go ahead with celebrations regardless.  I feel this way because people have the right to boycott or protest such celebrations. And I feel this way because the Canadian Government is not the only responsible party in this genocide (though it was certainly the enabler).

Lacking in this CTV article is any mention of the role of the Catholic Church in these murders and cover-ups. Not only has the Catholic Church gotten away with its crimes nearly in their entirety (only having to issue a toothless apology), but they have not had to pay a penny towards victims of their abuse. Unlike the Canadian Government. Indeed, Canada has been WAY too slow in dealing with this dark legacy, but unlike the Catholic Church, they have at least started down the road.

I used to jokingly say that the Catholic Church was the biggest organized crime organization on the face of the earth. Back then, it was based on the ease in which the hierarchy made pedophiles in their ranks disappear like the cash in the collection plates (Sometimes right into sovereign diplomatic protection of Vatican City!).
Though I once called the Catholic Church the biggest organized crime organization on earth, I missed the fact that they are also both the worst AND the most legally sanctioned. Say what you will about mafias, gangs, syndicates and triad’s spanning the globe. . . all of these eventually have setbacks and fall. Quite the contrast to the Catholic Church (an organization that I will now call Big Catholic), which has naved faced any pushback from any governing body.

Hence, I say Invade The Vatican (#InvadeTheVatican).  If they won’t pay up and/or fess up, then let’s use the world’s military might for a good cause for once.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about Canada Day Friday.

“I think all of us need to aspire and work hard to get to the point where everyone across this country will be able to celebrate fully,” said Trudeau.

 

Dare I say it . . . what the FUCK are you talking about?!

Granted, I suppose that answer was a lose-lose no matter how you slice it. I can only imagine how the PC’s and the Trudeau-haters would react to him denouncing Canada Day celebrations (even if just for this year). I don’t think I could handle the sheer volume of stupid.

 

Premier Brian Pallister said people should dedicate themselves to reconciliation, but not by stopping Canada Day festivities.

“I don’t think denying Canada Day celebrations is a respectful way for us to move forward,” Pallister said. “I think we should celebrate our country but celebrate it with its warts too.”

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said he will celebrate Canada Day with his family, but not without reflection.

“I’ll also be taking a moment to pause and reflect on how we can strengthen our community and live up to those ideals that we all hold dear,” said Bowman.

 

Yet compared to those 2 replies, Trudeau’s seems not half bad.

1.) To Brian Pallister (Manitoba’s Premier):

I’m not sure that even I approve of viewing a cultural genocide as a wart to be celebrated. Oy vey.

Let’s acknowledge this dark past and push for solutions to help make things right for everyone affected. There is a time and a place for noting celebrations, but this isn’t it.

2.) To Brian Bowman (Winnipeg’s Mayor):

Frankly, what does that even mean? We will celebrate Canada day, but not without reflection?

I suppose I should extend the same consideration to these 2 that I gave Trudeau. Though I suspect Brian Bowman would likely be more apt to cancelling Canada Day festivities than our conservative Premier, I can also imagine the backlash that such a decision would cause. With everyone already being on edge about the province being in code red since last October . . . oh boy!

Nonetheless, the 3 takes still instill disappointment.

This concludes the CTV article, and my take on this really.

Having no interest in patriotism, to begin with, I am open to whatever decision my (and any) community comes to in regards to this matter. If celebrations (Covid regulations permitting of course) are to go forward, fine by me. If it is decided that the opposite should occur, also fine by me. After all, no one can stop individuals and families that want to celebrate from doing so. And no one can stop people from protesting the celebration of Canada Day at this time.

 

 

 

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