Canada Day is coming up. How do most Canadians feel about it. Just another holiday?
In 1990 Prime Minister Mulroney set up the Spicer Commission, a country wide, federal government forum intended to get citizens’ ideas for national unity. At the time Quebec was threatening to leave Canada and the PM wanted to get opinions on how to hold the country together. He got an earful. Some of the recommendations went into the Charlottetown Accord which was intended to renew the Canadian Constitution. The Accord was rejected in a national referendum. B.C. was one of the rejectors. One of the recommended constitutional renewals was to have an elected senate. I wonder how a referendum on that issue would fare today in light of the scandals. Oh well.
I was responsible for the Cariboo/Chilcotin part of the Spicer forum. Participants were asked, among other things, did they think of themselves first as Canadians, British Columbians, or what? Almost all the people I worked with (several hundred) said they were Canadian first. I’ve been thinking about Canada vs British Columbians lately as we seem to be at odds on a few issues. For instance the Northern Gateway (Enbridge) pipeline is said to be good for the nation, but it isn’t so wonderful for this province. As Premier Clark has pointed out, B.C. takes all the risks.
I am a proud Canadian, but sometimes B.C. seems to be a long, long way from Ottawa. With all its faults, we have one of the best, if not the best country to live in, so let’s be proud and thankful for that and fly the flag high on Monday.
Question. Is there any other event that brings as many people to the city as the Stampede? If so, what might it be? Putting the entertainment value aside, has anyone ever figured out how many dollars it brings in to the community?
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.