With yet another flag-waving Canada Day behind us, replete with a veritable love-in of self-congratulatory fervour, one cannot escape the uncomfortable notion that it’s a slippery slope from patriotism to jingoism.
National days celebrate historical achievement. The French people gave birth to their nation on July 14, 1789, and celebrate it as Bastille Day. Americans gave birth to their nation on July 4, 1776, and celebrate it as Independence Day.
Canada began its journey to self-government on July 1, 1867, as the federal Dominion of Canada with the confederation of the new Canadian provinces. So let’s celebrate Canada’s birth as Confederation Day or, better even, return to our historical beginning and re-name it back to Dominion Day.