Now that we are around the time that we traditionally call Canada Day, I will share a thought that developed when I was a teacher in a former life. I used to teach Social Studies and suggested to my students that Canada just might be the most successful multi-cultural experiment in the world. Of course, that was before the rise of anti-Asian racism, before the Black community related their encounters with discrimination, before hatred toward Muslims, and before all the issues related to Indigenous schools became headline news.
Do I still hold to the idea that Canada is a successful multi-cultural experiment? I do. Recently I strolled through Green Point Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon and witnessed Muslims playing a forms of baseball with a stick and beach ball. There was a profusion of other ethnic groups enjoying themselves – it looked like there were Chinese, Korean, Indian, Hispanic and even a few white people, like me.
When I was teaching in Calgary, I realized that many of the immigrants I got to befriend had come to Canada because they wanted a safe, accepting place to raise a family. During my time on this earth, I have befriended refugees from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, El Salvador and possibly other dangerous places to live. I have worked with and enjoyed the company of many Indigenous individuals.
While there are those that have unfortunately experienced negative interactions, many have found Canada and Canadians to be the kind of people that are willing to embrace all people from all parts of the world. I will fly my Canadian flag proudly on Canada Day.
Harrison Hot Springs