Pride and Prejudice: the 147 years of Canada
What started off as a seed planted by the British, has now blossomed into one of the worlds largest and most powerful nations. During the uprising of Canada, the now powerful nation has encountered many defining moments in its 147 years of existence. on July 1st, 1867 British North America underwent the birth of a new nation, Canada. Throughout the years, Canada has seen the world shift in many ways. It experienced World wars, the Baby Boom, The birth of the UN, and most recently the problems with the Middle East, and these are just a few of Canada's experiences written in its journal. Out of all of Canada's experiences, there have been many that have had significant effects on the Nation. The most significant, prideful defining moments of Canada in the 20th Century are The Suez Crisis (1956-1957), The Flag Debate (1963-1965), and The Constitution Act of 1982. While Canada has seen its glory as a nation, it has made some mistakes along the way. As Canadians, the defining moments in Canada that we should be ashamed of are the Canadian-Japanese Internment (1942-1945), the October Crisis (1970), and the Oka Crisis (1990). In the 147 years of existence, Canada was key at making a name for itself about being peaceful, unique and united with its state to form one amazing country.
The first defining moment that could we could share pride in is The Suez Crisis. The Suez crisis was the first issue solved by the newly formed UN. After the Egyptian King was overthrown by newly President Nasser, tension grew between the Egyptians and the Israelis. Meanwhile in Europe, the war-torn areas of Britain and France were using their Suez Canal to make trades and boost Europe's economy. Months later, Nasser of Egypt made the Canal nationalized. Suddenly, series of violent outbreaks and standoffs forced the NATO and UN to spring into action. With so many failed peace-treaties and cease-fires, the problem remained unresolved for a few months. Finally, Fellow Canadian politician and later Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson came up with the Peacekeeper plan. The plan was to send neutral troops into battle. Surely, the plan worked and even won Lester a Noble Peace Prize. This plan by Lester B. Pearson later paved the way for Canada's Future military affairs. The fact that the Suez Crisis established Canada as a peaceful nation is what makes it so important to us, to the point of pride. Lester's plan had and turned Canadian troops into peacekeepers; specially trained troops that are meant to help war victims. Nowadays, our Governments uses these troops in Global Affairs, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The peaceful future of Canada and its Military is what makes this a very important defining moment of Canada. Before this event however, Canada wasn't as peaceful as it is now. Canada used to have a military just like the U.S and Britain. Canada was also racist. As Canadians, we should be ashamed of the intern of Japanese-Canadian. While WWII was going on, Canada put the "Enemy Alien" law into effect, meaning that all races that were associated with the Axis Powers would be taken into custody. The Japanese-Canadians in the West coast suffered greatly, ad the Government thought that they were spies that would lead Japan into destroying coastal cities like Vancouver. This law was believed to be a hoax, as most Japanese-Canadians were born in Canada, and were even publicly announced to not create problems. The Japanese-Canadians were actually imprisoned in camps because of their success in Canada. The Japanese businesses in fishing were real threats to the White people owned businesses. We should be ashamed of this because it was racist on Canada's behalf. It was wrong to imprison them just because of the competition, in fact this is greedy as well. The Japanese were simply better at business is all, they didn't deserve imprisonment. Secondly, the imprisonment is also against our rights. The Japanese in the camps were treated poorly and a lot of them died. All this happened because of Canada's greed, as there was no real proof that Japanese-Canadians could destroy Canada from an inside job (the RCMP even publicly said it). Todays Canada would never do this, and because of this it is something we should be ashamed about. The intern made us look like a greedy and racist nation , and one that was against human rights as well.
below is many articles about the Suez Crisis;
The second most important defining moment in Canada is the Great Canadian Flag Debate. From 1867 to the early 1960s, Canada used a varied form of the British Flag, called the Union Jack, as its flag. In the Parliament, people argued that Canada needed its own flag as Canada was about to be 100 years old. In 1964, The Great Flag Debate took place between the Liberals (Led by PM Pearson) and the Conservatives (Led by Deifenbuncker). Pearson felt that Canada needed its flag to show itself as a nation, while The Conservatives felt that Canada needed the Union Jack to keep its ties to Britain. In the end, The final design for the "Red Maple Leaf" flag was made and on February 15th, 1965, the flag was hung outside of the Parliament building. This is a defining moment because it was one step closer to defining Canada as its own nation. The Flag gave us our own symbol globally, so that we could be distinguished as Canada. Without the flag, we might still be hanging the Union Jack outside our buildings. The Canada flag symbolizes our heritage and what it is to be Canadian, and because of its step to distinguishing us as a independent and powerful Canada, it is one of our defining moments that we should take pride in. Now that were on the same topic, Canada has experienced another case involving its independence. A defining moment of which we should be ashamed of is the October Crisis (1970). The united nation we are today was once separated by two cultures; the French and the British. While Canada was trying to enter its final step into becoming its independent nation, constant conflict with the Quebecois was pushing them down. Quebec's strive for independence from Canada lead to the creation of the LFQ, a terrorist type group specializing in many forms of martial arts and combat. After several kidnappings and violent outbreaks, Prime Minister Trudeau issued the war measurements act; the law that had us stripped from our rights. Its shameful that we had to have our rights taken away to stop problems that could have solved with words. In this period, many innocent people had died and been arrested all because the Government couldn't seek the peace between them and Quebec. Its really ignorant that Canada had to stoop so low to hopefully solve the conflict. Also, the act didn't even prove successful. James Cross ended up dying, and for years to come Quebec was still striving for its independence. Due to its harsh actions of stripping Canadians of their rights, and because of its lack of success, the October Crisis is a defining moment that we should be ashamed of. By the end, we ended up hearting our fellow Canadians. Whether you choose to take that as Treason or Civil-War type actions, it is wrong to hurt our kind.
below is a picture of the modern day Canada flag;
Below is a picture of the flag Canada used to identify itself before 1965, the Union Jack
The finally defining moment that we should take pride in is the act that brought home the bacon; the Constitution Act of 1982. Before the Constitution act, all laws and rules for Canada were sent to approval to Britain, who at the time had our Constitution. Finally in 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau brought our constitution home, although with issues from Quebec and some of the other provinces. This is an important, and prideful defining moment in Canada's history for two reason. One reason is because it finally made Canada an independent nature. As of that moment, Canada was in full control of its rules and its territory. Without the Constitution of 1982, we would still be a largely based British colony. We should feel pride in what Trudeau and all the previous valiant Canadians fought for to make Canada a large and prosperous nation. Secondly, the constitution introduced us our rights. Without these rights, we wouldn't have so many different races of people living in harmony now in modern Canada. Its the rights that are keeping us from going into apartheid, or separatism like the Koreas. We should be proud that our rights are keeping us safe and from being persecuted like in other countries like Iraq, where the rights of people don't mean anything. For the fact that the constitution brought us our independence and our human rights, the Constitution Act of 1982 is one of Canada's most important defining moments that we should take pride in. However, later on in the 90s, Canada was tested on its ways of placing laws and struggling. Finally, the final defining moment of Canada that we should be ashamed of is the Oka Crisis. Ideally, the issues with the aboriginals of Canada have led on since before Canada's existence, however Canada being a peaceful nation should have solved the issue and not fall back to weaponry. It started when the Government wanted to construct a golf course just outside the town of Oka, Quebec. The golf course would have interleafed with a Mohawk burial ground, so the Mohawk people were quick to protest. shortly after, violence grew and by the end of the summer, the armed Mohawk warriors were face to face with a fully armed Canadian Army. This is Something to be ashamed of because we almost went to war with our own people, over some land that rightfully belonged to the Mohawk. Its like taking something away from people who work so hard to get their needs. Its heartbreaking, and cruel. It wasn't right for the government to do that, they didn't have to almost go to war. In this case, You can compare the Canadian Government to the Black Hand of Serbia. Like the Black Hand, The Government tried to take land away from another kind of people through the use of violence. It is really a shame that Canada had to stoop so low, to the point of almost being terrorist-like, to take land that isn't theirs (technically). Because we almost raged war against the people who originated Canada and because of the lost of respect for the rights of the natives, we should be ashamed of this defining moment in Canada's History.
below is a picture of the Queen and PM Trudeau signing the Constitution Act of 1982
Below is a picture where a Canadian soldier is face to face with a Mohawk warrior
Canada isn't the oldest nation, but it is one with a rich and unique history. Canada has seen war first hand, seen diseases kill thousands of people, and even evolved from the "Book-Print Era" to the "Technologic Era", directly from the words of Canada's famous philosopher, Marshal McLuhan. In Canada's 147 years of history has spawned many successful people, all in a way contributing to our heritage. Without Canada, things like Insulin or SNL would not exist. Canada is a peaceful nation, a large one, and one who is not afraid to fight. In conclusion, The 3 most important defining moments for Canada that we should feel proud of are The Suez Crisis, The Great Canadian Flag Debate, and The Constitution Act of 1982, because they developed us as a peaceful nation. A nation that is uniquely its own, and free as a large superpower in the world. Despite our power, we made mistakes with things like the October Crisis, the Oka Crisis, and even when we interned Japanese-Canadians. These acts are truly things to be ashamed of. 147 years later, Canada is a large superpower in the world, a free nation that welcomes people of all kinds, and a true peacekeeper. We owe our beautiful nation to those noble Canadian men like Tommy Douglas for giving us healthcare, Lester B. Pearson for giving us our peaceful rep, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau for making us an independent nation. Despite our wrong doing, us Canadians should truly feel proud of Canada. Our job as Canadians is to continue the legacy that the great Canadian men made, so that our Canada can move further and further into the bright future.
To end this long essay, is a video on what it means to be Canadian