It Might be Time to “Fix” Canada Day

Between Indigenous genocide and the Freedom Convoy, something needs to change

Jenna Goldsmith


Photo by Guillaume Jaillet on Unsplash

After Canada’s capital city was occupied for three weeks by angry truckers allegedly fighting for “freedom” from the COVID-19 restrictions that were going to be lifted anyway — it was thinly veiled white nationalism at its finest — I’ve been very wary of anyone flying Canadian flags, especially if there’s more than one.

Vehicles with “We are the Fringe” have been spotted in my smallish town. I can’t help but groan at this entitled group of people who seem proud that they act like toddlers throwing temper tantrums.

I was already dreading what might happen at the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st. Apparently, I was right to be worried.

From the sounds of it, “Freedom” fighters will be setting up occupation in Ottawa again and staying all summer. Or, at least there will be a string of protests…

… with an encampment…

… to protest for freedoms…

… that haven’t ever been revoked…

It’s completely exhausting to think about.

On top of this whole thing — hot mess that it is — I’ve already been feeling kind of weird about Canada Day in general.

Since last year, countless unmarked graves of indigenous children who were victims of residential schools were found throughout Canada and it’s hard for me to feel very patriotic.

I was lucky enough to learn about the history of residential schools before the graves were uncovered, but that didn’t stop my heart from breaking. It made me realize, though, how much more education is needed. Proper reconciliation will take everyone, and it starts with learning.

But I digress.

Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I believe that Canada can be better than this. Than ALL of this.

It can be better than entitled white supremacy.

It can be better than vocal angry minorities speaking for everyone.

It can be better than the unsolved cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women.