Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Oh, Canada.



Since my blogging hiatus of over a week, Canada has celebrated two national holidays: La Fête Nationale in Québec and Canada Day, a week later all over the country. These staples of the Maple Leaf’s calendar should be used to examine one’s identity. I will forever be grateful to my parents for having chosen Canada as their new home, 40 years ago. This country that is mine, is one of acceptance, justice, equality and of opportunity. But as the debate on the integration of new immigrants heats up, I’ve questioned myself in the role Canada must play in carving and keeping its identity. I think it is wrong to punk out to the demands of one or two individuals who request special treatments in schools or workplaces, pissing off an always tolerant majority. It is neither wrong nor racist to promote a country’s traditions, beliefs and languages and I think Canada needs to stand up. There’s a difference between cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism. The first one accepts you for who you are and the second tolerates you with no real desire to have you fully integrate.

As a nation, we need to decide who we are and need to be able to collectively identify to more than maple syrup, the Stanley cup, Cirque du Soleil and Céline Dion. Tell me where you are from, I will tell you who you are.

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