Archiver > BRITISH-NORTH-AMERICA > 2001-06 > 0993157176

From: "Brian McConnell" <>
Subject: [BNA] Dominion Day Bespoke Canada's True Heritage
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 17:59:36 -0300

Dominion Day Bespoke Canada's True Heritage
Dominion Day Bespoke Canada's True Heritage
By Charles W. Moore
© 1999 Charles W. Moore

I'm not a big fan of Canada Day. Not that I mind a celebration or want to be
a party-pooper. It's just that the name and the thinking, so to speak,
behind the July 1 holiday has been drained of substance and meaning by
political correctness and historical revisionism.
Prior to October 27, 1982, our national holiday was officially known as
Dominion Day, a name that had historical meaning and resonance beyond
mindless "hooray-for-us" sentimentality. Section 3 of the Constitution Act
of 1867 defined our country is "One Dominion under the Name of Canada." In
the repatriated Constitution Act of 1982, the Dominion of Canada remains our
official title, originally chosen by one of the Fathers of Confederation,
Sir Leonard Tilley of New Brunswick, who borrowed the term from Psalm 72: 8:
"He shall have dominion also from sea to sea." The second part of the phrase
appears in our National Motto, "A Mari Usque Ad Mare" (from sea to sea) on
the Canadian Coat of Arms.
The arbitrary name-change was engineered by persons who, for political and
ideological reasons, desired to disavow Canada's true history and heritage
as British North America, even though there is nothing essentially British
about the term "dominion."
I am proud to be Canadian, and I am proud of Canada's real heritage, which
is strongly and irrevocably British. I am proud of the parliamentary system
of government, the social traditions and the belief in the rule of law that
we inherited from the mother country.
I am emphatically not proud of official attempts to rewrite or deny our
history, and among essential facts about Canada are that we were a British
colony, and before that a French colony, and that, unlike our cousins to the
south, we did not rebel against the "imperial yoke." Canadian
neo-nationalists find these facts embarrassing, and have diligently
endeavoured to de-emphasize or even purge them from our historical memory.
The name-change from Dominion Day to Canada Day was underhandedly snuck
through Parliament. On Friday July 9, 1982, at 4:05 pm, the House of Commons
with only 13 MPs in attendance (7 members short of lawful quorum), voted to
change the name of Canada's National Holiday after less than two minutes of
debate. "So was born Canada Day," the Globe & Mail commented, "a name of
such happy-face banality that only a bureaucrat could love it"
By that time, the Pearson-Trudeau gang had been 20 years at their
ignominious project of purging nearly every vestige and symbol of British
North American heritage from CanadaÕs cultural consciousness. Before the
Pearson-Trudeau Liberal era, Canadians (English-speaking ones anyway) had no
trouble defining themselves as democratic constitutional monarchists, proud
citizens of the British Empire/Commonwealth, and as defenders and
beneficiaries of British parliamentary justice and individual liberty. This
was a national vision-myth of real substance and objective meaning.
The slash-and-burn nationalists of course had nothing of substance to offer
English Canada as a replacement defining myth. French Canadians had no such
difficulty, because retaining their non-British cultural heritage was deemed
politically correct. There was no campaign to change St. Jean Baptiste Day
to "Jour Quebec." However the best English Canadians freshly severed from
their British roots and heritage could come up with was the negative
assessment that we werenÕt Americans, and the desperate claim that our
government social programs somehow define the essence of CanadaÕs identity.
A nation whose primary consensual visions are social spending without limits
and sneering at our neighbours, is a nation in cultural self-destruct mode.
Nevertheless, the mid-century nationalists' alarming success at this
misbegotten enterprise has robbed subsequent generations of their real
history and true national identity, and replaced that rich heritage with the
bland, sentimental gruel of multiculturalism.
So don't expect to see me waving Lester Pearson's flag (another piece of
high- handed historical cleansing, just as bland as Canada Day, and rammed
through Parliament under closure) on July 1. I was born under the Red Ensign
and the Union Flag, when much of the world map that hung in our classrooms
was still pink, and Canada was the biggest pink patch of all. We were proud
of our history and heritage then, and I'll still happily celebrate them
privately under the name of Dominion Day. But don't ask me to cheer for the
feel-good snake oil oozing from Shiela Copps' spectacularly misnamed
Heritage Canada.
© 1999 Charles W. Moore
All Rights Reserved

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