July 1 is Canada Day. the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire. It was originally called Dominion Day until 1982.
This year, it was an extra-special occasion because Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his new bride Kate Middleton were in Ottawa. Canada used to be a colony of Great Britain and many Canadians still feel nostalgic about the monarchy. Technically, the Queen of England is still our head of state and new citizens still have to pledge their allegiance to the Queen. The Governor General of Canada represents the Queen in Canada and has the final authority on whether or not our parliament can be prorogued.
On CBC Radio, listeners were able to share their thoughts on the Royal Visit. One listener stated that he felt that it made no sense to be in awe of people who were only important because of the accident of birth.
This made me think about how my being born as a Canadian, with all the access to resources and opportunities that this provides, was simply an accident and how unfair it is that other people don’t have access to these resources, through no fault of their own. There is no personal merit involved in being born a Canadian but immigrants and refugees have to earn their right to stay in our country.