1 July is Canada Day, when that great and diverse country celebrates its Canadian-ness.
I’m not trying to hi-jack their celebrations to the cause of British unity I believe in. Still, it is worth pausing for a minute to reflect on how well Canada manages its diversity within the boundaries of one by and large harmonious state – not only with its English, Scottish, Irish, French and native traditions but also those of more recent immigrants, from the Ukrainians spread across the country to the Asians attracted to the beautiful city of Vancouver.
Observant readers might notice that the URL for this blog is not nothanks but mercinon. That’s partly because when I started it the domain name nothanks at WordPress was taken (as I explained here).
More to the point, I discovered that the rallying cry of the Canadian unifiers against Quebecois separatism was Non merci. So, working back to front, mercinon it became, and my very first, brief post had the title No Thanks! – Non Merci!. Canadian unity, during that tense period of Quebec’s own referendums, was championed by Pierre Trudeau, to whom many memorable quotes are attributed, not least
I am trying to put Quebec in its place — and the place of Quebec is in Canada, nowhere else.
We can all see how that could be re-written to the profit of Scotland and the UK. Just as Trudeau was French Canadian, perhaps our next prime minister will have Scottish connections (I state this as a possibility not a preference) and will live by the same sentiment.
Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian relatives and friends.