Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Felt Proud to Be Canadian

I wanted to write this post last Friday before the escalating nonsense with native protestors in Caledonia. I’m still going to write it because it was truly a remarkable feeling. For the first time in a long time I felt proud to be Canadian. I can’t say if I ever felt quite that way before. I’m not talking about patriotism in the rah-rah sense, like I had when I rushed to Montreal for a pro-Canada rally during the Quebec Referendum on Sovereignty in 1995. This was a mature feeling, a sense that Canada can once again become a force for good on the world stage.

It started on Friday morning when I read about John Howard’s address to Canada’s Parliament. The picture that accompanied the article in the Globe's print edition was impressive as an Australian Prime Minister addressed Canada’s Parliament for the first time since 1944. John Howard’s spirited defence of the war on terror was a welcome reminder that Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan have a very high calling to defend our freedom and the freedom of Afghan citizens.

Later, on my drive home I heard how the Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan helped capture a key Taliban leader. I understand that this has not been confirmed, but on Friday afternoon it underscored a tangible success of our soldiers who have been putting their lives at risk every day for the past five years. Previous governments seem to have been ashamed that Canada even had a military, now their service is finally being acknowledged.

I’m sure that I’ll find reason to complain soon enough. But after years of pseudo patriotism and empty gestures like declaring “flag day” and sending out free Canadian flags while undermining Canadian traditions this is a good feeling and I’m going to hold on to it. To quote our Prime Minister, God Bless Canada!

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