YORKTON - While it has always been important to pause July 1 to celebrate our country, perhaps it is even more important for Canada as a nation this year.
Certainly as a country Canada is not perfect, and probably there is no nation which can ever suggest perfection because the views of citizens are so divergent in terms of what they expect from their country.
But, if we pause just a moment to look at our country, Canada is a pretty special place to live.
That is perhaps easier to see from the perspective of the world we are currently living in.
We are just now emerging from a worldwide pandemic which fundamentally hit almost every aspect of our lives over the last two-plus years. While Canada’s response to the pandemic may not have satisfied everyone, if you look around our community and country we fared fairly well although the loss of thousands of lives will always be lamented.
Yes, there are still people freely traveling across our nation to hold an allowed rally in Ottawa to protest lost freedoms, although they can carry out the protest suggests our freedoms are still firmly in place.
Then, if we cast our eyes abroad, we only need to look south to recent decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding women’s rights and carrying handguns to recognize we are avoiding such landmines of social regression.
In Ukraine, we feel for the people as Russia continues its invasion, with a willingness to bomb and destroy even civilian targets as it continues unwarranted aggression.
Canada has not yet been drawn into the war, but it has as a country and through its people, responded with aid and support for Ukraine.
And then circling back to our own community we continue to do what we can to make this country accepting and inclusive for all.
Within the last few months in Yorkton a permanent multi-coloured Pride flag was installed on the front of Yorkton Regional High School.
It might not seem so important, but the flag on the front wall of the school is very much a symbol for students to be accepting of others which of course is a crucial step in building an inclusive society not just in school, but beyond the walls of the schools as well.
More recently, YRHS unveiled a second flag which again is very much a symbol of understanding and acceptance.
A Survivor’s Flag was hung in the hallway just outside the doors of the Anne Portnuff Theatre at the Yorkton Regional High School. The location was selected so that the flag, as a symbol of the process of reconciliation in Yorkton, will be visible not just to students but to the community as they visit the school.
It is part of ongoing efforts locally in regards to reconciliation with First Nations, an effort which included a celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21.
If we needed more reason to mark July 1, we need look no farther than the acceptance of our varied cultures, from a recent celebration of Ukrainian dance held here, to Filipino festivities recently at Sacred Heart at the Pinoy Filipino Festival to Holi festiviie -- ancient Hindu festival, also known as the Festival of Spring, the Festival of Colours or the Festival of Love – held in conjunction with YBID.
So Friday, remember our Canada is a rather special place, and we should celebrate our country with pride.