Sunday, 8 July 2007

Happy Belated Canada Day!

I know it is a week late but I was out of town exploring the beautiful landscape of rolling hills and many lakes that characterize southern Ontario.

Canada Day, of course, falls on July 1 of every year. It is on this day that we celebrate the birth of our country because Canada was officially founded as a nation on July 1, 1867 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island via the British North America Act. July 1 is also the day when everyone in this country waves the Canadian flag and proudly calls themselves Canadian. They then spend the next 364 days flying the flags of other countries and proudly remind everyone that they are from somewhere else. They are Canadian but not Canadian. Makes sense to me I guess.

Canada was initially referred to as the Dominion of Canada and Canada Day was initially called Dominion Day. The Kingdom of Canada was first proposed because, although Canada was made a sovereign Confederation of provinces in 1867, it was independent from the British Empire in a limited capacity and it seems Canadians liked it this way. Kingdom of Canada was dropped, however, because John A. MacDonald, and the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Derby concurred that such a name was provocative to Canada’s southern neighbour.

So Dominion was chosen. Why Dominion? One story has it that it was taken from Psalm 72:8 in the Bible which reads, in reference to God:

May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The more plausible reason is that Dominion was in reference to “British dominions beyond the seas,” such as New Zealand and Australia.

Dominion was eventually lost and Canada is now known formally and officially as Canada.

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