This blog post is light and small like a cupcake.
2017 is Canada’s 150th year as a country.
Sure, the country did exist centuries before, as a collection of different nations of native Indian and Inuit peoples. That memory and consciousness is still with us today alongside with Canada – in their voices, in names of some cities or towns –Mississauga or Ottawa in province of Ontario, Medicine Hat in Alberta, Haida Gwai’i in British Columbia and some road names –Blackfoot Trail, Metis Trail and Shaganappi Trail in city of Calgary. “Canada” is derived from Iroquois Indian word for village or settlement.
Local History Footprint in Older Canadian Street Names
In many cities and towns across Canada you are also bound to find older Anglo-named streets -with names of King Street, Edward, George –reflections of Canada as bygone British colony.
In Quebec and other francophone communities, –Saint Denis and most likely a rue l’Eglise de xxx etc., named after a local church. I certainly can vouch after cycling in various southern edges along provinces over the years –even if I only touched tiny geographic patches of Canada’s overstretched size.
Canada’s history has borne struggles among contesting parties over land, resources of gold, fur, oil, fish (salmon, cod), lumber. There have been linguistic battles over English, French and all other mother tongues (allophones), provincial regional brawls over money and wrestling our position on the global stage as equal player in diplomacy, trade and multicultural harmony.
Cycle Write blog reflects my narrow Canadian viewpoint –of a minion who has travelled abroad several times but who has never lived in any other country. Several decades ago, I did apply for jobs in the United States. I even had a job interview in California.
Most likely, by now, I never will live anywhere else except in Canada. Sure I lack adventure –maybe. I’ll become an old, soaring Douglas fir tree –so deeply rooted and weathered in loveliness against all four seasons of weather. These old growth trees in rainforests of British Columbia, fling out a broad protective shady leaf canopy while at its feet, is a rich ground life of plants, fungus, insects and snails. I’m hoping my enthusiasm also feeds the interest of others.
2017 Global Politics- Cocooning This Year For National Birthday Bash
I value our freedom, attempts to respect each other’s ancestral family backgrounds (despite a few insulting Canadian yahoos and trolls), our clean air, water and quality of life. Now south of us, a U.S. presidential rule, willfully disinterested in health and economic stability for millions of its own low income citizens, it’s just not attractive for me to spend many years below the 49th parallel –the Canada-U.S. border.
To celebrate this year’s birthday, Parks Canada provided free passes to all Canadian national parks ( many gorgeous wilderness parks) and heritage sights just for this year. Over a million people worldwide as well as Canadians, stampeded to its web site and clogged it.
Same thing happened to website crashes when VIA Rail announced a cheap youth rail pass for those 12-25 yrs. old to explore and travel Canada for $150.00 during this July. Cheap but alas tickets were snapped up within days.
Meanwhile Toronto School Board, the largest school board in Canada (over 300,000 students) and Girl Guides of Canada, announced this year, they were not planning any group student trips into the U.S. because of potential border crossing difficulties for children who were born or would have dual citizenship from the 6 banned countries listed by the U.S. government. This is a reality check since Toronto probably has the most highly diverse racial and ethnic student population in Canada. So it looks like more stayvacations for some Canadians, to learn more about what we take for granted or don’t know yet.
So I’ll hold my tiny candle for Canada this year. It’s an immense country where I still don’t know enough but learning every week, something new. Since I only get to celebrate every 25 years or so: A big shout out to Canada @ 150 years.
*Top banner photo features 2 male adult Canadian Geese with their flotilla of ducklings on a river in Revelstoke, British Columbia. Canada Geese are frequently seen near water bodies in southern Canada, coast to coast. It is not Canada’s official bird (loon was selected last year) but familiar to Canadians when they fly in V-formation in a flock high in the skies –either just flying around or migrating on their journey. It is illegal to shoot this bird.
Other Interesting Reading
The Trans Canada Trail will be 24,000 km long when it’s completed. According to this map, year over 91% is connected. It winds a bit in various provinces for primarily cyclists, hikers and pedestrians. The length of southern Canada from west to east coast is 8,000 km. The objective to ensure the trail is within 30 min. where 80% of Canadians live. It’s not clear if that’s within 80% by car or walking to the trail. The ground was struck to build the trail in 1992.