Tomorrow is Canada Day. For those of you visiting, especially those of you visiting from the United States, I'm happy to inform you it is, notwithstanding the unceremonial name, a national holiday.
Canada Day is the day Canadians celebrate their, well, Canadianess. From coast to coast to coast - with the exception of much of Quebec, who celebrated St. Jean Baptiste day a week ago, a symbolic holiday to mark the sovereigntists' collective loss of their head and subsequent desire to separate from the rest of the country - Canadians will rise and greet the day with affirmations such as, "Great to be Canadian, eh?" Or, "Woo-hoo, long weekend, eh?"
Canada Day, ironically, comes just three days before America Day, a.k.a Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Ironic because America came first, countrywise. With the exception of the big, western states, the USofA pretty much looked like itself shortly after the carpetbaggers got done rebuilding Atlanta after the country was forged from the fiery cauldron of the War Between the States, a.k.a The Civil War, a misnomer if every there was one... well, maybe not considering they call all those government workers civil servants.
Before I move on with Canada Day, this would be a good opportunity to welcome our American friends and say we, your friendly northern neighbours, join you in your own celebration of Americaness Monday. Of course, we'll be back at work and you won't but at least in Whistler, it doesn't matter because our work is all about making you feel special... again. Just like in the old days when you used to laugh at our currency and believe you owned your banks, instead of the other way around. We still love you, even if the rest of world is once again trying to make up their minds about that.
In stark contrast to the strong union forged in the fiery... etc, Canada, existing as a loose confederation of Have and Have-Not provinces, was busy trying to convince Joey Smallwood, leader of all Newfoundlanders, to join the "Great Experiment" back in 1861, when your Civil War came to a close and the slaves who hadn't escaped to Canada were "freed" to become fully-integrated members of society known affectionately as "ex-slaves" or, alternatively, "undesirable elements." Canada needed Newfoundland for both their limitless stocks of cod and to fill much the same societal role ex-slaves played in the U.S., making even the existing Have-Not provinces feel good about themselves in much the same way ex-slaves made inbred southern crackers feel superior.
But the U.S., being even at that time magnanimous at the grand gesture, let Canada celebrate first when the country finally hoodwinked Joey into joining up. It was a crafty move, or so they thought. Recently unearthed archives show the real reason the U.S. encouraged Canada to celebrate Canada Day three days before America Day was so Americans could come up to Canada on July 2 nd and stock up on cut-rate fireworks in time for the 4 th of July celebrations.