As Canadians mark our country’s 154th birthday, this year’s celebration will also be a time of introspection and sorrow
As Canadians mark our country’s 154th birthday, this year’s celebration will also be a time of introspection and sorrow. We are rightly proud of our country and its contributions to the world, but that pride is tempered by the understanding that we have too often fallen tragically short of the ideals by which we define Canada.
The continued revelations of the abuse suffered by the Indigenous children who were forced over generations to attend residential schools and our failure to this day to ensure that all of our citizens can fully share in our economy and our society remind us that the work of nation-building remains unfinished over a century-and-a-half after Confederation.
Every country has to come to terms with its own history, and that most certainly includes Canada. We cannot undo the past, but we can certainly learn from it, building on its successes and ensuring that we don’t repeat its mistakes. What matters most is what we do in our own time to make matters right.
For the millions of people who have come to our country over the years to escape persecution or just to build better lives for themselves and for their families, Canada has long represented hope and opportunity. That is the promise our nation offers to the rest of the world.
We need to honour that promise for our own citizens as well. On Canada Day 2021, let us commit ourselves to ensuring that all of our people, including Indigenous peoples, are treated with respect, fully share the benefits of this rich land and can be confident of a better future. Only then will we achieve our nation’s full potential.
Hon. Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Chamber of Commerce