Patriotism? Not if our rulers can help it! Calgary and Toronto flirted with cancelling Canada Day celebrations, and Vancouver is doing so again (had been becuz WuFlu, doncha know)…

26 May

Three major cities have flirted with plans to cancel or scale back Canada Day festivities, one on the grounds that such celebrations are offensive:

In the course of just a few days, three major Canadian cities have flirted with plans to cancel or scale back Canada Day celebrations — in some cases arguing that such patriotic displays are offensive to minority groups.

Last week, the City of Calgary announced that it would be officially phasing out its Canada Day fireworks after nearly a century: The city’s first “Dominion Day” fireworks having been staged in 1924.

The reason given was “cultural sensitivities” related to reconciliation with First Nations. A City of Calgary press statement also noted this year is the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Immigration Act, a ramping up of the “Head Tax” that effectively banned all Chinese immigration to Canada.

“For many Calgarians this is a day of mourning or reflection,” it read, adding that fireworks were also disturbing to migratory birds. Instead, Calgary said it would “offer diverse, educational and inclusive programming for Calgarians to celebrate culture and community.”

To be clear, no actual First Nation or Chinese-Canadian groups had requested the cancellation of Canada Day fireworks on their behalf — something that quickly became obvious in the swift backlash to the decision.

“I’d like to know how many Indigenous groups, people and communities were consulted about this. Many of us look forward to July 1st festivities, including the fireworks,” wrote Cree commentator Melissa Mbarki in an op-ed for the National Post.

Late Thursday, the backlash worked: Once city administrators learned that city council was drafting a motion to overrule the decision, they announced that an “aerial fireworks display” was back on. A statement noted, however, that Calgary “remains committed to considering cultural sensitivities while respecting the diverse makeup of Calgary.”

But Calgary’s move was followed by similar cancellation announcements in Toronto and Vancouver.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said this week it would be eschewing a fireworks display over the Vancouver waterfront as part of their “Canada Together” celebration — a culturally sensitive rebrand of prior Canada Day celebrations.

“From programming to the name and theme itself, the details of the day are carefully considered to create a welcoming experience for all people who live in this country,” reads an official description.

Unlike Calgary, Vancouver actually included First Nations groups in its Canada Day planning: The Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations are joint planners of Canada Together.

And the fireworks were not explicitly cancelled on the grounds that they were an offensive, jingoistic relic. Rather, the Port Authority cited “rising costs for safety and security, and across the events industry.”

But the cancelled display means that 2023 will mark the fourth consecutive year that Vancouver has gone without July 1 fireworks: The 2022 display was cancelled on similar grounds, and fireworks were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to public health orders against large gatherings.

Toronto also cited budgetary constraints earlier this week in cancelling a planned Canada Day celebration in Nathan Phillips Square, the central plaza abutting city hall.

While the city would be going ahead with fireworks, an email this week to Canada Day volunteers said that “constraints in the City’s budgets in a fiscally complex year” has led to a decision to kibosh planned daytime events in Nathan Phillips Square.

Although, this was suddenly reversed two days later, with City of Toronto staff saying they would go forward with a cheaper celebration that will “leverage community partnerships.”

But the reversal didn’t come before Canada Day briefly became an issue in the city’s ongoing mayoral election, with frontrunner Mark Saunders announcing he would “immediately reverse” such a decision as mayor.


10 responses to “Patriotism? Not if our rulers can help it! Calgary and Toronto flirted with cancelling Canada Day celebrations, and Vancouver is doing so again (had been becuz WuFlu, doncha know)…

  1. Will S.

    May 26, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Ah well.

    I will still observe Dominion Day, long abandoned by our government in favour of, as KMG calls it, Generic National Holiday, as Canada Day is.

  2. fuzziewuzziebear

    May 26, 2023 at 8:48 pm

    If you asked a hundred people here, I think that only a handful would be able to tell you that the upcoming holiday, Memorial Day, is about honoring the fallen in the American Civil War. Will S. is right. It is always the Year Zero with these people and if it honors white men, it is doubly heinous.

    In happier news, look who surfaced. Notice that he endorsed Danielle Smith and did not say a word about Pierre Poilievre.

    • Will S.

      May 27, 2023 at 4:17 am


      Not a Stephen Harper fan myself, though obviously preferred him over Justy, was sorry when Justy beat him but he’d become far too cocky and complacent by 2015.

      • fuzziewuzziebear

        May 27, 2023 at 7:54 pm

        Did anything bad happen in Canada while Stephen Harper was PM? If no, he has a track record to run on that makes Justin look like a bad guy.

      • Will S.

        May 27, 2023 at 11:37 pm

        Well, he didn’t stop the ratchet effect of social liberalism, so I lay that at his feet.

        He could have overturned gay marriage, for instance, by invoking the notwithstanding clause. He did not. I blame him for that, among other things.

  3. awildgoose

    May 26, 2023 at 10:40 pm

  4. electricangel

    May 27, 2023 at 9:37 am

    I thought we agreed that we were going to call it Canada D’eh. You people.

    • electricangel

      May 27, 2023 at 9:38 am

      This leads to a horrible thought: what if “Eh” is driven out of the vernacular Canadian by all the immigrants they’re bringing in to drive up Canada’s carbon footprint?

      • Will S.

        May 27, 2023 at 5:11 pm

        It already IS much less common than when I was young.

        And all my fellow darkies seem bent on acting like they’re southerners or black Americans with ‘y’all’, the way all Woke black American chicks are ‘so tired, y’all!’…

        ‘Y’all’ seems set to replace ‘eh’, sadly.


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