Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canada's 143rd, Happy Birthday Canada!

Today is July 1st, Canada's birthday.  As we celebrate with family and friends barbecuing, picnicking, festivals,and fireworks, we need to remember a little history. Canada Day what we call it now was originally called "Dominion Day."  Our Fathers of Confederation when drafting the British North America Act were deciding what to call the new union.  One of our founding Fathers,Sir Leonard Tilley had suggested it be named the "Dominion of Canada."  Here's a little back round of how he came up with it:
In December 1866, the Westminister Conference finalized the details of the British North America Act, which Tilley helped to write. Tilley’s best-known contribution, though, came when discussing a name for the new union. A letter written by Tilley’s son describes how the Dominion of Canada came into being:
When the fathers of Confederation were assembled discussing the terms and conditions of Confederation and the drafting of the British North America Act there had been considerable discussion the day before and many suggestions as to what the new United Canada should be called, and no conclusion had been reached. The discussion on the name stood over until the next day. The next morning, as was Sir Leonard’s custom, he read a chapter from the Bible, and that particular morning he read Psalm Seventy-two. When reading verse eight of the said Psalm—He shall have Dominion also from sea to sea—the thought occurred to him, what a splendid name to give Canada. When he went back to the sitting of the convention that morning he suggested the word “Dominion,” which was agreed to, and Canada was called the “Dominion of Canada.”
A letter signed by John A. MacDonald explained to Queen Victoria that the name was “a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to uphold.”
The British North America Act came into force by royal proclamation on July 1, 1867.  From there on in you had the "Dominion of Canada" therefore every July 1 we celebrated "Dominion Day" until it was changed in 1982. How did the name get changed? Here is a  brief history.
At 4 p.m. on a Friday - July 9, 1982 -the House of Commons met with only one item on the agenda: Bill C-201, a private member's bill to change the name of the July 1 holiday from "Dominion Day" to "Canada Day."
About a dozen of the 282 members the House showed up for work, which presented a procedural problem: A quorum of at least 20 members is required to conduct business, so, officially, no bills could be passed. Nevertheless, Bill C-201 was given second and third reading. At 4:05 p.m., our hard-working representatives called it a day.
Some want to change it back to Dominion Day such as this Facebook group, even though I don't think there is much of an appetite.  I personally prefer Dominion Day over Canada Day because it's a remembrance and  celebration of our  history much like the Americans and their July 4, Independence Day, it's their  history.  It remembers and celebrates the day they gained their independence from England and became a republic. 
  Enough with the history lesson, in any case,what's most important, is that we live in the greatest country on the planet.  For that, let's count our blessings! 
God Bless our Prime Minister and God Bless Canada!  Happy Birthday Canada!

BTW. Bluelikeyou has the PM's annual Canada Day message, enjoy!