Happy 148th Birthday Canada!
got mold? wants to wish everyone in Canada a happy Canada day! With the wildfires that are currently happening in Northern Saskatchewan & Alberta please check with your town or city office about the fire bans and to see if fireworks will be happening in your community. We have read several comments about events being rescheduled until the bans are lifted and the fires are out.
History about Canada Day
The enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which confederated Canada, was celebrated on July 1, 1867, with the ringing of the bells at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto and “bonfires, fireworks and illuminations, excursions, military displays and musical and other entertainments”, as described in contemporary accounts. On June 20 of the following year, Governor General the Viscount Monck issued a royal proclamation asking for Canadians to celebrate the anniversary of Confederation, However, the holiday was not established statutorily until May 15, 1879, when it was designated as Dominion Day, in reference to the designation of the country as a Dominion in the British North America Act. The holiday was initially not dominant in the national calendar; any celebrations were mounted by local communities and the governor general hosted a party at Rideau Hall. No official celebrations were therefore held until 1917 and then none again for a further decade—the golden and diamond anniversaries of Confederation, respectively.
In 1946, Philéas Côté, a Quebec member of the House of Commons, introduced a private member’s bill to rename Dominion Day as Canada Day. His bill was passed quickly by the House of Commons but was stalled by the Senate, which returned the bill to the Commons with the recommendation that the holiday be renamed The National Holiday of Canada, an amendment that effectively killed the bill.
Beginning in 1958, the Canadian government began to orchestrate Dominion Day celebrations. That year, then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker requested that Secretary of State Ellen Fairclough put together appropriate events, with a budget of $14,000. Parliament was traditionally in session on July 1, but Fairclough persuaded Diefenbaker and the rest of the federal Cabinet to attend. Official celebrations thereafter consisted usually of Trooping the Colour ceremonies on Parliament Hill in the afternoon and evening, followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display, though Fairclough, who became Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, later expanded the bills to include performing folk and ethnic groups and the day became more casual and family oriented. Canada’s centennial in 1967 is often seen as an important milestone in the history of Canadian patriotism and in Canada’s maturing as a distinct, independent country, after which Dominion Day became more popular with average Canadians. Into the late 1960s, nationally televised, multi-cultural concerts held in Ottawa were added and the fête became known as Festival Canada. After 1980, the Canadian government began to promote celebrating Dominion Day beyond the national capital, giving grants and aid to cities across the country to help fund local activities.
Some Canadians were, by the early 1980s, informally referring to the holiday as Canada Day. However, this practice did cause some controversy: Numerous politicians, journalists, and authors, such as Robertson Davies, decried the change at the time and some continue to maintain that it was illegitimate and an unnecessary break with tradition. Proponents argued that the name Dominion Day was a holdover from the colonial era, an argument given some impetus by the patriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1982, and others asserted that an alternative was needed as the term does not translate well into French. Conversely, these arguments were disputed by those who claimed Dominion was widely misunderstood and conservatively inclined commenters saw the change as part of a much larger attempt by Liberals to “re-brand” or re-define Canadian history. Columnist Andrew Cohen called Canada Day a term of “crushing banality” and criticized it as “a renunciation of the past [and] a misreading of history, laden with political correctness and historical ignorance”.
The holiday was officially renamed as a result of a private member’s bill that, on July 9, 1982, two years after receiving first reading in the House of Commons, there received third reading when only twelve Members of Parliament were present. (This was actually eight members less than a quorum, but, according to parliamentary rules, the quorum is enforceable only at the start of a sitting or when a member calls attention to it.) The bill was passed by the House in five minutes, without debate, which inspired “grumblings about the underhandedness of the process”. It met with stronger resistance in the Senate—some Senators objected to the change of name; Ernest Manning, who argued that the rationale for the change was based on a misperception of the name, and George McIlraith, who did not agree with the manner in which the bill had been passed and urged the government to proceed in a more “dignified way”—but finally passed. With the granting of Royal Assent, the name was officially changed to Canada Day on October 27, 1982.
Lobby groups and politicians, however, have occasionally campaigned to have the holiday renamed back to Dominion Day.In 1996, Reform Party of Canada MP Stephen Harper introduced a private member’s bill to reinstate the old name, which was defeated. In 2012,Conservative Party of Canada MP Brad Trost made a speech in the House of Commons favouring the reinstatement of the Dominion Day name.
As the anniversary of Confederation, Dominion Day, and later Canada Day, was the date set for a number of important events, such as the first national radio network hookup by the Canadian National Railway (1927); the inauguration of the CBC’s cross-country television broadcast, with Governor General Vincent Massey’s Dominion Day speech from Parliament Hill (1958); the flooding of the Saint Lawrence Seaway (1958); the first colour television transmission in Canada (1966); the inauguration of the Order of Canada (1967); and the establishment of “O Canada” as the country’s national anthem (1980). Other events fell on the same day coincidentally, such as the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916—shortly after which Newfoundland recognized July 1 as Memorial Day to commemorate the Newfoundland Regiment’s heavy losses during the battle—and the enactment of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1923—leading Chinese-Canadians to refer to July 1 as Humiliation Day and boycott Dominion Day celebrations until the act was repealed in 1947.