So the big long weekend is upon us, the 150th Birthday of Canada’s Confederation which gave us our Constitution and our Federal system of governance under the Westminster Parliamentary system. I remember in school the teacher would describe Canada as a Federation, which we are, and also a Constitutional Monarchy, this is why we are the Dominion of Canada. The word dominion was chosen because the Fathers of Confederation did not want to offend the USA with the word Kingdom, in 1867 the USA had just come out of a bloody Civil War, some would argue they are still fighting it today.
A funny country Canada, we are the second largest country in the World in terms of geographical space, Russia being larger. We have borders with the USA, Russia, Denmark and 3 oceans, Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific. Our population is 37 million people and let’s not forget the 6 time zones. At the current population growth rate we will reach 40 million people by 2025. Our largest cities are Toronto at 6 million, Montreal at 4.5 million, Vancouver 3 million, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa the National Capital, all at 1 million pop.
The Native population of Canada is about 1 million people, the Métis are 500,000 and the Inuit 65,000. As a group they are a very young population, whereas the non-Native in Canada are an aging population the largest group being over 55 years of age.
In 1867 our population was 3.6 million, mostly French, English, Irish, Scottish. Massive immigration from Europe in the years to follow would change the make-up of the population and then after 1976 Canada would start admitting mostly Asian and Sub-Asian immigrants and we still do. Cities like Vancouver are majority Asian now, Toronto a close second. Montreal has a greater mix of population, African, Arab, Asian and European.
We do have a lot to celebrate on this anniversary, but mostly Peace and Social cohesion in our society is something that I note. Few countries in the World have what we have. Nothing is perfect in this World but we are OK.
As I write this, I note that today 29 June 2017 marks the arrival on PEI in 1534 of French explorer Jacques Cartier who would claim all for the King of France, Francis I.
Coat of Arms of the King of France and Canada
Coat of Arms of Canada 1867
Coat of Arms of Canada, today