Thursday, June 19, 2014

Canada's Hidden Heroes

Based on 12,000 online submissions, Canadians selected former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, right, as the country's greatest hero. Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox, seen here meeting Trudeau on July 2, 1980, was chosen the country's Number 2 hero.

Gulp and double gulp. I remember the 100th anniversary celebrations for Canada well, with the excitement of Expo 67 and events across the country. There was that song by Bobby Gimby

(One little two little three Canadians)
We love thee
(Now we are twenty million)
(Four little five little six little Provinces)
Proud and free
(Now we are ten and the Territories sea to sea)
North south east west
There'll be happy times,
Church Bells will ring, ring, ring
It's the hundredth anniversary of
Ev'rybody sing together!
Church bells. How old school. Now we are approaching the 150th anniversary and the feds are getting ready. Apparently 12,000 Canadians chose the Top 10 Canadians in our history and came up with some familiar names. The list was topped by former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, followed by marathon-of-hope runner Terry Fox; NDP leader Tommy Douglas; former Liberal prime minister Lester B. Pearson; astronaut Chris Hadfield; environmental activist David Suzuki; NDP leader Jack Layton; first prime minister Sir. John A.MacDonald; hockey legend Wayne Gretzky; and Romeo Dallaire, the soldier and Liberal senator who recently announced his resignation.

Impressive and familiar, but what do you notice about this list? A bunch of guys, and all white, with the exception of Suzuki. No women, no people of colour, no one from our First Nations. I must admit I didn't see it at first. Do we really believe, nearly 150 years into the life of this nation, that not one single person from any of those groups deserves recognition as a greatest Canadian?

Nellie McClung activist

This Saturday is the Aboriginal Day of Prayer in Canada and Sunday many congregations, including ours, will have at least some First Nations focus. Maybe we should pray that our now 35 million residents have their eyes opened.


Stan McKay past UCC Moderator


Judy Mcknight said...

Do we have any input into whose names goes on the top ten list? Maybe we should start now, to lobby for a more inclusive roster.

David Mundy said...

Apparently they polled people by the thousands, but I wasn't one of them!