Raza: This is My Canada, So I’m Going to Celebrate Canada Day

Written By Raheel Raza, Posted on July 1, 2021

Yesterday we hosted a (socially distanced) celebration in a restaurant patio to have an early Canada Day celebration. There were people there from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Pakistan, India, Croatia, Poland and Canadian-born of course. These people reflected Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Agnostics. There were youth there as well (all faiths) and they were found standing outside the tent chatting away together while sharing jokes. 

While this was not meant in any way to be a political event, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear when I saw how well everyone bonded organically – no push from anyone. 

This is my Canada. 

I read about the cancellation of Canada Day and it saddens me. Ask any immigrant and they will tell you how much Canada means to them. Pitched as a country that time and again has been polled as one of the best countries to live in, we should not shut down the celebration of its inception. To me there is no other country in the world that celebrates differences the way Canada does. 

(Photo from CTV News)

(Photo from CTV News)

Yes. There are problems. The recent ones being the most concerning regarding the treatment of Aboriginal children. It’s a black mark on Canadian history. The history of the world has shown us that injustices take place everywhere and, in many countries, they are either covered up or pushed under the rug because the leaders can’t face the truth. Canada is taking responsibility for their errors in the hope that this will never happen again.

Instead of eliminating history and tearing down statues, we can and should learn from history.

We don’t need laws or bills to create tolerance. Tolerance is organic and we need opportunities to come together, to meet and talk. To discuss and debate issues. Instead of the government giving funding to ethnic communities to promote their own heritage, this collective heritage should be shared. 

Sure, there are tough questions to be asked. There is much work still to be done. When the Office of Religious Freedom was closed down, yet our Prime Minister calls for religious freedom, isn’t it a dichotomy? 

It’s easy to sit in the comfort of our living rooms and criticize but the question we have to ask ourselves is “what I have I done to make Canada a better place?” 

As caring Canadians each one of us has a responsibility to foster peace and understanding which does not come only by sharing my samosas and your latkes, but by reaching out to each other in mutual respect.

I for one, am celebrating this beautiful country that is my home. I hope many others will.


Raheel Raza

4 responses to “Raza: This is My Canada, So I’m Going to Celebrate Canada Day”


    Once again, the incredible and brilliant Raheel Raza has succinctly written what many of us feel about our Canada. For those who want to throw the baby out with the bath water, please stop and reconsider. What has happened to the Indigenous Peoples of this country is appalling, disgusting and absolutely unacceptable. However, to completely undermine, demonize and attack Canada serves only those who wish to destroy it- and replace it with much more sinister and devious permutations. So many people came from so many countries to find democracy and peace here- and we must resist those whose intentions are certainly not for the betterment of our country. Thank you, Raheel, for your courage, your insight and your honesty- all so very characteristic of you, as a great addition to our country, CANADA! Your Jewish sister loves and supports you- always! HAPPY CANADA DAY!

  2. Vishnu Gur says:

    This is my Canada Day too and I am celebrating with gusto. As long as the government of the day is trying to right the wrongs of 100 years and ensure no repeatition, I can not ask for more. The author certainly has her finger on the pulse of Canadians. We need more such opinion leaders to unite Canadians of all stripes.

  3. Sandra Kraus says:

    A wise woman that has given so much to Canada. Your words are always inspiring. Thank you.

  4. Judy says:

    I guess my invitation to yesterday’s gathering got lost in the mail.
    Everyone needs to take a chill pill and not pit one against another. Let’s ensure that we can make this right for our Indigenous sisters and brothers. We cannot forget that this land is theirs and we are all just visitors.