I’ve noticed a strange fascination among Conservative bloggers. They are fixated on the old name for the July 1st holiday, “Dominion Day”. The holiday has been called “Canada Day” since 1982.
Peace Tower, Parliament Hill
July 1, 2005
Here’s an excerpt from a particularly vituperous piece:
- Canada became a country on July 1st, 1867. During my lifetime, the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day (named after the Biblical verse “and He shall have dominion from sea to sea”) to Canada Day. This was part of a concerted effort to erase all ties between present-day Canada and its history; the effort included changing the flag from the Red Ensign … to the current Maple Leaf, changing the words of the national anthem, and completely rewriting the Constitution, among other things.
- America became a country on July 4th, 1776. July 4th has since been known as Independence Day. This has not changed. It would never occur to Americans to change the name – to do so would remove all meaning from the day they became independent from Britian.
- Americans stand for truth, justice, and liberty. Canada used to stand for something but has so thoroughly expunged its history that nobody remembers just what exactly Canada stood for.
Similar sentiments are expressed here:
- I want to mourn Dominion Day. I’ve missed it. Canada Day? Well, I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s never really been much more than “the July long weekend” to me.
Please understand that I haven’t searched for these posts. It seems to be a core conviction of conservative bloggers.
I don’t get it. Contrary to the remarks quoted above, no one is idly erasing history. The whole western world has undergone a cultural shift in the past hundred years or so. Canada is now a multicultural, post-Christian society. If we restored the archaic title, “Dominion Day”, few would catch the biblical reference. If Canadians are erasing history, we do so purposefully; we’re being true to who we are today.
And maybe these bloggers don’t know Canadian history as well as they think they do. According to the Canadian Heritage site, Dominion Day wasn’t celebrated annually until 1958. Before that, it appears to have been celebrated only twice, in 1917 and 1927 (the 50th and 60th anniversaries of Confederation).
If we’re going to slavishly imitate history, let’s not do it by halves. I propose that we restore the old name and celebrate Dominion Day every 50 years.
Alternatively, we could just stick with Canada Day.
hundreds of people who don’t know any better
celebrating Canada Day last Friday