Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is marking Canada Day by calling on Canadians to take part in virtual celebrations while reflecting on the country’s success in tiding COVID-19.
“The last few months have been difficult for all Canadians, but throughout this pandemic, we have been there for one another,” Trudeau said in a statement on Wednesday (July 1).
“We are neighbours helping neighbours, small businesses being there for their communities and their staff, Armed Forces answering the call to help protect our most vulnerable, and doctors and nurses keeping our families healthy. Because that’s what it means to be Canadian.”
The national holiday has taken a different tone this year as the pandemic disallows for large gatherings while 2020 has quickly become one of reckoning for systemic racism both in Canada and across the 49th parallel.
In Vancouver, an anti-Canada Day march is set to start Wednesday afternoon outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The event is being hosted by Idle No More, an Indigenous-led group, and intend to “gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian State.”
According to the Facebook event, roughly 600 people say they plan to attend.
In his statement, Trudeau said that “Canada’s success is because of its people,” particularly those who strive to make the country a place of peace, equality and compansion.
“People who know that, only together, we can build a better country, where every senior has a safe place to live, and where we say no to racism, injustice, and hate,” he continued.
“A country where we understand that our work to ensure everyone has an equal and fair chance at success is never finished.”
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.