The True North Strong and Free, we learn this as Canadians from our earliest memories, it is baked into the national identity. We are the North. We are strong. But what happens when a people lose their compass? What happens when there is no guide? We all need to know what direction North lies in. We, in order to make a better society, need common values and ideals. Those ideals, when honourable and in the interest of common good, is our North.
The most fundamental ideal that spans all our beliefs is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Another one that is deeply meaningful to us all is that of fraternity. Someone once said to me: “…Let’s all recognize that we share the most basic common background that connects us all, that of being human. If you start there, we are all deeply related right now.” We as Canadians have failed at this within our own country.
The town council of North Hatley would like to take this Canada Day, not to celebrate, but to reflect on our social contract as Canadians, and to mourn. To mourn how we have failed our brothers and sisters of the First Nations. To take a moment and face how the Government of Canada has participated in cruelties that no one would wish upon their children or those of their family.
To make Canada the nation it aspires to be, we must step up to the plate of our ideals and start living up to them. Everyone deserves dignity, respect and support. We believe in those ideals here. We wish to see the Golden Rule applied to all our brothers and sisters of the Canadian family. We believe that people are the answer, and we are committed to making a world that accepts and includes people, together, no matter the shape or colour of those people. We hope that people treated as we wish to be treated, becomes our True North.
That is the only way that we will truly become strong and free.
The Municipality will not be having fireworks this year, and wishes to encourage our citizens, while marking this day in contemplation of what it means to be Canadian, to find ways to help our First Nations people achieve their full potential alongside all Canadians.
We would also like to remind you that the Town hall will be closed tomorrow, July 2nd.