The contrast between Stephen Harper’s last Canada Day while in office and Justin Trudeau’s modern travesty couldn’t be starker.
In 2015, Stephen Harper’s government pulled out all the stops to ensure Canada Day 2015 would remain a cherished memory for those who attended.
The day began with an RCMP march through the open streets of Ottawa, with Canadians lining the sidewalks to cheer them on as they proceeded in full uniform.
Following the procession, the RCMP stood at attention, saluted, and fired cannons to celebrate the nation. Finally, the national anthem was sung, with Harper’s family singing alongside thousands of Canadians.
An Olympic gold medalist carrying the torch and the 2015 Pan American Game’s flag-bearer were beckoned forwards before Stephen Harper took the stage to deliver his Canada Day speech.
“Happy 148th Canada Day, everyone,” he began to roaring applause.
“When we look around the world, we see that Canada stands unique among the nations,” Harper continued. “In times of never-ending economic and political turmoil in the world, our country is an island of stability. At this moment in our history, there is no better place in the world to live, to work, and to raise a family.”
“[There’s] no better place in the world than this country, Canada!”
It was a joyous moment, to say the least, and the crowd erupted with applause once again.
Harper then went out amongst the crowd to shake hands, give hugs, and take photos.
Everyone was welcome, and everyone was proud of their country.
However, this year, Canadians are having a different sort of Canada Day.
Indeed, far fewer are on Parliament Hill, with the City of Ottawa installing a police checkpoint at the entrance and leaving the majority on the street to view their Parliament from afar.
Moreover, the RCMP appears to have been absent most of the day, being seen briefly around Parliament and while escorting Trudeau. They haven’t adorned their bright red uniforms either.
This organization has been disgraced since 2015 and is in the midst of a major scandal. Furthermore, many Canadians now have contempt for the organization over their conduct during the Freedom Convoy protests.
It shouldn’t be this way.
Nearby, Tamara Lich, a patriot and hero to many, is spending Canada Day in some dusty jail cell in Ottawa for allegedly violating clearly punitive bail conditions (doled out by a justice system with contempt for Canadians that dared to fight for the return for their fundamental human rights).
The police have also been out and about, handing out hundreds of tickets for violating the motor vehicle control zone that encompasses Parliament Hill, while other officers have been seen confiscating anti-Trudeau material.
The disproportionate response to peaceful Canadians only highlights the fear that those in power have of the citizenry.
Meanwhile, James Topp, a CAF veteran who lost his job for refusing to undergo an anti-science medical mandate, is giving hope to distraught Canadians at the Canadian War Memorial after marching over 4,000kms in protest of the government.
But despite all the doom and gloom made possible by Canada’s most contentious leader in its history, Canadians have shown up in droves to celebrate and to protest, with thousands marching in the streets, waving flags and signs and demanding freedom.
It shouldn’t need to be stated, but it’s unacceptable that so many Canadians feel it necessary to spend their Canada Day protesting rather than celebrating. But this is where we are after seven years under Justin Trudeau.
And even as I write, freedom protesters are engaged in confrontations with law enforcement.
It’s certainly a different kind of Canada Day in 2022.