My Post Canada Day Regret

The calendar says yesterday was Canada Day, but my family didn't celebrate it this year. A small part of that was likely due to Ontario still not being very open, so there wasn't much to do. But a much larger part was due to it not really feeling like the appropriate time to celebrate this country while the horrors and evils of our past are being dug up. It felt more appropriate for me that this year be about reflection and mourning, and trying to gain more empathy for and more understanding from the indigenous people.

I also understand there are many people who decided to celebrate Canada's Day yesterday. I'm not going to fault them either. There is a lot of great things about the country and a lot to be proud about it. The timing seemed wrong for me to focus on those things right now as the heartbreak and haunting of the past is stronger now than it has been recently for many groups. But there is little value in judging other people and I am not about to stoke the flames of hate and further the divide that seems to be widening daily on social media and society right now.

My hope is that at least those who did decide to celebrate also took some time for serious personal reflection and recognized this country still has a long way to repairing damage done. There have been apologies and deep regret given, but in order for them to really mean something, there still needs to be a pursuit for more justice and a willingness to really listen to the cries and pain. The past month have proven that this isn't ancient history and the work is far from over, but I honestly feel that a big part of the work is just taking some time to actually listen.

I actually wrote a fairly long piece on Canada Day. It was about the two sides. One pushing for #CancelCanadaDay and the other that still wants to celebrate. I explored how both sides have those that have been aggressive and hostile, and how all the arguing is likely blurring the fact that many of them may agree more than they'd be willing to admit. Or at least, I hope we can all agree that respect and compassion needs to be shown to the indigenous people who likely have always had a complicated relationship with Canada Day, but this year may be even more painful.

I wrote about how I do love being a Canadian and there are things that I am proud about that we've accomplished as a country. There have been some great humanitarian efforts made across the globe and our reputation among other countries is positive. But I had to confess that my feeling towards the terms patriot and national pride has eroded in the past few years. A love for the flag and a sense of loyalty to a country has a toxic vibe floating around it after the last few years of hateful, racist, misogynistic, selfish, toxic and cruel manipulators embracing and distorting things like patriotism, nationality and the flag. I don't know if I'll ever be able to see the word patriot as a positive again, because it has become so polluted by certain groups with insidious agendas in the past several years.

But after writing a pretty extensive and passionate article on my thoughts about Canada Day and the idea of national pride, I left the piece without publishing it. Then a few hours later, I deleted it.

I was scared.

This battle over Canada Day and this bigger war over national pride has just been exhausting. I've witnessed people that I love and respect dig deep into their chosen side of conservative or liberal. It has stopped being a conversation or any willingness to listen, but rather a battle that must be won and a goal to convert the heathen onto their side. It has been all so pointless and negative and nauseating.

The post got deleted because I was petrified of the comments that would come. I did not feel like debating or even discussing. Canada Day felt like a burden this year and I really didn't want to throw more negativity into the stew of sadness that I was feeling. I decided that I'd just ignore Canada Day on the blog and delete what I had written, and then move on with my life.

I was wrong. I regret deleting it now.

The focus on this site over the last decade has shift towards movies, but one of the reasons that I love movies is that it is a creative and beautiful way to explore complex and challenging issues. It is through art that we can tackle so much that challenges our society. This is the reason that I decided to rebrand this site Beyond the Balcony, because through movies we can have conversations that are deeper and more complex than just what is one the big screen. This site will always be about more than just reviewing motion pictures.

My goal on this site isn't to convert anyone. Instead, I want to provide one perspective and deliver my own insight on various things. My value is being raw and honest, and not shying away from revealing my heart and soul. When we dig deep into our deepest truth then that is when writing is at its best. It is done even when we know it will offend and annoy some.

The article was never intended to be the stick whacking away at the hornet's nest. I wasn't purposefully trying to rile up my readers or annoy those with different views. I am just aware that some of my readers have opposing views and that what I wrote was destined to irritate some. But that never should be the reason to avoid writing something that moves us.

Potentially alienating or annoying is the risk that good and honest writing must take. I realize now that it was a mistake chucking that piece into the abyss to never be read by anyone else. I wasn't intending to change any minds or attack those who disagree. I just wanted people to read my side and maybe start a conversation. Share my thoughts and then be open to hear others. The only way to ever fix some of ills and evils is to start listening to each other.

So, I apologize for not having the guts to post yesterday's piece. I can't recreate it, but the article you are reading laid out the gist of what I had to say.

I promise to continue to aspire to be dangerously honest, but also sincere, compassionate, humble and open. I hope that this can be place where good and honest conversation can begin.   


  1. I hear you, I absolutely respect your opinion and admire your courage and willingness to share.


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