Summer Greetings and Reflection on Canada Day
July 1st is Canada Day, the first day of the long weekend that starts off summer and provides us with a chance to enjoy time with family and friends. We have all endured a long, cold winter and very wet spring and have been rewarded with the start of our beautiful Manitoba summers. There have been many challenges over the past two years, and looking back at what we have accomplished, we can be proud. We deserve the opportunity to disconnect from work and enjoy our time.
Canada Day for many is an opportunity to celebrate our life in this nation and the rights and freedoms that we have worked hard to secure for ourselves and our fellow citizens. We also need to be respectful of Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis and their role in Canadian history. Our country was built on land its original inhabitants did not formally relinquish. Acknowledging this truth allows us to recognize the historic wrongs that continue to have an impact today.
To celebrate respectfully, I find wisdom in a quote from federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh from 2018 where he said “We cannot mark this day without a solemn and respectful acknowledgement of our history if we are to truly move towards reconciliation and justice. On this Canada Day, let us celebrate the values we continuously aim to aspire to, while remembering the past and committing to working for a brighter future for all.”
In working towards that brighter future, we acknowledge the historic injustices, but we must also be aware of current assaults on the rights and freedoms we value today. Unions and their members have been at the forefront of protecting the rights of workers and citizens in their communities. I encourage AESES members to stand up for the values they feel are important, share their voices and participate in making a difference.
I wish everyone a great and rejuvenating summer.