Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is Canada Day, celebrating the formation of the country back in 1867.
I live in Michigan, but not near enough to the Canadian border for it to be a significant presence. So why do I know it's Canada Day? Baseball, of course. Every July 1, the Blue Jays play an afternoon game, even on days when everyone else is playing at night. (Well, at least on years when they're at home that day.) I first noticed it a few years ago when I started subscribing to MLB radio broadcasts through MLB.com. This year's game is against the Cleveland Indians, which makes it especially interesting since they've won 15 games in a row.

There was a good amount of ceremony pre-game, much like you'll see at all the USA stadiums on Monday for the 4th of July. Giant Canadian flag in the outfield, various armed services members doing the national anthem and presenting the flag, and even several members of the Canadian Olympic team introduced on the field. They also showed a list of all the Canadian players around MLB, and it was pretty long. Not all the kids in Canada are growing up to play hockey!

I'd never really looked at the history of how Canada was formed, so I figured today was a good time to at least read the Wikipedia page. Almost 100 years after the American Revolutionary War, Canada became an independent county through the British North America Act of 1867 (now called the Constitution Act). There wasn't a war involved, although there had been uprisings 30 years earlier which started the process that eventually led to independence. Unlike the USA, Canada stayed in the British Commonwealth. There's never been a civil war in Canada like the USA's War Between the States, but the province of Quebec has had a couple of referendums on secession. Neither was successful, and Quebec seems to be content to stay as part of Canada for the time being.

My personal experience with Canada is fairly limited, just a few visits over the years. Most notably, I went up to Toronto for LASIK eye surgery way back in 2000, when it was still a fairly new procedure. My eye doctor here in the USA recommended that I make the trip since the doctors there had much more experience with the process, and it worked out great.

Happy birthday to our neighbors to the north! May the Canada Day celebrations be safe, plentiful, and a whole lot of fun.

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