O Canada!

Today is Canada Day (Fete du Canada)!

Today marks the 145th anniversary of the British North America Act 1867 (now known as the Constitution Act 1867) which is the foundational element of the Constitution of Canada. The Act set in motion the events that have resulted in modern Canada, a federal parliamentary democracy of ten provinces and three territories. Canada is also a constitutional monarchy whose head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.The British North America Act 1867, Canada’s foundational document of self-governance, is now known as the Constitution Act, 1867.

The relationship between Canada and the USA is said to be the most amicable international relationship in the world. That oversimplifies matters. Canada and the USA have a complex relationship. In some ways they are like siblings. There’s a sort of family resemblance, but each has its distinct personality and they sometimes disagree, even virulently, but they never hit each other. At a certain level, these continental siblings have a certain love and respect for each other and find their interests frequently intertwined.

I’ve been fascinated with Canada for a long time. When I graduated from college in 1976, the USA’s Bicentennial Year, I headed for British Columbia for a great vacation. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back to BC since then, but I’ve found myself frequently in various parts of Ontario (the most interesting visit being the time I had to interview a witness in Peterborough–he was in prison there!). For four years, I was the US Government’s representative on the joint US-Canada Great Lakes Fishery Commission, charged with restoration of the once-thriving lake trout on both sides of the border. I met many Canadians and saw much of Ontario.

And then, my interests in genealogy and history come back around to Canada from time to time. I discovered a tangential relationship to a family that had escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad. See Possible Underground Railroad Families Discovered.

Finally, I must say that I quite enjoy knowing and working with many genealogists and historians in Canada and on this Canada Day, I wish them and all Canadians many more years of prosperity and independence united under the Maple Leaf (l’Unifolie).


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July 2012
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