Demolition Day

The 150th Anniversary (or Sesquicentennial) of Canadian Confederation will be celebrated on July 1.  That holiday was traditionally denominated “Dominion Day,” as Canada was officially called “the Dominion of Canada”—a term which has now fallen into disuse.  The holiday is now called Canada Day, and on nearly all state documents, the Canadian state is identified as “The Government of Canada.”  It is exceedingly rare for a country not to be identified officially as a distinct “realm”—whether a kingdom or republic—apart from its government.  This official identification gives some indication of the current Canadian situation, in which the entrenched state bureaucracies and juridical apparatus are probably more powerful than the elected government.

The two main historical nations of Canada, the British and the French, have an interwoven history that stretches back many centuries before the founding of the Canadian state in 1867.  Confederation may be seen as the culmination of this long history.  The British and the French were traditionally called the founding nations; the aboriginal peoples were included insofar as they were considered under the special protection of the Crown.  The Act of Confederation was called the British North America (BNA) Act, and many Canadians have seen themselves as “British North Americans.” ...

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