Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.
Canada 150 is already ridiculous, let's lean in: Mochama
From giant ducks to 15,000 chicken sandwiches, the folks in charge are willing to entertain even the most tenuous link. Vicky Mochama have some more ideas.
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Ever since the province of Ontario announced that a giant duck is coming to visit for Canada 150, I have felt that we should lean in to the absurdity of all the anniversary events. Every announcement so far has read like an invitation to the worst theme party ever. But the party is being held at our house so we have to go.
Witness, for example, the official launch of the festivities in the nation’s capital. Mélanie Joly, the heritage minister; an executive from the Chicken Farmers of Canada; Craig Kielburger, king of getting kids out of school for philanthropy; and another guy in a suit sit at a table in the Government Conference Centre.
Joly announces a veritable bingo card of Canadian content. The Chicken Farmers state their ambition to serve 15,000 chicken sandwiches in one day, which sounds both cool and gross. Dancing in front of them at different intermissions are the Maritime Bhangra Group and an Indigenous hoop dancer — just in case you had forgotten that colonialism is the subtext of the party, I guess.
It’s not just Ottawa. Across the country, there’s a grab bag of Canada 150 events, from the standard local fireworks shows to a touring red couch.
All of this is meant to serve the Liberal government’s themes: diversity and inclusion, reconciliation, environment and youth. That, too, is a scramble of positive-y nouns. At critical points, we’re failing on many of those themes.
On key issues, Canada does not have race-based data. Our climate policy doesn’t quite square away with our extractive resource industries. Youth face a future of precarious work and unstable housing. The progress on reconciliation is, at best, underwhelming and in truth, entirely counter to the values we claim.
All of which is frustrating and outrageous.
But they’ve worn me down. I’m leaning in to the preposterousness of it all.
Although the deadlines for funding have passed, I have been coming up with my own ideas and events for this wacky party.
• A zipline from coast-to-coast. (Note: the Prairie section is just walking while holding a wire.)
• Make Drake the House of Commons brand ambassador and require him to sit throne-side during question period.
• Send all 14 cardboard cut-outs of Justin Trudeau on an unaccompanied cross-country trip and see which one makes it all the way.
• Grant Canadian citizenship to 150 people who haven’t asked for it. Inclusion!
• Edit every Internet mention that says the border is at the 49th Parallel to say it’s actually at the 47th.
• Free full-back maple leaf tattoos for kids. (This one has youth and the environment covered.)
By all reports, the folks in charge of these kinds of celebrations are willing to entertain even the most tenuous link, and believe me, I have many more.