I was disappointed - and embarrassed as a Burnaby citizen - to learn from today's Burnaby NOW that council had decided to cancel this year's Canada Day events due to the discovery of remains at the former Kamloops residential school.
This decision does nothing for residential school survivors and their families, Indigenous Canadians in general, or the citizens of Burnaby. Canada Day observances this year could have been used as a learning opportunity and way to engage people in an informed journey towards reconciliation.
It is also short-sighted to not use Canada Day to re-focus Canadians on what we value and should be striving for. The 2021 Best Countries Report this year ranked Canada the Number 1 country in the world. A large part of achieving that ranking was Canada's concern about human rights and commitment to social justice.
To quote from the First Peoples principles report: "Canadians need to work together in the process of reconciliation, with the goal of creating a renewed relationship based on mutual understanding and respect."
I'm guessing that like many Burnaby citizens, I fail to see how wasting an opportunity like Canada Day observances helps facilitate this goal.
(Name withheld at the request of the author), Burnaby