I will not, and vow I will never, call it “Canada Day” without inverted commas. It would not matter to me if every other living Canadian called it that without further thought. It continues to be Dominion Day, in my view: the patriotic anniversary of my own country. God Himself cannot rewrite history; I recognize no Act of Parliament that attempts to do so.
Our own Canadian self-understanding was, from the beginning, more mature. It did not involve self-sufficiency, or self-creation. It only began to do so in the 1960s.
We understood ourselves to be transplants, from the Old World to the New; to have arrived as adults not babies. We understood that without a governing moral and yes, symbolic order — that without the Christian civilization we carried in our souls — we were zilch, nothing. We did not exist in and of ourselves. Even our purpose was prefigured: to spread Christendom in our own persons. When we formed an independent state, our motto harkened back to our true origins. It was: A mari usque ad mare, “From sea to sea.”
Et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos terrae. The passage was taken directly from the Psalms.
“And He shall have Dominion, from the sea also unto the sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” The river was taken to be the St. Lawrence, along which we first settled; the “He” being, unambiguously, not us, but Christ.