OTTAWA — It seems Justin Trudeau may need to go back to geography class as the prime minister forgot Alberta was one of the country’s 10 provinces during his Canada Day speech Saturday .
Canada 150 celebrations have been tinged with the resentment and frustration of #indigenous people who don’t share the festive mood, preferring instead to emphasize the country’s oppressive, colonial past — a sentiment symbolized by the teepee erected not far from the stage. And Trudeau attempted to address this during his speech about Canada’s history.
“Our past is far from perfect,” Trudeau said. “For centuries, Indigenous Peoples have been victims of oppression, from the time when the first explorers celebrated their discovery of the new world.”
He urged the crowd to acknowledge the country’s history and confront its reality.
“We must educate ourselves and dedicate our efforts to progress,” he said. “It is a choice we make not because of what we did, or who we were, but because of who we are.”
But his speech included a monumental gaffe: as he recited the names of the provinces, he omitted Alberta — something not lost on co-host Sandra Oh, who noted the mistake after the prime minister left the stage.
Moments later, he jumped on the front of the stage, called out, “I love you, Alberta,” and blew a kiss, before sitting down and shaking his head.
U2 frontman Bono and guitarist the Edge took the stage after Trudeau, acknowledging the country’s reputation for tolerance and consensus-building.“This is your home, and we are grateful guests in it,” said BonoThe two performed a stripped-down version of U2’s 1991 hit, One.Spirits were high despite a persistent downpour all morning as a long line of revellers snaked down Wellington Street, the southern edge of the parliamentary precinct, in order to brave a steely security gauntlet […]
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