Mayor John Tory says while its important to celebrate the good things that come with living in Canada, today is also a time to reflect on recent events which have shone an unflattering light on the values which make Canada great place to live.
In his Canada Day message, Tory noted that while we have seen Canadians at their best this past year dealing with the effects of the pandemic, the recent discovery of mass graves at former residential schools is an opportunity to learn more about Canada’s history and how we can help advance truth and reconciliation.
“There are many things to celebrate about living in this country and today is the day we do that,” said Tory. “But it is also a day to reflect on the fact there are times, even in this great country, when we lose our way and see things happen which aren’t consistent with our cherished Canadian values.”
“It should cause us to reflect on this day, and every day, how we can bring our relationship with Indigenous peoples into line with how we see our country and how we see ourselves and our commitment to respect and equality.”
Tory said that respect and equality also extends to the increased acts of hate and racism which have been on the rise.
“There is no place in our country for this sad and sometimes tragic acts of hatred against people, based on their faith or their skin colour or their nationality or their sexual identity,” he said. “The world expects better from Canada. We expect better from ourselves.”
We’ve seen Canadians at their best this past pandemic year caring for each other but we’ve also been confronted with the horrific truth of residential schools.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 1, 2021
Flags at City Hall will continue to be flown at half-mast to honour the Indigenous children whose lives were taken, and the Toronto sign will be lit in orange in solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada.
Premier Doug Ford echoed Tory’s remarks, asking Ontarians to take time today to reflect on the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at residential school sites, and acknowledge the impacts of that terrible legacy.
“I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities to work toward a better future,” said Ford.
Ford also gave thanks to front line health care workers who have worked tirelessly to help get the province out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) July 1, 2021