Google Doodle 150th Canada Day - courtesy of Google.
CAIRO – 2 July 2017: Canada celebrated its 150th birthday as a nation on Saturday. On July 1, 1867 the British North America Act formed the present-day Canadian state by uniting the British provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. In order to commemorate this historic event, Canada Day was first established in 1879 as was originally known as ‘Dominion Day’.
Canada was first named ‘Kanata’, a Native American word meaning village or settlement which was used prior to the 16th century. During the 19th century the name ‘Kingdom of Canada’ was proposed, but the British believed that the Americans to the south would not approve of a kingdom associated with the British Empire on their border and the name would damage the two countries’ relations, so the name ‘Dominion of Canada’ was chosen instead.
Although some may consider it as such, the day is not known as ‘Canadian Independence Day’ as Canada maintained a strong connection with Britain and wished to reflect this in its history. Canada began to enjoy increasing independence especially after the World War I when Canada joined the League of Nations as an independent nation.
In 1982 the Canada Act transferred the power to change Canada’s constitution from the British Parliament to the Canadian Parliament. However, the U.K. monarch Queen Elizabeth II remains the Queen of Canada although her authority is largely ceremonial. In 1982 a bill was passed to change the name of Dominion Day to Canada Day
The Government of Canada declares on its official website that Canada Day is an opportunity to proudly celebrate what Canadians have in common and to celebrate the heritage passed down through the works of Canadian authors, poets, artists and performers.
“As we look ahead, we have every reason to show our pride in being Canadian and to face the future with confidence and enthusiasm,” the website states.
Canada is expecting a long weekend to celebrate Canada Day including street parties in Ottawa on Saturday evening with festivals, music concerts, fireworks, and live entertainment shows.
Arabs in Canada
According to the ‘Statistics Canada’ website, the Canadian population has grown from 3.5 million in the first census of 1871 to 35.2 million in 2016.
Canada was the first country in the world to declare multiculturalism as an official policy in 1971. According to the Canadian Arab Institute, the 2011 census data released by Statistics Canada show that 750,925 Canadians hail from Arab countries of origin. The census also shows that the Canadian-Arab community has increased in number from 563,315 in 2006 to 750,925 in 2011.
Egypt held the fifth position among the top five population increases with an increase of 18,375. The total number of Egyptian respondents in the 2011 census was 73,250, up from 54,875 in 2006.
Since 2006, the Moroccan community has seen the highest growth in numbers, with an increase of 27,280 people, with Lebanon as a close second increasing by 25,125. The Kuwaiti community has witnessed the lowest growth in numbers with an increase of only 665 people.
In terms of percentage increases, the Saudi community has almost tripled with a 191 percent increase since 2006. Other rapidly expanding communities include those originating from Libya, Algeria and Yemen.
These trends indicate a growing shift in the Canadian-Arab community’s composition, with the highest growth rates coming from North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Photo 2 Top Five Percentage Increases - courtesy of the Candaian Arab Institute.jpg
Columbia.Data show that the vast majority of the Canadian-Arab population is concentrated in Canada’s largest and most diverse cities. Arabs tend to settle in prominent socio-economic centers, where large and diverse The highest concentration of Arabs is in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, followed by Alberta and British communities provide greater opportunities for successful settlement and integration into Canadian society.
Data also shows that 89 percent of Tunisians and 90 percent of Lebanese reside in either Montreal or Quebec City, with 11,305 out of 12,680 Tunisians and 63,280 out of 70,205 Lebanese settled in the province of Quebec. The diversity of both major cities is reflected as a vital component in the choice of location for Francophone Canadian-Arabs. Similar distributions can be found within Ontario (94 percent of Palestinians and 93 percent of Egyptians living in Ontario reside in its major city centers) and other provinces, further emphasizing the importance of diversity and potential for social and economic prosperity in the settlement trends of Canadian-Arabs.
Photo 3 Arab Ethnic Origin Population by Province - courtesy of the Candaian Arab Institute.