During Canada Day and Independence Day week I had the opportunity to spend time in both countries. Coincidentally I was in the U.S. on Canada Day and in Canada for Fourth of July. I’m not breaking any news here but there are big differences between the two countries.
For my syndicated radio shows I was in San Francisco covering their Pride festival. It happened over Canada Day long weekend. The safety and security information I got beforehand made me realize I wasn’t in Kansas anymore… well, Canada. (Humour me on that Wizard of Oz reference.)
With an estimated 1 million people in attendance, it was believed the Pride festival could be the perfect target for an attack. By now we know what that means, right? Being a Canadian, that potential risk of danger had never crossed my mind. Seriously. At no time — until I read the security info — would I have thought to take extra precautions while attending the event.
On July 4, when I saw the patriotic festivities on TV from Washington, D.C., I was also taken aback by the level of security when President Trump was celebrating with his country. Trump addressed the revellers from behind incredibly thick bullet-proof glass. I realize that isn’t new for a president to do but it did seem out of place at an event when he’s celebrating his country that he’s supposedly making great again.
I flashback to images of Prime Minister Trudeau at Pride events where he’s freely walking through the streets and posing for photos and not seemingly locked in a glass box for security. (Would I ever expect to see Trump at a Pride parade? Probably not.)
When I attend major events, never am I scoping out the scene to see where the nearest exit is in the event of an emergency. I’m not eyeing people for suspicious behaviour in an attempt to thwart their misdeeds. Is that naive of me? Is it the Canadian in me? Is it a little of both? Is it neither?
The big takeaway I had following the week of two countries celebrating is that we have it pretty good in Canada and every day I am proud to be a Canuck.