This year is a big one for Canada. Citizens everywhere are gearing up to celebrate an important milestone in the country's existence - its 150th birthday. From free parks passes to giant rubber duckies, there hasn't been a shortage of spending for the special occasion whatsoever.
But is it all for nothing? It might be; at least, according to two Canadian researchers named Greg and Mitch. Together, they run a self-titled YouTube channel where they post insightful videos pertaining to various topics in science. In their recent video, they argue that this year may not actually be Canada's 150th birthday, due to a few noteworthy technicalities.
The duo explains that what Canadians are being prompted to celebrate is the 150th anniversary of the Constitution Act of 1867, which led to the aggregation of the colonies of Canada at the time with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to create a single British colony. Such is what many wrongly consider to be contemporary Canada.
However, the formation of the most up-to-date Canada actually occurred in 1999, when a referendum vote resulted in Nunavut being split from the Northwest Territories. If Canada's birthday was considered on the anniversary of this referendum instead, technically it would only be 18 years old, not 150.
In support of this theory, they also mention that Canada didn't gain full independence from Britain until 1982. This meant that Canada wasn't able to willingly change their constitution without the involvement of the British government before then, even though the Constitution Act of 1867 was already signed 115 years prior. The aforementioned arguments back the notion that Canada's age is highly arbitrary.
Greg and Mitch take it a step further to explain that "150" actually represents "the colonial trauma that we're all supposed to be acknowledging as Canadians." It has deep underlying connections to the oppression experienced by First Nations peoples over the course of history, and the novelty of the whole campaign may have the unintended effect of silencing that important part of their story. With almost 6,000 likes compared to 600 dislikes on their video, it seems many people (including some Canadians) agree with Greg and Mitch!
You can watch the full video below.