Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Happy Holiday

Aug 5, 2013


Today is a national holiday across Canada. Depending on where you live it may be Family Day or Simcoe Day or Natal Day or whatever. What matters is, most of us get a day off work.

In BC the holiday is called, predictably, British Columbia Day and often is used as the occasion for gushing displays of provincial pride. (As humorist Eric Nicol once remarked, BC residents like to think of their province "as a large body of land entirely surrounded by envy.") So in a spirit of contrariness, I offer this essay I wrote five years ago for subTerrain magazine.

Since the Vancouver Olympics the slogan "best place on Earth" has disappeared from our licence plates and our government communiques, but I hope the essay still has relevance.