Protests are planned once again for Canada Day in Kiwanis Park in Saskatoon.
A social media post shows that a Cancel Canada Day event will get underway at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 1 with an opening prayer, followed by speakers at 4 o’clock.
Shad Ali, Project Manager for Canada Day Saskatoon, which has taken over the responsibility of hosting the city’s Canada Day celebrations from the Optimist Club, says he would be surprised if there wasn’t some form of protest held during July 1st.
“One of the beautiful things about this nation that we call Canada is its protection of peoples’ rights and freedoms right, it’s one of the things that makes us a beautiful country, it’s one of the things that attracted me to this country. I immigrated here back in 1976 and it’s one of the things that makes me proud to be a Canadian.”
For the past two years, protests and demonstrations have been held on Canada Day in cities across the country including Saskatoon with people voicing their concerns about the celebration of Canada’s history, particularly colonization.
Last year in Winnipeg, protestors toppled a statue of Queen Victoria at the Manitoba legislature along with a smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ali says he understands why some may choose to protest or demonstrate.
“I know and fully understand that many of our Indigenous brothers and sisters are at the very least, I would say conflicted about involvement in Canada Day (celebrations), some may choose to protest in this way and we have chosen to instead organize what we call respectful honoring of this great nation.”
Instead of Diefenbaker Park being the host venue for Canada Day celebrations, the July 1st events will be held in Victoria Park and at River Landing.