Canada’s Centennial is more than a year of celebration; 1967 marks an era of crisis remarkably parallel to that of one hundred years ago. Confederation came in a time of general crisis—political, military, and economic. Were Canada and the Maritimes to walk together or separately? Could the young shoulders of the colonies take over from Britain the burden of defense? Would union with the United States be the only solution to torturing economic pressures?

Now, a century later, Canada faces similar problems. The military situation is fairly stable, but political and economic crises loom before the nation. There is deep and complex tension between French Canadians and those of English descent. Canada faces economic readjustment if Britain joins the Common Market. Will it be forced into economic union with the United States?

The vast social upheavals that have helped to bring about the national crisis have contributed to a moral and personal crisis as well. Canada is no longer a nation of farmers and shopkeepers. Most Canadians now live in big cities and work for large companies. Traditional ethical codes are being challenged. Marijuana and barbiturate addiction is on the increase. The growth of crime is outstripping the growth in population, and alcoholism and suicide are increasing also.

The exploding student generation dramatically reflects personal emptiness. While many idealistic students have joined social-action groups, far too many are aimless and cynical. Radio and TV personality Gordon Sinclair, a self-professed skeptic, has said, “I disagree with Billy Graham on almost everything. But on one thing we agree: The basic trouble with our young people is that they have no sense of purpose.”

Sensitive Canadians are concerned ...

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