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Canada Day Celebrated, From Outer Space to the Very Soil

[node:summary]Canada celebrates its 146th birthday on Canada Day.
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Aboriginal performers are in the lineup on Parliament Hill as Canada celebrates its 146th birthday on July 1.

They joined everyone ranging from entertainer Carly Rae Jepsen and the Tragically Hip to recently retired International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield, who famously serenaded the universe on his last day in charge with a cosmic rendition of David Bowie’s “Ground Control to Major Tom.”

“Greetings to all Canadians here on Parliament Hill, across our great country, and around the world, as we celebrate Canada’s 146th anniversary,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he stood in front of the Peace Tower in Ottawa, flanked by Hadfield and a number of other dignitaries. He expressed praise both to Canadian troops serving overseas and to the people of southern Alberta who are inundated in floodwaters. (Related: Calgary Center Underwater as Floods Devastate Alberta)

This especially resonated in Siksika First Nation, Stoney Nakoda First Nation, Tsuu T’ina First Nation and the Blood Tribe/Kainai Nation, where floods have overwhelmed the reserves.

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“Originally dedicated to Canada’s victories during the First World War, the Peace Tower has come to symbolize our dearest values, that Canada is not just any country, but a people determined to do right – a fact that makes me proud as we approach the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of our country,” Harper said in his statement. “Compassionate neighbors, courageous warriors, and confident partners, a bastion of freedom in an un-free world, a standard-bearer of goodwill, in a time when too many choose to hate, a land of hope in a sea of uncertainty.”

He lauded Hadfield, “one man who’s who has seen more of Canada than most of us,” the Prime Minister said. “In fact, he has seen all of Canada, every square inch of it. He called him a multitalented individual and said, “He shared his incredible perspective of Canada with the entire world.”

CBC News has the whole scoop on Canada Day here