For a seventh straight year, Jason Hubbard woke up early yesterday to cover himself from head-to-toe in red and white to become Captain Canada.
“I’ve been called Canada Man, Mr. Canada, the Canada Clown,” Hubbard listed as he made his way through the Halifax Common, his red cape sailing behind him as he used his super powers to put smiles (and stickers) on faces.
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The 29-year-old Halifax resident said he puts special effort into celebrating his country’s birthday because living outside of Canada made him realize just how good we’ve got it here.
"(I) saw real poverty, and when I came back to Canada I was just absolutely amazed at what we have,” said Hubbard, who was a “base brat” growing up in different places. He said as a child he spent time living in Cairo, where he passed a street boy on his way to school.
“I reached out to shake his hand and he absolutely refused to,” he said. “He felt he wasn’t worthy. I was appalled at that because I (was) an ordinary kid, just like him.”
That’s why Hubbard hopes all Canadian kids “see that it’s okay to be proud of your country.”
Hubbard's was one of the flashier outfits at the Common, but hundreds more were decked out in their own Canada Day best, whether they were lined up for face-painting, listening to fiddlers or checking out military vehicles.
Leesa LeBlanc said she brought her family out to the Great Canadian Family Picnic “to have fun and enjoy the day.” Daughter Emily LeBlanc, nine, said she likes Canada because “it’s peaceful.”
From pancake breakfasts on both sides of the harbour to the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Parade through downtown Halifax, patriotic Canadians came out in droves to celebrate the country’s 142nd birthday.
As dusk fell, music and laughter filled the air - until it was drowned out by the sound of booming fireworks. Although there was some speculation the grand finale of Canada Day could be cancelled, the rain held off and a vivid display of colour broke through the fog over Halifax Harbour.