Answer: The visionary seventh
Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who served in office
from 1896-1911, said that the 20th century would belong to Canada. In
retrospect, Laurier’s far-sighted prediction was fulfilled.
Those who live in this blessed country enjoy three distinct advantages.
First, although Canada is not without its serious socio-economic
problems when we consider, for example, widespread urban poverty, and
the plight of the first nations peoples, nevertheless our country
enjoys a high standard of living and enviable quality of life.
Second, since the Second World War, Canada has become a safe haven that
has been largely spared the scourge of war and terrorism. This good
fortune cannot be overestimated.
Canadians can travel freely from coast to coast without having to
experience the disruption and disaster of checkpoints and conflict
zones due to ethnic, political or sectarian attacks.
Third — and this feature is most promising from a spiritual point of
view — Canada holds the potential for becoming a model for a diverse,
but harmonious world society.
Through our common shared experience, our ethnic diversity is
validating the concept of “unity in diversity,” a concept that has
existed since the inception of the Bahá’í Faith in 1844. This unity
will no doubt continue to be challenged.
It becomes vitally important, then, to seek and find points of cultural
and religious convergence and commonality, rather than accentuating the
features in our cultural mosaic that are liable to create dissension
‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), the son and successor of the Prophet-Founder,
Bahá’u’lláh, visited Montreal in 1912, during a two-year teaching tour
(1911-1913) to western Europe and North America. In his writings,
‘Abdu’l-Bahá made some remarkable predictions about the future of
Canada: “The future of the Dominion of Canada, however, is very great,
and the events connected with it infinitely glorious. It shall become
the object of the glance of providence, and shall show forth the
bounties of the All-Glorious ...
Again I repeat that the future of Canada, whether from a material or a
spiritual standpoint, is very great. Day by day civilization and
freedom shall increase.” Although his words have already proven true,
somehow Canada’s future greatness still awaits