In celebration of Canada Day I’m re-posting my earlier piece about why I’m glad to be Canadian. The papers were full of patriotic essays and observations and the one I liked the best was in today’s Globe and Mail, entitled The Canadian in me. Here’s a link and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/the-canadian-in-me/article19391350/#dashboard/follows/
Here’s my earlier post:
Watching the scary goings-on in the Ukraine and the troubles in Syria, The Congo and The Middle East, it’s obvious the world is, never has been and probably never will be a peaceful place. There’s always an egocentric dictator or political group trying to make history by making trouble. These events always serve to remind me that we won the lottery being born in Canada. Here are just 10 of the reasons I’m so happy to be Canadian:
- Seasons. We have four of them and I love all of them except winter. In the spring we get to watch nature come alive again when the snow and ice disappear. Trees explode in fragrant green leaves. Flowers appear through the wet soil and bloom until the snow falls at the end of the year. Summers are hot but serve to remind us how crappy Canadian winters can be if you’re not a skiier. We boat, camp, swim in our lakes and rivers and soak up the warm sunshine in outdoor cafés in three of our seasons. And autumn smells like crunchy fallen leaves with unbelievably beautiful landscapes and crisp mornings. Then we dig out a whole new wardrobe of soft knits, saucy little jackets and sexy not-for-snow-boots.
- Democracy. Our government is not perfect but it’s far better than most places in the world. We have the right to criticize and should probably be more vocal in our criticisms but as Canadians we’re rather apathetic and polite. We get who we voted for and fortunately most of them are reasonably decent.
- Manners. Most of us have them and we generally treat each other with respect and kindness. We are a country of tolerant, considerate, law-abiding people.
- Tim Horton’s. Need I say more. Witness the unending lineups at any Tim Horton’s across the country. We love their coffee, their steeped tea, their drive-thru’s, their maple donuts and an atmosphere that welcomes seniors for early morning coffee talk, hockey teams for warm-up hot chocolate after a game, affordable lunches for workers on the run or just a nice place to sit and read the paper by yourself or catch up on e-mails.
- Red Rose Tea. Their commercial used to say “only in Canada” and while I have seen it on American grocery shelves I don’t trust the exported blend. I’m pretty fussy about my tea and take a little Ziplok baggie of it with me when I travel.
- Universal health care. Thank you Tommy Douglas for getting the ball rolling on this one. Canadians do not have to mortgage their home or cash in retirement funds to get a hip replacement. Again, our system is not perfect, but we are all taken care of when we need medical attention.
- Multi-culturalism. As I look at the intolerance around the world, I’m so happy that I live in a country that embraces our differences. My city, Toronto has enjoyed so many benefits thanks to immigrants from other countries. Not only have these people fortified our workforce, they bring wonderful new foods, customs and colours to our society. We are multi-lingual and apart from a few narrow-minded Quebec’ers, we admire our fellow Canadians’ command of different languages.
- Human Rights. Regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic backgrounds or religious preferences, Canadians are tolerant and accepting of alternative lifestyles, as long as they are law-abiding and polite.
- Gun sensibility. Most guns in Canada are handled only by law enforcement, hunters and collectors. The fact that a few bad guys have them too is a problem we’re working on. I think I’m pretty typical in that I had never even seen a real handgun until this year at the age of 66. It was owned by an American. Thank heaven we have no “Second Amendment”.
- Good neighbours. We’re right next door to the United States who shares most of our values (except gun control and universal healthcare). We’re good neighbours and get along well with each other ever since their failed attempt to invade and annex us in 1814 when we burned down The White House and the Capitol building. I’m pretty sure they’re probably not going to mess with our borders again.
We definitely won the lottery, eh!