There are 196 countries in the world, so how is it that we were lucky enough to be born in Canada? Was it fate? Chance? God? I do not know, but what I do know is that I am one of the most privileged people in the world simply because I am Canadian. If you don’t feel like Canada is that great because we have cold winters and high taxes, just lend me your time and I will remind you how blessed we truly are.
Right now it is summertime. There is a fresh breeze on this 24 degree celsius day with clear skies and plenty of sunshine.
One thing that gets overlooked too often is the greenery we have. Our trees, our grass, our flowers. It seems like such a minor thing, but cold grass on bare feet is a luxury afforded by few outside of North America. Now there is more to this story than just the colour green (which also happens to be my favourite colour). Canada is also best known for our abundance of natural resources, which includes fishing, hunting/ trapping, agriculture, oil/ mining, and (you guessed it) forestry and logging. In 2013, production in the forest sector contributed $19.8 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP for short (Government of Canada). Not only is our greenery beautiful, but it is also useful. Aside from our greenery, the land itself is so diverse, from the rocky coasts of Nova Scotia to the plains throughout Alberta and B.C… I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but I plan to… sounds like a road trip to me! 🙂
Ontario is home to one of the greatest cultural hubs; the city of Toronto boasts almost every ethnicity, sexual-orientation, language, and religion in the world. I am in love with the fact that you can be who you are in Canada. I am a proud supporter of gay marriage and Canada has supported gay marriage since 2005. The United States only just legalized gay marriage for their entire country. Did you know there are still countries where being gay is punishable by death? Canada is great because we recognize all human beings as equal. In my travels I have also noticed that there are not very many interracial relationships outside of Canada. I remember being in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Hungary and not seeing a single ethnically mixed person between a minority and a majority. For some reason I was starting to feel like an outsider and not just a tourist by the end of the trip. It is not a good feeling being excluded for the colour of your skin, and in Canada the number of people who feel that way is minimal and perhaps even nonexistent. Allow me to paint another picture.The vast majority of the world see Canada and the United States as interchangeable and similar in almost every aspect. What they do not realize however is Canada is a cultural mosaic and the USA is a melting pot. This means that in Canada, your nationality does NOT define who you are. You can be Canadian-Italian if you like or simply Canadian. Just look downtown to find a miniature Chinatown only 15 minutes away from the core of the city. We accept everyone as they are and thus we have this beautiful array of people in our country. In the US if you are American, you are expected to shed the majority of your previous affiliations and stand proud and free as just an American ( a generalization but one that does hold truth). It becomes harder to hold onto your roots when you are constantly being bombarded by the American way and wether you would like to or not you end up assimilating. I actually have experienced this first hand while living in Arizona. What makes our nation so amazing is that Canada embodies acceptance for all in almost every form.
Another great thing about Canada is that we can educate ourselves at the library, online, and in school that is free for twelve years! Thousands of people immigrate to Canada every year for our renowned education systems. Because I Am a Girl is an organization that actually taught me about women who are oppressed because of their gender, and they seek to end the rampant inequality in countries like Syria, Iran, and Iraq. In Canada, we see no such injustice.
That is a statement that can really sum up why Canada is such a great place. We have justice. We have democracy. We care for one another through our tax system. Perhaps you may never need to go to a hospital, but would it not be an injustice if you could help someone in need, but decided not to so you could save a couple bucks? We have high taxes, but our elderly are taken care of, our youth who have the tendency to break their noses every hockey game are taken care of. As children we have memories of bubbles, chalk art, bike rides, and sports. Children in Haiti have memories of factory lines, 12 hour shifts, and hunger. Our government tries to keep the gap between the wealthy and poor small to prevent extreme poverty and suffering through programs like welfare, which is paid for through taxes… Even if we do still have people without homes on the street at least there are programs in place to try and make change to help them. We sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture because we’ve never experienced extreme hardship, but we can help just by changing our perspectives… In Canada we have justice, and because we do it is our responsibility to share it with those who do not. I guess you could say it is in our nature to be polite haha
Red, white, and a maple leaf. Canada has one of the most recognizable flags in the world and one that we all proudly carry. In conclusion, I know I personally carry it with pride because the Canadian flag is an archetype for the peace, diversity, acceptance, and kindness of the people found in our country. Why do you carry your flag?