July 1st is Canada Day – not something I ever thought I would blog about. However, I just discovered that Canada, for 2 years running (2018 and 2019) has been appointed the number one country for quality of life. Now, that’s something to be darn proud of.
Canadians don’t typically blow their own horns, but perhaps it’s time we did. I have had the honour of living in Canada my entire life and, as most Canadians, I pretty much take it for granted. I grew up expecting certain things. I expect people to be polite. I expect access to a good education. I expect freedom of religion. I expect free health care.
As an adult I learned Canadian values. We are a diverse country, built on immigrants, and we welcome them. I learned that if you travel with a Canadian flag on your person or luggage, especially in Europe, you are greeting with smiles and genuine welcome.
We’re not always shiny and bright. We’ve had our bleak periods and embarrassments. I am proud of our ability to recognize the manner in which we historically treated our Indigenous Peoples and the humility with which we ask forgiveness. I am proud that in the face of disaster, we will rally to help those in need, both nationally and internationally.
I am exceptionally proud of our nation’s reputation of peace keeping rather than war seeking, its stance on environmental issues and support of human rights. Most recently, in light of the news that some of our neighbours are reverting to archaic anti-abortion laws, I am particularly proud that our government leaves individual life decisions up to the individual. That, my friends, is freedom.
We might have differences among ourselves, but as a country we stand as one. Happy Birthday, Canada!