Canada Day

by MW Cook

They say that Canadians are not patriotic. I guess that’s because we get compared to our American neighbours. Have you ever been to an American July 4th celebration? Kinda scary. Like … rabid.

But while I’m not the type to paint my face in the national colours or chant in the streets every time we kill an enemy, I still love Canada. And for lots of reasons.

  • Pluralism. More than any other country I’ve been to, we tolerate each other. Muslim, Hindu, Christian, we generally get along here. You worship trees? Come on over for dinner anyway. You voted for the communist party? I think that’s strange, but let me buy you a beer anywho. The only thing we don’t really tolerate is intolerance, I think. And I can live with that.
  • Spelling. Ah, the blessed letter U. Colour! Favourite! Neighbour! My spell-checker is trying to throw red underlines on all these words, but it just doesn’t understand.
  • Global Rep. We’re so well-liked across the world that Americans are sewing our flag onto their backpacks. I got great comments when I lived in Pakistan. “You American?” “No, Canadian.” “Ah! You don’t hate Muslims!” “No. No I don’t.” The joys of not throwing ourselves into every war.
  • Tim Hortons. Double-doubles and Timbits for everyone!
  • The Land. The Rockies. Temagami. The East Coast. It’s a seriously pretty place we’ve got. And, at least more than most countries, we seem to care about it. Not as much as we should, but we’re getting there.
  • Multiculturalism. Salwar Kameez and Karahi are as Canadian as blue jeans and hamburgers. I delight in the fact that so many different people with different ideas and cultures and backgrounds can get together in a wild country like ours and live in peace. It allows a sheltered white boy like me to learn from the combined cultural democracy of the entire human race, because the entire human race lives next door.
  • Social Benefits. The average Canadian was scratching their head when the Americans were yelling about public health care. Because, seriously, public health care rocks. Whatever abuses of the system there are, as one who has been on the receiving end, I contend they are worth it.
  • Food. What other nation has the guts to get fries, deep-fried in oil, and smother them in cheese curds and gravy? What tastes sweeter than fresh, hot Beaver Tails? Nothing. That’s what.
  • Eh. We actually say it.
  • It’s my place. What can I say? I fell in love with a darker country across the sea. It’s true, Pakistan is my lover. But Canada, Oh Canada, you are my mother. You are my comfortable place. My warm, gentle place. You’ve molded me in wild ways and I wouldn’t trade my Canadianism for anything. When I finally leave you, I’ll be taking you with me. Thanks, Canada.

What do you love about Canada?