12 Most Maple-icious Reasons to Celebrate Being Canadian
Today is the one day of the year that Canadians allow ourselves to show over-the-top pride in our country and our heritage. It’s Canada Day and we’re breaking out our flags, fireworks and barbeques to celebrate.
Ever wondered what is so special about Canada? Here are my top reasons to love the second largest country in the world.
1. We are happy
After all, we are the country that gave you John Candy, Martin Short, Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Shaun Majumder, Tom Green, Mike Meyers, Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy. Officially they say we’re the 5th happiest country in the world — and it’s no wonder — just read the rest of this list and you’ll see!
2. We are peaceful
Canada is a peaceful country with relatively low crime rates, and civil unrest is rare. As well, Canadian Prime Minister Lester B Pearson initiated the UN peacekeeping movement in 1957 and eventually he won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Probably one of the things Canada is most known for, politically, is our universal healthcare system. No matter who you are, if you need to see a doctor, get an MRI, have gall bladder surgery or are diagnosed with a serious disease, you WILL be taken care of. There are limitations, of course, and we still need to have medical insurance to cover that, but I cannot imagine living without our medicare system.
4. The scenery
From the Rocky Mountains to the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Canada has pretty much every type of scenery you can find. There are badlands and forests, the most freshwater lakes of any country, icebergs and beaches, beautiful patchwork quilts of farm land and modern city skylines.
Canada is the home of poutine (French fries, cheese curds and gravy), donairs (similar to gyros), Coffee Crisp (candy bar), and the best maple syrup in the world.
You can thank Canadians for inventions you depend on every day… things like the zipper, green plastic garbage bags, the electric stove, and the telephone.
While our official national sport is actually lacrosse, we are best known for hockey. We began our love affair with the sport when it was broadcast on national radio in 1931 and it continues today every Saturday night on TV. From Maurice “Rocket” Richard, to Wayne Gretzky, to Sidney Crosby, Canada has a proud history full of amazing athletes.
8. Strong economy
I am not an economist. However, it is my understanding that Canada has a very strong economy, evidenced by the fact that while many countries recently experienced recessions and others are currently undergoing financial crises of varying stripes, we remain stable. So stable, that some other countries are investigating switching to the Canadian dollar.
9. Tim Horton’s
The Starbucks of the North, you’ll find this Canadian coffee chain on every other corner from coast to coast since 1964. In fact, there are nearly triple the number of Timmies in Canada as there are Starbucks.
Back in the day I used to complain about the CRTC “forcing” Canadian radio stations to play a certain percentage of Canadian music. Growing up, it felt like we were being forced to listen to the B side. As an adult I understand how that helped to grow our music industry and paved the way for Canadian acts like Nickelback, Bare Naked Ladies, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, and Alanis Morissette.
11. Everybody loves us!
No matter where in the world you travel, people are always happy to see Canadians. That’s kind of nice.
I think this is my absolute favourite thing about Canada. We welcome immigrants with open arms and celebrate the diversity they bring with them to our country. Where the U.S. was always referred to as the great “melting pot,” Canada is thought of as a mosaic.
That’s Canada in a nutshell. We’re not all “eh” and “aboot” and we don’t all live in igloos. We’re peaceful and welcoming, full of diverse cultures, creative and inventive. Today is our day and we’re going to live it up — Canadian style!
Featured image courtesy of Lone Primate via Creative Commons.