29 Jun Happy Canada Day 2020
Happy Canada Day! Here’s my top 10 most admired features of this great country. Have a safe holiday, whatever you’re up to.
10) Curve. Flattened.
Unlike the other two nations who share North America, this great nation has largely crushed its brush with COVID19. Just this weekend I was contacted by two Canadian friends who moved to the US for work, only to have instructions to work from home for the next 6 months. Why not decamp to Canada? Plus, we get to watch the endless circus that is the US election year from a socially safe distance.
9) Our turns of phrase.
We Canadians are proud of our local patois. Lately, I’ve been reverting to “howse it go’in, eh?”, which is appropriate for the pandemic.
There’s safety in numbers. The country is still together, despite the general anti-federalism sentiment that bubbles up in the form of calls for separation by Albertans and Quebecers.
7) The winter on the West Coast.
Now that I’m on the other side of the Rockies, I can completely get the desirability of real estate here. It’s mild, green, and safe. There’s no black ice on the sidewalks lurking to hurt the elderly. On the other hand, the resident hummingbirds confuse Christmas lights with flowers, and skiing is out of the question.
6) Breathtaking scenery.
I’ve lived in BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, and every province has its share of inspired naturally beautiful places. In no particular order, my favs are the Rockies, the Okanagan, the ferry passage between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Niagara Falls, anywhere on Prince Edward Island, the Bay of Fundy, the harbour in St John’s and Old Quebec City. Can’t forget the rivers – the St Lawrence, the Saint John and the Bow. Or the lakes – Canada has great lakes.
5) Polite society.
It’s true that Canadians are deeply apologetic. I apologise when I arrive early for a meeting, I apologise when I’m late for a meeting, and I apologise when the meeting comes to its scheduled end. I think it’s because the country is so big. It should be impossible to intrude on a fellow Canadian’s legitimate enjoyment of life, so when we do, we say “sorry”. I like that.
4) Healthcare that works for just about everyone.
It’s taken a pandemic to prove it, but I’m rather glad to be here and dealing with a virus than just about anywhere else. Yes, the system is expensive, it has its faults (long waits for some things, a shortage of doctors in some places), and it consumes a fair chunk of the national treasury. But it generally works.
3) The wildlife.
Canada has its share of majestic critters, which we acknowledge by imprinting on our coinage. We have beavers on the nickel, caribou on the quarter, loons on the dollar, polar bear on the toonie, the mackerel on the 1967 dime, the wolf on the 1967 fifty-cent piece. Every year, though, some poor Canadian gets terminally mauled by a bear, strangled by a big cat, or gored by a randy elk. We don’t publish this fact.
2) The naughty bits.
What’s naughty about Canada? We jaywalk when we think no one’s looking. We feed American tourists high test beer to get them silly. Our Supreme Court decided that if men don’t have to wear shirts, then neither do women. Our legal weed industry is not quite thriving because the illegal industry is still cheaper.
1) Entertaining Canadians.
It’s amazing how many Canadians are entertainers with global renown. Shania Twain, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Drake, Celine Dion, Mike Meyers, Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Martin Short, Pamela Anderson, Will Arnett, Dan Aykroyd, Howie Mandell …
Yep, there’s a lot to like.
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