Happy Birthday Canada! 10 Reasons Why I Love You
Canada is celebrating it’s 150th birthday this year and the Canadian pride in me is bubbling over, so I had to share what I love most about my mother country:
1. The fact that I don’t have to take my wallet to the doctor. The only thing I actually need to bring is my health card. No money owed. Ever.
2. How ethnically and culturally diverse it is. While growing up, I was one of the few Asians in my school (a product of growing up in the 80’s/90’s in a small town), but I was never made to feel bad about being different. In fact, it was celebrated, perhaps in a token way (multicultural days at school were usually just about food) but overall it was seen positively to be different.
3. Butter tarts. Nanaimo Bars. Birthday Cake Timbits. Poutine. Ketchup Chips. Mmmmmm…
4. People are apologetically nice. In the small towns I grew up in, people take their time to open doors for you, greet you, and in general go out of their way to be nice and welcoming. It is less so in bigger cities, which I think is normal with the sheer amount of people, traffic and busier lifestyles. But there are good people all across the country. I’ve lived in 14 different cities in Canada, and I’ve met kind people in all of them.
5. Paid Maternity Leave. 18 months long. Enough said.
6. Quality of Education. Everything from preschool to university standards are high in this country. Across the country, the quality remains high, and it’s hardly a choice of sending your kids to “inner city schools” or a private school. For the most part, public school standards are high, so you can be confident sending your kids to the school in your neighborhood. Universities in Canada are on par with its American counterparts, but much more affordable. In certain provinces, it’s even free!
7. Being A Business Owner. The government encourages local, Canadian businesses by offering tax incentives and benefits for people trying to build a business (big or small) here. There’s also a great economic landscape for start-ups and big companies (i.e. Google, Amazon, etc.) to set up offices here. Lots of great Canadian talent to hire from too!
8. Landscape. It’s pretty breathtakingly beautiful in Canada. Each province has something to offer, whether it’s massive forests, ocean views, pine trees, mountains, clean air, northern lights, and maple leaf trees. Basically, there’s a ton of trees in our country, which is probably why the air is so clean, and it’s being bottled and sold to other countries. I can’t make this stuff up.
9. Maple Syrup. You can bake with it, add it to smoothies, make lattes out of it. Basically, just pour it on EVERYTHING. Also, it’s good for you: it’s full of antioxidants, minerals and protects against heart disease.
10. Open To Newcomers. I was born in this welcoming and safe country, but only because my parents were able to immigrate here during the 70’s. This is the story of MOST Canadians. The only people native to this country are the First Nations. My parents may not have been born here, but they consider themselves Canadian. They wouldn’t trade their life here for the country they were born in. Sure, the steps to immigration aren’t always easy or stress-free, but in general Canada is one of the most receptive countries to immigrants and refugees. I think it’s important to welcome immigrants from a human rights and public policy perspective. Not only does it offer better (and often safer) opportunities for immigrants and their families, it is also good for the Canadian economy/cultural landscape.