It’s Canada Day!!

I’ve lived here most of my life and I am so grateful to this country. Here are the top ten reasons I love Canada, in no particular order.

1. I CAN SAY AND WRITE WHAT I WANT.

And nobody is going to come after me. If I say something stupid, most people will be smart enough to ignore me. And if I say something smart, most people will listen. But whatever I say, I will reap my own consequences. Nobody will force me to do or say anything I don’t agree with.

2. I GET FREE HEALTH CARE.

Yes – our health care system has many flaws. In a lot of ways we get what we “pay” for. But it’s still free. I’m personally thankful because the total cost of care required for my partner after his accident (MRI’s, testing, hospital stays, emergency trips, surgeries, specialist appointments, rehab, therapists, etc) adds up to well over a million dollars. We would be in debt right now for the rest of our lives. As it is, he is alive and well and we have zero medical bills.

3. I CAN GO TO SCHOOL.

Even when I’m poor. Without interest-free government loans I never would have been able to study anything. I had zero savings. My parents never gave me a single penny even for lunch, and for a while

my dad didn’t allow me to work. But I could still go to school. On top of that there were scholarships. I don’t have to pay my loans back until I have graduated and start making an income. And I don’t have to worry or stress out about it.

4. WE ARE A SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS COUNTRY.

We think about other people, and come up with ideas of how to care for them. Canadians have an innate drive to somehow change the world, even if it’s just a little. We give to charities. We volunteer. We adopt. We pursue careers in which we feel we can make a real difference, not just make the most money.

5. THE RUMOURS ARE TRUE. WE’RE NICE PEOPLE.

We get made fun of a lot but we can also laugh at ourselves (thanks, South Park). It’s NICE to live around nice people. When I get into my elevator I know someone is going to say hi to me or ask me about my marathon. I know the doorman is not going to let me carry anything heavy. I know that when I go running and I finish my water bottle I can knock on a stranger’s door and they will fill it up for me. I know that when I walk on the street someone will smile at me. That when someone bumps into me they will always say sorry. And that when I forget to lock my door nothing will happen.

6. MOUNTAINS AND LAKES.

I’d like to see a lot more of these, but what I have seen is amazing. Rugged beauty. Untouched landscapes. I like mountains because they make me feel closer to God. And I love lakes because they’re so quiet and peaceful and mystical. You can float out in the middle of a lake and forget everything. A lake will calm your soul and a mountain will elevate it.

7. WE HATE WAR.

Enough said.

8. WE’RE MULTICULTURAL.

I can go to Chinatown or Little India or Little Italy or Kensington Market. I can eat an authentic meal from halfway across the world very close to home. We’re cultured, we know different ethnic customs, and we expand our horizons. I don’t care what anyone says, immigrants kick ass. They work hard, they get ahead, they’re smarter than they look, and they make us laugh. The whole world should be an immigrant.

9. THE BEAVER IS THE COOLEST FREAKING ANIMAL.

This is the hardest working animal you’ll ever see. They’re natural architects. They’re community-minded. They’re strong and noble and they’ve been around forever. The beaver’s whole life is centered around creating something. Something big. Something significant. Something with a LOT of wood.

10. SNOW.

And lots of it. We shovel it, we play in it, we close our schools for it, we build stuff out of it, and we get stuck in it. We can never quite predict it but damn it, we will always try.

Happy Birthday Canada. You don’t look a day over 142.