As a young adult, I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised in Canada.
I am very proud to be a Canadian. I know I live in one of the best countries of the world. We have Free healthcare, support services, education, opportunity. We are "nice" people and have many unique contributions to the world! Such as Velcro, the Telephone and even the Canadarm!
We Canadians like hockey, maple syrup, saying sorry, snow sports, maple syrup, beer, beavers, maple syrup, comedy, and did I mention <strong>MAPLE SYRUP?</strong> -Sure most of these are stereo types, and not everyone does or enjoys these things as Canadians, but the world seems to think we all do (except the maple syrup, which in Canada's Maple Reserves (our version of America's Fort Knox) we have over 4.5 MILLION GALLONS of syrup in storage - That's roughly 7 olympic sized swimming pools, mates! Yum!
The thing that people around the world don't really take into account is that just like every other country in the world, we too have our problems and troubled past. Racism, Sexism, Poverty, Crime, the terrible stories of residential schools for our aboriginals, turning away Jews running away from the holocaust; sending them back to their inevitable deaths in Germany in the 1930's, environmental issues, rounding up Japanese people during WWII and putting them in camps just because of their race, and the list goes on... We Canadians really do have an "interesting" past, but I feel that in the positive light, we can learn from history and use the lessons we as a young country learned together, and create a better today now
The baby boomers are retiring (even if many need to keep working to keep income, that sucks) and so too is an old way of thinking. As the older generations are replaced with the new ones, I do believe we will be seeing Canada becoming a beacon of hope and true freedom heading into the mid century. With this being said, as we head into the future, we must remember the lessons learned, and sacrifices made that got us to where we are today.
I will not hide that I do fall on the political spectrum. I am indeed a liberal and personally love Justin Trudeau. I have met and talked with him personally, and he is just as honest and a great leader in person as he is on the stage. After around 10 years of Harper (our last prime minister - a conservative) I had mixed feelings about Canada and our government. We totally fucked up or environmental strategies, budget cuts across the board, racism and prejudice across the "Harper Government", scandals and horrible money choices such as the horrible money pit called the "F-35". With the new Liberal Government, I feel hope that Canada has a brighter future ahead, and that we Canadians can tackle issues such as privacy, racism and helping our fellow man/woman around the world.
In this article, I kind of dabbled on the positives and the negatives of Canada, but never really mentioned what I really wanted to touch on, and what you've wanted to hear:What being Canadian Means to Me. I will try my best dear reader, to explain my feelings to you. But first, I need to take you to somewhere in France: Vimy Ridge.
A year ago, I backpacked Europe alone. It was an amazing adventure (for another article for another day) but the last stop was the greatest, and most anticipated: The Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. During WWI, Vimy was held by the German army. The British tried to take it, but failed. The French tried to take it, and failed, etc.. Then, one day, someone thought of putting all the Canadian divisions together for the first time. The first time we truly fought as our own nation (still a colony of Britain at the time) and we took the ridge - a feat that no one else could do. For many, including Justin Trudeau and myself, this was the true birth as Canada born as the nation it is today. This was followed by our troops being called "Stormtroopers" by the germans: We were the elite of the Allied armies. Next, we helped drive the evil Nazi regime out during WWII and helped defeat the Japanese. We then took part in Korea, Gulf war, and many, many peacekeeping operations. I am not referring the act of violence as being Canadian, but instead, the act of peace. When there is a problem, Canada steps in and makes peace where there is conflict. We take pride in bringing in Syrian refugees, we want to make the world a better place, while acknowledging that our differences is what makes us strong.
In the end, I supposeBeing Canadian is the love of life, helping our fellow humans, and the freedom to live. I am proud to be Canadian.
This is the spot where Henry blabs on about what he thinks, events, etc... All the normal stuff.