So in this slidecast I’m going to talk about my home country Canada and why it’s fantastic to live here. I picked this topic because something I think Canadians could work on a little is how much we show our patriotism- I personally think it would be nice if we stopped and remembered how lucky are to live here a little more often, because living in Canada has a lot of major benefits.
Ok, so first things first. One of the most obvious things about Canada is that it’s huge, the second largest country in the world. This is awesome because it means that we have masses of space, provided you don’t live in Vancouver, and lots of room to move around in between our 10 provinces and 3 territories. We have 3 ocean coastlines and huge variety in climat, not to mention…
Our amazing landscape, another great thing about Canada.This is Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and it’s just part of our huge variety of natural wonders: from the world’s highest tides in the bay of Fundy to the great plains of the praries to the arctic circle or the red dirt of PEI, it’s all awesome.
In addition to varied landscape, we also have varied seasons here in Canada. It sounds kind of cheesy, but having a distinct spring, summer, winter and fall is pretty special, and I’m glad to live in a country where I get to experience all four more or less equally because it makes me appreciate all kinds of weather and temperatures.
To expand on the nature theme, let’s also remember that Canada is super lucky in that we have some of the safest, cleanest, most abundant water in the world. According to CBC, Canada has somewhere between 5.6 and 20% of the world’s fresh water supply. This is fantastic, so let’s try not to waste it, cause not everyone is this fortunate.
Ok, this one isn’t a personal favorite of mine, but the highest-rated all-time CBC viewership was the 2002 Men's Olympic gold medal hockey game between Canada and the U.S. (8.96 million) and according to Hockey Canada there’s about 570, 000 people are somehow involved in certified leagues, so you could say it’s popular here.
And now, on to food.I love Canadian food. Being from Quebec makes me totally biased in favor of poutine and tortiere, but our culinary greatness also includes Nanaimo bars, beaver tails, and butter tarts. Maybe not the healthiest picks, but they are so delicious, I’m proud that we can call them certified Canadian. And don’t worry, I didn’t forget maple syrup…
It gets it’s own slide, right here. Maple syrup has been made in north america since before europeans got here, and today it’s still processed in sugar cabins in Quebec. As Canadians, we’ve created maple sugar pie, we use it to flavor bacon, and we sell it in pretty much every single touristy gift shop, right next to the stuffed moose figurines.
Before I finish talking about food, I do have to mention a certain chain restaurant that everyone relies on for caffeine and Timbits. I promise that I have no affiliation with the company; I just have to include Timmie’s because I can tell you from personal experience that if you drive from BC to cape breton, you will find one in 90% of towns with populations of over 1000 no matter where you are in southern Canada.
And after people get their daily coffee fix, they are generally more likely to show my next reason why being from Canada is great: Canada’s reputation for being polite. Sometimes it’s used teasingly to say that Canadians aren’t really assertive enough, but I like that most of the time, Canadians have good relations with each other and globally as well because we are courteous.
One of the best examples of how flexible we can be is our two official languages: only in Canada is every sign written out twice, once in english and en francais. I enjoy being bilingual personally, and I like how Canadian culture supports this through the public school system and beyond.
Here’s another cool “ism” that Canada embraces: multiculturalism. Anyone who’s lived here for long enough knows that we pride ourselves on being a metaphorical mosaic rather than a melting pot: we have all kinds of ways of accomodating and appreciating other cultures, including in our supermarkets.
Now for something completely different: most people don’t know this, but the first patented lightbulb was invented by a canadian in 1874. Also, the telephone was invented in Branford, Ontario. Other notable Canadian inventions include the snowmobile, the Walkie Talkie, pablum, the paint roller, and basketball.
Moving on to a different kind of invention, artistic invention, particularly literary invention. Canada has produced a ton of great authors, notably Margret Atwood, Stephen Leacock, Alice Munro, Leonard Cohen, Lucy Maud Montgomery, W.O Mitchel and Michal Ondaaje.
From books to movies: Canada has also produced more than a few decent faces for the silver screen and stage including Jim Carrey, Kim Catrall, Michal J. Fox, Megan Follows, Ryan Gossling, William Hutt, Evangeline Lily, Rachel McAdams, Ellen Page, and my favourite, Christopher Plummer
While we are mentioning great Canadian artists, let’s also think about all the great musicians that Canada has contributed over the years: here’s Sarah McLachlan, and other greats include Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson, Glen Gould, Rush, and the list goes on and on.
And where do we get to hear about all this fantastic art, not to mention are news and a little bit of everything else you could thing of? On our national radio and television stations. I love CBC. I grew up with it, and plan on listening to it for the rest of my life, provided it doesn’t get it’s funding pulled.
However, let’s be optimistic about the government, ok? I’m putting it on the list of awesome Canadian things because though everybody has got at least one issue that parliament seems to be dealing with badly, for the most part, our country runs well, and the government is at the root of that, too. We are democratic, and that does mean something at the end of the day.
One of the best examples of a government based system that Canadians can be proud of is our healthcare system. We take it for granted that decent healthcare is a right, and in Canada, a Care card pretty much is, however if you want to know a different story you only have to ask our neighbours to the south what it’s like not to have the guaranteed access to something as ordinary as childhood checkups.
Our healthcare system is a result of another great Canadian phenomenon: a decent economy. Yes, I know there was major problems due to the recent recession, but on a national scale we weathered the storm much better than many countries, and we did have the 10th highest gross national product in the world in 2010 according to world bank.
For our final great Canadian symbol, I’m going to go with the RCMP. They’ve been synonymous with Canadian honor and dignity since 1920 when the Royal Northwest Mounted Police and the North-West Mounted Police merged. They are famous for their musical ride: here they are saluting our prime minister. And with that, I hope you all liked the list, Mounties and otherwise.
scazon on Flickr Photo CreditsCRobi-Blog on flickrMirai Erdozia:http://www.fotopedia.com/users/anboto”Mariksar on flickrlamentables on flickrC.P.Storm on flickrherzogbr on flickrMastermaq on flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/chiotsrun/chief_huddlestonplakboek on flickrthinkpanama on flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/thirtyfootscrew/http://www.flickr.com/photos/spinneyhead/Stephen Horncastle) geography.org.ukbrokentrinketshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/connect2canada/http://www.flickr.com/photos/twon/http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/http://www.fotopedia.com/users/jasonholmberghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/aunto/http://www.flickr.com/photos/marsdd/