"The Great White North" Canada by MrBill
Canada Travel Guide: 39,581 reviews and 90,820 photos
To be Canadian is cool. There is no other passport I would sooner carry. No other flag I would sooner fly. Canada is not a superpower, but we do good. We are not too nationalistic, but we are proud of who we are. We define ourselves sometimes as being 'not American', but we have learnt to live in their shadow, without losing sight of who we are.
We never have to resort to wearing USA flags on our knapsacks to keep from being recognised, and Americans often have to wear Canadian flags in order to be treated well abroad. However, on that last point, to be Canadian is to be understated, therefore, one shouldn't have to wear a flag to advertise where they are from. Canadians that feel they have to wear a Canadian flag should get a dose of self-confidence. Everyone else that wears a Canadian flag that isn't is just sad.
I hate to have to apologise for Canadian politics when I am abroad. No one understands the English-French debate and what's it all about. That's okay, I tell them, Canadians don't understand what the issue is either. All I say, is that during the last referendum on separation, English Canada said, please stay, we want you to stay as equal partners. If you have to stay only as separate, but equal, or under different rules, then leave. If you leave, we'll give you Newfoundland as a going away present.
However, everyone knows it would never work. They would leave. They would take their Canadian passports with them. When their government collapsed under debt, when the jobs dried up, when health insurance got too expensive, they would all exercise their rights to use their Canadian citizenship to come back to Canada. Don't believe me? Look at Eastern Ontario and Ottawa. There is more French spoken there than in Montreal it seems. That is where the jobs are and the taxes are lower than in Quebec, and there has been a steady stream of French speaking people quietly infiltrating the area. Good on them, so long as they don't start aggitating about French language rights in a predominately English speaking province.
In any case, I feel bad about letting my French decay so badly. I grew up in a French speaking town, in English Canada, and studied it in junior high and hig school. About 6-7 years in total, but that was 20-years ago. Now I can read a menu, order in French, pay, and take a taxi, but that is the extent of my French. It is really too bad. One day, I will take emersion French to improve it again.
I am not anti-French, I just don't like the misinformation and politics. Politics in Canada is in any case like an ongoing soap opera.
Check-out these two youtube video clips. They are great!
I am Canadian
I am not Canadian
Never the less, there is no place like home, and no place in Canada quite like Alberta, where I am from.
I just do not get home often enough it seems. When I fly from Frankfurt to Calgary, there are only two airlines which service this route. Air Canada and Lufthansa, and as they are both in the Star Alliance, they code share. Therefore, there is no competition, and the fares are always high. Even when I try to fly home via Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, I always have to take Air Canada for that last leg, and that drives the price up. Canadians flying to Europe always scope much cheaper fares. In Canada, there is only one airline now, and despite price gouging, they are bankrupt. Canada needs to adopt an open skies policy, and let the likes of Jet Blue and South West Airlines in to offer cheap point to point flights. But, being Canada, a kindler, gentler form of a socialistic country, that is not likely to happen in my lifetime.
So to be Canadian is to earn less than Americans, to pay more taxes, and to end up with less of everything. On the otherhand, you have universal healthcare, if you live long enough to see a doctor when you need it.
Canada is where my family is, and a great place to raise a family. I know a lot of talented Canadians have to leave Canada for the USA to get discovered, to become famous, to be successful, and this brain drain is a shame on Canadian politics.
However, for those that make the decision to stay, they are rewarded with a beautiful country, a good quality of life, and a safe environment for them and their familes. If I did have children, there is no place I would sooner raise them than in rural Canada. I had a perfect childhood, and I could only wish for such an experience for my children, too.
Canada is a great place to live. It has its faults. Where doesn't? I have been away from Canada since 1990, and I have seen many parts of the world. I am grateful for that experience, but it has come at a cost. Someday I will go home. Don't when, don't know how? However, wherever I go, I bring a piece of Canada with me in my heart.
- Pros:mountains, lakes, rivers, prairies, foothills & easy going people
- Cons:high taxes, political soap operas & separatists
- In a nutshell:a great place to live
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