July 1, 2011

With Glowing Hearts ...

When D and I travelled to Europe in 2005, Canadian flag pins were a high priority item on our packing list. In every country and city we visited, there was a noticeable difference in body language, facial expressions and tone of voice once people recognized us as Canadians. That made me smile. That made me proud.

I`m proud to be Canadian for many, many reasons. Our reputation of being welcoming and polite precedes us. Our ten provinces and three territories make up a vast and diverse geographic backdrop with some of the most amazing views and sites in the world. I need only look to Gros Morne here in my own backyard as evidence of that. We are tolerant of different races, ethnicities and cultures, often striving to balance those differences within our own Canadian culture ensuring equality is ever-present. We have a public health care system that gives everyone regardless of age, gender or economic status equal access to the care they need. We have a social system that protects those who need it and a public school system that provides the opportunity of education and, in turn, a future for all our youth.

Canada is a country where rights and freedoms are respected and upheld. In today`s world where youth are dying around the globe fighting for those same basic principles, I appreciate that more than ever. In Canada, women are also free to express their views, participate in government and achieve their biggest dreams. In fact, here in Canada, we are encouraged to do so. With so many women around the world oppressed from even coming close to this, I don`t take it for granted that I can speak my mind whereever whenever I choose - be it here online, in my workplace, in the media or really anywhere.

Yes, we have cold winters and big mosquitoes, but that`s offset by hockey, the great outdoors and the sense of family that we have from coast to coast to coast. Canada really is an awesome country. It is with a glowing heart that I count my blessings and proudly don my Canadian pin once again as I head out to celebrate Canada Day with family and friends. From my family to yours

Happy Canada Day!

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