Why Canadians Don't Brag ...... MUCH!
I am a Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
or free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom
I pledge to uphold
for myself and all mankind.
(Extract from the Canadian Billl of Rights)
QUOTES ABOUT CANADA
I think every Canadian should have a map of Canada in his or her house. It should be displayed in a place where one can sit and contemplate the wonderful vastness of this land.
As Canadians, we are continuously groping for an identity and a sense of love for our nation. We grapple with the concept, find it somewhat distasteful and leave it for another day.
We find American flag waving, hand over heart while belting out 'Oh, say, can you see...' too much and avoid doing the same. We admire their national spirit, but Canadians are, in contrast, understated.
To understand the identity that exists in our hearts think of our sweepingly majestic home—its quiet, serene beauty. A beauty recognizable to us all. We are proud of this nation and of who we are. We just don't say it to everyone we meet (and perhaps we should!).
It's like the map of Canada. It just sits there on the wall displaying the lines of our coasts, the bulk of our waterways and the breadth of our northern territories. Surveying all of this leaves me in awe.
It brings a tear to my eye ... 0h, CANADA ...!!!.
-Debora O'Neil, (from Reader's Digest)
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- (Prime Minister) Pierre Elliot Trudeau
It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she's something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of.
- Emily Carr (1871-1945)
MY NAME IS JOE
The recent Molson's Canadian "Rant" beer commercial on TV was very well received (?) by most Canadians (but maybe not so well by our American friends!). It is intended to NOT be taken very seriously nor, as a reflection of what Canada means to Canadians and their culture. It goes like this.....
(A man comes on stage, clears his throat .....)
I'm not a lumberjack, or a fur trader,
and I don't live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled,
and I don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada, although I'm certain they're really, really nice.
I have a Prime Minister,
not a President.
I speak English and French,
and I pronounce it 'ABOUT',
NOT 'A BOOT'.
I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack.
I believe in peace keeping, NOT policing.
DIVERSITY, NOT assimilation,
AND THAT THE BEAVER IS A TRULY PROUD AND NOBLE ANIMAL.
I KNOW THAT A TOQUE IS A HAT,
A CHESTERFIELD IS A COUCH,
AND IT IS PRONOUCED 'ZED' NOT 'ZEE', 'ZED'!!!
CANADA IS THE SECOND LARGEST LANDMASS IN THE WORLD!
THE FIRST NATION OF HOCKEY!
AND THE BEST PART OF NORTH AMERICA!
MY NAME IS JOE!!
AND ... I AM ... C A N A D I A N !
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
"This land is your land, this land is my land,
From Bona Vista to Vancouver Island,
From the Arctic Islands to the Great Lakes waters;
This land was made for you and me."
NOTE: (The refrain of "This Land Is Your Land" is taken from the original by Woody Guthrie and is the Canadian version, adapted by Martin Bochner for The Travellers.)
Visit our Songs Page for more Canadian songs
An American's View of Canada
(This editorial ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August 2003)
It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada: You live next door to a clean-cut, quiet guy. He never plays loud music or throws raucous parties. He doesn't gossip over the fence, just smiles politely and offers you some tomatoes. His lawn is cared-for, his house is neat as a pin and you get the feeling he doesn't always lock his front door. He wears Dockers. You hardly know he's there. And then one day you discover that he has pot in his basement, spends his weekends at peace marches and that guy you've seen mowing the yard is his spouse.
Allow me to introduce Canada. The Canadians are so quiet that you may have forgotten they're up there, but they've been busy doing some surprising things. It's like discovering that the mice you are dimly aware of in your attic have been building an espresso machine.
Did you realize, for example, that our reliable little tag-along brother never joined the Coalition of the Willing? Canada wasn't willing, as it turns out, to join the fun in Iraq. I can only assume American diner menus weren't angrily changed to include "freedom bacon," because nobody here eats the stuff anyway.
And then there's the wild drug situation: Canadian doctors are authorized to dispense medical marijuana. Parliament is considering legislation that would not exactly legalize marijuana possession, as you may have heard, but would reduce the penalty for possession of under 15 grams to a fine, like a speeding ticket. This is to allow law enforcement to concentrate resources on traffickers; if your garden is full of wasps, it's smarter to go for the nest rather than trying to swat every individual bug. Or, in the United States, bong.
Now, here's the part that I, as an American, can't understand. These poor benighted pinkos are doing everything wrong. They have a drug problem: Marijuana offenses have doubled since 1991. And Canada has strict gun control laws, which means that the criminals must all be heavily armed, the law-abiding civilians helpless and the government on the verge of a massive confiscation campaign. (The laws have been in place since the '70s, but I'm sure the government will get around to the confiscation eventually.) They don't even have a death penalty!
And yet ... nationally, overall crime in Canada has been declining since 1991. Violent crimes fell 13 percent in 2002. Of course, there are still crimes committed with guns - brought in from the United States, which has become the major illegal weapons supplier for all of North America - but my theory is that the surge in pot-smoking has rendered most criminals too relaxed to commit violent crimes. They're probably more focused on shoplifting boxes of Ho-Hos from convenience stores.
And then there's the most reckless move of all: Just last month, Canada decided to allow and recognize same-sex marriages. Merciful moose, what can they be thinking? Will there be married Mounties (they always get their man!)? Dudley Do-Right was sweet on Nell, not Mel! We must be the only ones who really care about families. Not enough to make sure they all have health insurance, of course, but more than those libertines up north.
This sort of behavior is a clear and present danger to all our stereotypes about Canada. It's supposed to be a cold, wholesome country of polite, beer-drinking hockey players, not founded by freedom-fighters in a bloody revolution but quietly assembled by loyalists and royalists more interested in order and good government than liberty and independence. But if we are the rugged individualists, why do we spend so much of our time trying to get everyone to march in lockstep? And if Canadians are so reserved and moderate, why are they so progressive about letting people do what they want to?
Canadians are, as a nation, less religious than we are, according to polls. As a result, Canada's government isn't influenced by large, well-organized religious groups and thus has more in common with those of Scandinavia than those of the United States, or, say, Iran.
Canada signed the Kyoto global warming treaty, lets 19-year-olds drink, has more of its population living in urban areas and accepts more immigrants per capita than the United States. These are all things we've been told will wreck our society. But I guess Canadians are different, because theirs seems oddly sound.
Like teenagers, we fiercely idolize individual freedom but really demand that everyone be the same. But the Canadians seem more adult - more secure. They aren't afraid of foreigners. They aren't afraid of homosexuality. Most of all, they're not afraid of each other.
I wonder if America will ever be that cool.
This page is part of Knight's Canadian Info Collection
Please visit our other pages
Site © by K.C.I.C. - A. Knight (Webmaster)