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New Canadians on Canada Day

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This is a day of red and white — of maple leaves — and plenty of pride. As we celebrate all things Canadian — there are a lot of new Canadians among us.It’s the 147th time we as the nation of Canada have done this. For a lot of us, it’s pretty familiar stuff. And while we may feel it’s a pretty great country, we might sometimes forget why. For others, just calling themselves Canadian citizens for the first time today it’s all brand new and they know exactly why they think Canada, is a great place to live.Canada Day is of course the day to celebrate all that is good in our home and native land. And maybe it’s also a time for some reflection — to think about just how well we are doing in comparison to the rest of the world. So where does Canada Rank ?According to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, we are the third best place to live on the planet and overall the sixth happiest nation on earth. On the not so good side, we rank 7th on the obesity scale which perhaps makes us fat, and happy.But in terms of more serious measurements:We’re ninth in income.13th in education.14th in competitiveness.17th in life expectancy.and our cherished health system ranks 30th in the world, according to the World Health Organization.So we’re not exactly knocking it out of the park, on a global scale. And yet 44 people in this crowded room, decided that Canada is without question the best country in the world. So what was it they saw in this nation of ours that convinced them to choose Canada, first?Gurmeet Singh from India: “Opportunity is here.”Sumreenah Farroich from Pakistan: “Equality, that’s the first and main thing.”Tatiana Lazareva from Russia: “Freedom to express ourselves and become who we want to be.”Angelica Gonzalez from Venezuela: “So many things peace, security.”Lani Duterte from Philippines: “One thing for sure is Demoracy.”Sherry Bekhit from Egypt: “Peace. That’s a very important thing. Peace.”Gagroop Singh from India: “”A great life like we won’t have in India. There is every love for every person. There is no discriminations.”And that — should give us, as Canadians, something to chew on. Maybe it’s not the measurable things — the individual bits and pieces — that count. Maybe, like the diverse people who seek to make this country their home, it’s the sum of the whole, that really matters. The tapestry, and not the threads. And maybe if we stand back and look at Canada as a whole — the picture can’t help but make you smile. read more

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