This year on July 1 (Canada Day), Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of Confederation. Communities across the country will be hosting arts and culture festivals, fireworks, exhibitions and sporting events and proud Canadians will come together to toast the nation’s birthday.
As someone who came to Canada as an immigrant when I was just seven years old, I’m proud of my adopted homeland and all it stands for. Canada isn’t perfect – far from it – but I think most Canadians will agree that there’s no other country they would rather call home. As we get set to gather with friends and family on this sesquicentennial celebration, there are a few things that make me grateful to live in this beautiful country:
- Tolerance. Canadians are known the world over for their acceptance of others. In fact, the Legatum Prosperity Index lists Canada as #2 when it comes to tolerance towards immigrants and sexual orientation. Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. In 1971, the nation’s plurality of languages, ethnicities and religions became protected by law. Canada has been a trailblazer when it comes to LGBT matters, becoming the third country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage in 2005.
- Socialized Medicine. The system isn’t flawless, but our publicly funded healthcare system, Medicare, is mostly free and gives healthcare access to all Canadians.
- Concern for Others. The Social Progress Index lists Canada as very high when it comes to basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity.
I’ll be kicking off Canada Day by hosting a family brunch complemented by maple syrup, of course. Then it’s off to a party where I hope to show off my dancing shoes.
Whatever your plans for this historic event, Happy Canada Day!