Normally I find overt patriots highly annoying, but I have to say, I love my country. While there may be better countries than mine, I could never imagine not being Canadian.
I come from the land of back bacon, hockey, good beer, and most importantly, poutine. We’ve got our healthcare, openly gay and transgender military members, gay marriages, gun control, 1 year mat/parental leave, and abortion. Ontario struck down prostitution laws recently. Legalizing marijuana seems like it’ll be on the cusp soon. Hell, in my province abortion is covered by Manitoba Health. We have some great Canadians too out there, spanning the globe in the arts, sports, politics, etc. We have all of this and our version of the Conservatives are in power. Canada is home to some of the nicest people on Earth, between the Acadians (holla!) and the Newfoundlanders, we will kill you with kindness.
So of course we look at the States and want to offer some BC bud, tell everyone to chill out, and have a nice big batch of that poutine I was talking about when they get the munchies…maybe later we can head down George Street in St. John’s and play pub golf as you vent your troubles on our listening shoulders. We promise we’ll hold your hair as you sob into the toilet trying to justify that normally you drink more than this and you’re NEVER this emotional. We’ll try not to be condescending, but forgive us our snickering. We just don’t get what’s going on down there. After all, we’ve got it so good right? I mean, who’s REALLY the land of the free in North America?
Hey, it’s not like we’re racist and treat our Aboriginal population like garbage…..oh wait. We totally do. But it’s not like we have a severe lack of access to abortion because it’s very rarely challenged….oh shit, that too? But at least we’re not trying to keep our poor people down with a shitty welfare system…..ah crap, we do, don’t we? At least our Prime Minister respects women….except for that one time he called us a left-wing fringe group….okay, so I’m not exactly making a great case for Canada here, but we’re totally better off right…..right?
(cue the cricket chirp)
We are a very cocky, yet complacent people. The problem up North is that we think we won and have the right to point and laugh at the States (or the more Canadian response would be passive aggressive comments about how much that must suck for you, because we don’t see anything like it). We haven’t won. We have a long way to go.
After years of systemic abuse by the residential school system, our Aboriginal people have still not received the proper help they deserve. There are so many lives that have been broken by it, and you better believe it has affected generation after generation. However, our government thinks that just throwing money at them will make it go away. It doesn’t. I’m pretty sure our very white government KNOWS that it isn’t working and they are keeping it up just to keep them down. WE did this to them, yet we are so unwilling to help. Ask the average white Canadian, especially male, what they think of this and you will get a litany of racism that could rival the most remote “South will rise again” places in Georgia. This is a problem.
We still have a province that insists that a woman go before a panel of doctors and get approved for an abortion. My province only has 2 clinics, both in the capital and one is like pulling teeth to get scheduled at, let alone find. This leaves a lot of people hanging and this is a common problem from province to province. There is also a coalition of pro-life Conservatives in our government, and you better believe that they have tried some slippery-slope legislation to chip away at those rights. This is a problem.
Our welfare system just doesn’t work. It’s very arbitrary as to who can get on and who gets denied, and people who do need the hand up for a while do get rejected. It’s also ridiculously hard to get off of. This is a problem.
Our PM minimizes women. He also silences members of his party who show dissent. Our senate waited until a day that a lot of the liberals were out and voted down an important environmental bill that would have allowed us a better environmental record (guess what, ours is shit). The PM promised senate reform since they are not currently elected…yeah, didn’t happen. THIS IS A PROBLEM.
Add up all of that and you still don’t have the biggest problem of all. Our biggest problem is that we take everything that we do have, think we’re okay, and then stop fighting. We have a sense that we’ve done great and we have enough, so let’s kick back, relax and laugh at a bunch of Americans. Meanwhile, as we sit and think that we’ve won the fight, people will start chipping away at what we have from underneath us. We’re so saturated with how bad the States are that poor legislation can go by unnoticed here, sometimes until it’s too late. We take our country for granted. We treat activists like idiots because we’re fine, eh? We also have a hard time making noise and agitating the masses because apparently we’re just too polite for that. Our loud activist community is hopeful, of course, but it’s small. After all, it’s just not the proper Canuck thing to do…I mean, those signs and the noise, they might bother some people!
So to all those Americans out there (especially the activists) who have gotten the brunt of Canadian passive aggressive “we’re better” bullshit, let me just say the National Word……sorry. Hopefully you’ll still stand with us if shit hits the fan up here.
We’re still pals…….right?