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Monday, 1 July 2013

Canada. She looks good for 146 years old.

Today, my country turns 146 years old. Canada looks good for her age, doesn't she?

I am, at the least, 3rd generation Canadian. My mother's grandparents emigrated from England in 1912. My great-grand Uncle, Harry Peers fought for Canada in World War I and was killed in the Battle of Hill 70 just outside of Lens, France. He made the ultimate sacrifice for the country he considered home. My grandmother married a 5th generation Canadian descendant from an Irish family from Co. Mayo, Ireland. I am also about 4/5th generation Canadian on my father's side. But, I am Canadian.

I am proud of my country. It is extremely diverse in both culture and landscape. Tall red woods and temperate rainforests cover much of British Columbia. Mountains tower over the border of British Columbia and Alberta. The fertile prairies dominate eastern Alberta, all of Saskatchewan and some of Manitoba. The Canadian Shield, made up of ancient mountains and covered in forests makes up much of Ontario and Quebec. Rolling hills make the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia a sight to behold. Newfoundland is a wonder in itself. The Territories; Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunuvut, are home to the northern lights, caribou and beautiful tundra flora. The Alaska Highway begins in Canada and I have ties to that highway. My grandfather helped build it.

We have geese, bears, coyotes, wolves, eagles, lynxes, cougars, caribou, deer, moose, groundhogs, beavers and a multitude of fish. We are the second largest country in the world. We border three oceans. We are home to some 30,000,000 people. And every last one of those people has a story to tell. Not everyone was born here and that's okay. If they consider themselves Canadian, than I have no qualms.

It's fitting that Toronto's Pride festivities occur around Canada Day. Sure, when we think of pride, we think of gays, lesbians, bis, transgenders, transvestites and the like partying up and down Church Street. That's part of it, but it is, more importantly, about being proud of who you are. I am Canadian. To me, that means that I live in a beautiful country with a rich history, despite our young age

I am proud to be Canadian. I am proud of my country. It’s where I was born, it’s where I live, and it is where I will die. I. Am. Canadian.