There are endless reasons to love the country that celebrates its 150th birthday Saturday! Having lived in numerous of its provinces and traveled from eastern to western coasts of this wonderful country (with many stops along the way), I pared down my passions to just 17 of my favorite social, environmental and health reasons why I love Canada…that go well beyond the hockey, poutine and donuts it’s famous for.
Canada is stunningly beautiful. With its majestic Rocky Mountains and other mountain ranges, plentiful emerald green lakes, vast open spaces on the Prairies and quaint coastal communities, it is simply spectacular.
Canadians are known as a friendly, kind people. And, while there are nasty people everywhere, for the most part Canadians live up to their reputation.
For over 50 years, Canada has had universal health care available to everyone in the country regardless of their economic or social situation. Back in 1966, universal health care became law in Canada.
Canada has a lengthy history of increasing women’s rights.
While the country’s history between early European settlers and indigenous people was unjust to say the least, there is recognition and a growing respect for indigenous peoples, known as the First People or First Nations, in the country. The First Nations bring so much culture, history and a rich spirituality to the country.
Canada was a leader in same-sex marriage, being only the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage with its Civil Marriage Act, back in July 2005.
Canada has a worldwide reputation for its peace-keeping missions in war-torn areas.
Every province currently has a minister responsible for issues regarding the status of women whose role is to increase women’s economic security, encourage women’s leadership and democratic participation and end gender-based violence.
Canada has maintained a government agency responsible for increasing the status of women in the country for 50 years, now known as the Status of Women Canada.
Canadians have a high level of respect for multi-culturalism. Most Canadians celebrate its diverse history.
Because we are such a multi-cultural country there is a great opportunity to experience the richness of diversity in the form of cultural events, food and food venues, and languages. A few years back I stood at the Tulip Festival in Ottawa, which takes place every May, and counted 8 languages being spoken—none of which were English.
Canada has a comparatively low level of crime, including violent crimes and crimes against women and children. Crimes that are on the decline include: homicide, sexual assault, assault, break and enter, vehicle theft and impaired driving.
For 100 years, both moms and dads have had the same rights with their children.
While women are still in short-supply in federal politics in the country, Canada had its first female Prime Minister, PM Kim Campbell back in 1993.
Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell is spear-heading a campaign to ensure judges receive adequate training in the issues surrounding sexual assault, to increase awareness of rape mythology, stereotypes and bias, and to ensure that victims of sexual crimes get fair outcomes in the Canadian justice system.
Canada has one-third of the boreal forest in the world.
Canada has 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply.
Happy 150th Birthday Canada!!!
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada.com, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet: 3 Weeks to Supercharge Your Health and Get Slim with Enzyme-Rich Foods.