The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

June 29, 2007



Just like July 4 is America's annual celebration of who they are, this is our day to celebrate our founding as a country in 1867.
And it got me to thinking...who are we?

We're young, for one thing, as countries go. We have an identity crisis, being in the shadow of the world's only true super power, the U.S.A.

We want to be like them, but we don't. At the same time, we have no choice...we're like a mosquito that lands on a huge arm, wary of being swatted away or squished.

Our current politicians are in Bush's back pocket, but the rest of us aren't.

We have in the past prided ourselves on being neutral, except when we had to join the world against Hitler.

We are insecure at times, and confused.

We're a large country geographically but inhabited by only 30 million souls, 10 per cent of the U.S. And we're a land of immigrants, then and now.

We pride ourselves on our cultural diversity, but we can't get out own aboriginal land-claims issues and aboriginal poverty problems worked out.

We have one of the highest standards of living in the world and we have a health-care system most countries envy, but it's a patch-work, underfunded system full of long waiting lists and frustration.

We live in a severe climate, super cold in winter in many parts of the country and very warm in the summer.

We're infested with mosquitoes but we have open wide skies and the most beautiful lakes on the planet.

We're so rich with resources we don't or can't develop that it's a travesty, economically.

We're so screwed up that we have two official languages, French and English, but Quebec is the most beautiful place you'd ever visit and its people are spectacular.

We have crumbling highways and potholes that swallow up SUVs whole, but you wouldn't care because of the expanse and diversity of our scenery and largely untouched nature.

There IS something about us. We don't compare on so many fronts, but hundreds of thousands of people immigrate here every year from all over the globe.

We aren't the land of economic opportunity that the U.S. is or other places, but we DO have a lot of wide-open spaces and an acceptance of other people.

We smile and we whine and we complain.

We're no better than Americans, Europeans or anyone else.

But we're us. We're a colonial country still partly attached to England, and that's our history and we're OK with that.

What I know is in my worldly travels, as long as I had a Canadian flag on my backpack, I was accepted or, at least, tolerated. Smiles came my way and invitations into houses.

Happy Birthday, Canada.


  1. Have a safe trip and we all look forward to seeing lots of pictures of those magnificent Montanee mountains.

    I am starting to think that Canada is an idea that means something different to 30 million people.

    Some Canadians move here to escape oppressive governments in their homeland. Too many of them seem to come here to further their hatred and ancient rivalries with their neighbours without government interference because here they are protected by political correctness. That is ironic.

    Most Canadians move here to get away from such ignorant retarded behavior.

    Most Canadians are hyphenated Canadians and they try to equally promote the brand power of their former nationality or ethnicity.
    I see this happening to the US. Instead of being a melting pot and becoming an American, now Americans add their modifiers just as we have done for decades.

    I understand that we need countries just to separate ourselves from megalomaniac monsters and their dangerous caches of weapons and oppressive methods of controlling their victimized populations.

    As far as countries go Canada is as good as it gets. I don't see it lasting another 100 years but we did pretty well for making something out of such a huge area with a small population.

    Someday I hope that there aren't any countries and we can all be Earthlings. You may say that I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one.

    I'm sure that you know the rest of the song ..

  2. This was a party political broadcast brought to you on behalf of the Canada Party.

    Where do I get an Immigration Form?

  3. Montana? Isn't that Brokeback Mountain country? Enjoy x

  4. There's something to be said for being *nice* and inclusive, not that it gets much respect in a world full of drama, extremes and Hollywood. As for Canada Day, it's yet another day to keep the dog on leash so he doesn't bolt and end up under a bus. (He's petrified of fireworks.)

  5. Actually, Brokeback Mountain was a story about two cowboys from Wyoming. ;-)

  6. I've always felt that Australia and Canada have a kind of affinity. We are also a British colony, we also hate George W, and our politicians are also very fond of him. We are also a wide open country with huge unpopulated expanses - our population clusters along the east coast, but some of the places most worth seeing are the isolated bits with few inhabitants. We also have political issues re our aboriginal peoples - our current government is trying to control them using military force, and then wonders why people are getting upset.

    It seems that somewhere deep in our psyches, Australians and Canadians share similar values. It no doubt has a lot to do with our colonial histories, but that doesn't seem to fully explain it. After all, we started off as a nice big jail whilst you were free settlers (as far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong). Also so much time as passed for each of us to be influenced and changed by our geographical neighbours.

    It's just one of those mysteries, an example of paralel evolution, inexplicable and funky. Rock on, Canada! Australia rules! :)

  7. You could have been describing Australia... WE are both very young countries slowly getting our independence from European Parental figures. Both countries have the same sense of humour, same past times, and same extremes in climate.

    Our pollies are even making the same mistakes. Alot of Australians relate to Canada on some level, it has always had an appeal for me.

    IN short you are in one of the most beautiful country, for places and people, and you truly appreciate what you have....

    Have a fantastic trip and we look forward to the photos


  8. A perfect post apart from that broken HTML code showing.

    Happy Canada day!!

    Have a great trip. No need saying you post pictures for all that.

    The point is, my brain has gone blank for now and I can't find any thing to say.

  9. Home Sweet Homer Escapeons:

    I don't know if my dinky little Sony SureShot will do the greatest job taking pix of mountains.

    But I'll sure try.

    The stuff you raise is in large part true, I think. But I don't think it's all that widespread.

    We don't have our own true identity, other than BEING a nation of immigrants. And we continue to be that.

    We welcome these people in. In fact, because of our low birthrate, we seek them out.

    It stands to reason they'll come here with their belief systems and cultures and form groups. It's human nature.

    And when those groups move here and if they were at odds in their home countries, they'll be at odds here.

    You say they're protected by political correctness, and I partly agree.

    But they're also protected by human rights laws and other standards they didn't have back home...things that we think make us a better place to live and, presumably, one of the reasons they WANT to move here.

    I get your wish that eventually, there ARE no countries. But I think it's a long way off...


    Evidently, you're back! Welcome back. I'll email you an immigration form shortly.

    I still haven't seen Brokeback Mountain. As Laurie says, however, I think that was Wyoming, not Montana. :-)


    Agreed...while we have a lot of pride in our inclusiveness and our "niceness," and it gets us brownie points on the world stage, it doesn't mean a whole lot in the world of black and white.

    I had a lot more pride when Trudeau was telling the world to screw off and we were going to do the right thing.

    Then along came old Irish Eyes Mulroney and the free trade deal and now Harper...gag...

    Hopefully Fido stays safe today...


    Wyoming it is, huh? Thanks.


    I SO agree with you. I think we do have an affinity for each other for all the reasons you describe.

    It IS a funky parallel.

    In the rest of the world, I think Down Under has become the cool place to be, different, alive, full of all those weird but beautiful animals you've got there.

    People love your accents, and there's a feeling that Aussies are larger than life.

    Us Canajuns, I think the world kinda scratches their collective heads and asks, "Who are they anyway? Aren't they just cold Americans?"


    Again, you and your lovely missus are on the same track, and it's straight and true.

    Of all the places on Earth, the one that's always most appealed to me is Australia because it's so like us but so different and distant at the same time.

    When's Aussie National Day or whatever?


    What happened to your pic?

    I saw the broken link thingie but I spent a long time just trying to space out my paragraphs, which never seems to happen properly lately.

    That's the reason for that. I tried to take it out but Blogger wouldn't let me.

    I'm a Blogger Butthead.

    Your brain has gone blank? I'll send you some thinking pills...

  10. OK when can we visit and check that the truth stands up to the description? :)

    Have a good trip - is it annual thing? Meeting a 'friend'??

  11. Rodrigo2:22 p.m.

    Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

  12. Ziggi:

    Anytime, you very very very good witch. I'll alert the authorities that you'll be flying in on your broomstick, or don't you people do that any more?

    Do you mean is making a trip to meet a "friend" an annual thing? It has seemed like it, a bit.

    This may be different. ;-)

  13. Rodrigo:

    NO MAS, Senor! Vaya Con Dios and Bueno Vista, Conquistador! And besides that, el blah blah blah!

  14. I really want to visit Canada! ;p

  15. Irene:

    And we would welcome you!

  16. Happy Canada Day!

    I hope you have a lovely trip. Your friend will be very lucky to have you there - especially with all that she's endured recently.

  17. Anna:

    Duh. You don't miss much. :-)

  18. Happy Canada Day mate!

    Its a beautiful country.


  19. My picture is very much on my blog but you wouldn't know as you don't come there any more.

    It is not showing here becos I posted my comments with the other option which takes one straight to the blog skipping the profile page. You can chk that out.(click on my name and see for yourself!). The profile page does nothing for blog traffic! Only drawback is, one can't delete ones comments.

    My brain is again working overtime. Keep those pills for yourself!

    Blogger is goofing up. I too can't get my fonts ok.

    And I have tagged you. If you havealready done it, kindly ignore it or if not, you can indulge me...:D

  20. Happy belated Canada Day! And it's cool that you're going to be in the U.S. for our 4th of July holiday. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and facts about Canada, and I've always had a great time when I've visited different places up there. Montana is supposed to be beyond beautiful -- bring back photos to share with us, ok? Safe travels!

  21. Have fun visiting. Say hi to your friend for me. :D

  22. Very very interesting such a profile. Happy belated 1st !

  23. get a grip it's July now

  24. Keshi:

    Thanks Femme Mate! (Do guys call girls "mates" in Ozzie Land or Sheilas or what)?

    What IS the politically and otherwise correct term for females in Australia, as referred to by males?


    Ooooh, like a cobra's bite...

    I see I have been chastised, not unlike the schoolboy who doesn't study for the test.

    I will visit, although I hope you agree to let me decide when :-). Tagging is another thing entirely...


    I have returned from my whirlwind trip before the July 4th holiday in the U.S.

    In fact, I sit here on July 4 contemplating some sort of pictorial salute to the U.S.

    Montana is indeed beautiful as is western North Dakota, which was a surprise to me.



    Thanks...I hope all is well in your end of the world.


    And when, exactly, do they celebrate Belgium's birthday? Or is it so old that they don't any more? (I love the place and the history)



    Yes, I know, I'm way past July 1 right now. Another Canada Day is past and another summer waning...


If you choose to use anonymous to comment, it is only fair that I reserve the right to obliterate your comment from my blog.