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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Land of the Loons

What are Canadians like?  Don’t listen to the stereotypes.  Contrary to popular belief, we don’t eat Poutine with every meal, the word ‘eh’ is not a Canadian brand of punctuation, and igloos aren’t a typical Canadian dwelling.  You don’t need to bring your cross-country skis to get around, our wilderness doesn’t home families of Sasquatch and we do get surprised when we see moose or bear in the street.  Maple syrup is not a staple, we don’t wear toques in every season, and we don’t drink beer by the Keg. 
If you really want to get to the core of Canadian lifestyles, look at the actions and facts that make our country one of the best places to live.  We are a nation that likes topics that make us think, ideas that are innovative, and concepts that are creative.  Everywhere you go in Canada you will see us enjoying the wide open spaces we are so proud of, often by walking, jogging, and camping or in extreme sports.  Fishing, kayaking, skiing and rock climbing are also popular.
It is not an odd occurrence for Canadians to open doors for others, nod hello to our neighbors, and talk about the weather to others who are waiting in line with us.  We are a diverse country that enjoys vast and various cultures.
That is not to say we don’t have our problems.  Our forests are dying because of an infestation of Pine beetles, it seems our winters aren’t cold enough anymore.  This is ironic because our carbon footprint is above what it should be; other countries look down on us for our stance, of lack of it, on the Kyoto Protocol.  Then there is that huge scar that keeps growing everyday, called the Albertan Tar Sands.  It is a mine that ravishes the land for oil trapped in the sand deposits.  Its destruction can be witnessed from space. 
Despite these short comings, I like the fact that most of our country is relatively untouched and “wild”, I like that our streets are clean and that on our beaches you are likely to see seal, otter, sea lion and perhaps a whale or two.  I am proud that we still have these things to pass on to those who visit and to our children.  I hope our respect for these things and our spirit to fight for their protection continues to grow in the future. 
Come to Canada; let us erase the myths and folklore.  Let us evoke new memories, and show you that the land of the loons is not necessarily loony.


  1. I had never thought of Canadians as loons...but now you mention it...just kidding:)
    Interesting and informative!

  2. Very nice tribute to Canada, Tracie. I have seen most of Canada, east and west, and can confirm that what you say is true and not just patriotic bias.

  3. went to Canada once many years ago. It was the province of Manitoba, prairie country.

  4. enjoyed this, thanks for sharing :)

  5. I have not been to Canada, but am half Canadian. My grandparents are all Canadian; was born and raised in Canada till they moved to the states. My mother is all Canadian and was raised well by them with great values and morals, as well as good manners, which I do not always have, and would regret it directly.
    No, I do not think ill of Canadians in any way. They are my people even though I live in the States.
    You didn't know I was Canadian did you?
    Excellent write, Tracie.

  6. All of this, created by someone who makes me smile and brings smiles to everyone...
    Beautiful poems by a beautiful person.
    Alan :)