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.