Need Perspective on Canada? Talk to a New Canadian

By: Laura Steiner

My job has taken me to a couple of citizenship ceremonies over the years.  And every time I stand there quietly asking myself Why here? It’s not nearly as perfect as it’s made out to be.  We gripe at each other, complain about our government.  There are injustices in our country such as the continued treatment of First Nations’ Peoples, homelessness, low wages, high taxes.

I was at a citizenship ceremony right before the Pan-Am Games.  There was a Syrian family there; mom, dad, and a little girl born in Canada.  The parents were the ones taking their oaths.  They described it as their “second birthday.”  Canada represented a second chance at life for them, and that humbled me. Sometimes it happens unprompted as I interview people at different charity events.  One of the questions I ask is how the event builds/ contributes to a spirit of Community.  Someone answered how grateful they were for Canada to accept them and that these events were there way of giving back.

These interactions highlight the best in Canada.  They are a reminder of the need to take a step back and look at the whole picture, because in spite of its flaws Canada remains one of the greatest countries on earth.