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Canada Day 2010

fireworx Canada Day 2010Really great fireworks last night in Port Colborne. We had the best seat in the house, right beside the water and directly across from the launchpad. The light show metamorphosed right above our heads. Spectacular. They reminded me of our bed-side vantage point for viewing the pyrotechnics at each years Calgary Stampede, the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” ~ 10 days of fun, rodeo and downhome country living. We were lucky enough to have this experience when we lived 4 blocks away from the Stampede grounds, where every night they had phenomenal rock-the-stadium fireworks (supposedly, $ one million spent each evening!) .

With Canada Day upon us, I like to think about what this day actually means to me, and why I love my country so much? If I were to live anywhere else in this world, where would that be? Nowhere, actually. I’m very proud to be a Canadian. If anything, I would change the ability to freely work anywhere on this planet, without the need for visas et al and where my skills were needed, all the while not posing as a burden on the society to which I was a contributing member. But I’d always return to my Canada.

What about the US where slaDE and I love to travel to on a regular basis? Although as Canadians we are neighbours to the US and we share many similar characteristics, resources, policies, cultures and personalities, I believe that life in Canada for me is better … our health care is socialized medicine which, in the end, is considerably less confusing, fairer and more far-reaching that what’s available in the US; there’s a cleanliness in city and country not seen in many US populations; here in Canada resides far less gun violence and citizen gun ownership; Canada has roughly the same size of total area but with 9 times less the number of people; the US spends 3.7 times more money on military; the US has a 10.2% greater marketable debt. Oh, and long live our Queen and toonie :). However, on the flip side of that coin, I feel the US has some of the most scenic National Parks, skydiving centres and incredible winter weather that I’ve ever experienced. I still prefer to shop in the US, especially now that taxes have been upped in Ontario to 13% with the HST (starting today, of all days). Gas, liquor and pretty much everything else is cheaper nowadays (except for healthcare), despite our weak fluctuating dollar. Because of this, I feel very grateful that we live very close to the border at the moment, where a trip down to the US isn’t a big deal.

IMG 3573 Canada Day 2010

In the end, truly, this is just my patriotism showing through on this auspicious day. United, we are the same people, and as a humanity between countries and continents, there are no such things as borders, boundaries and differences. Oh lucky am I to have FABULOUS close friends and family in so many different countries, meaning far more to me than anything else tangible in life.

Yay for freedom of speech and movement. Happy Canada Day. Pretty soon I’ll be wishing all my American friends a Happy 4th of July!