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Randomness, Year 2
Issue 53

O? Canada!!

I have a confession to make. I am not the most patriotic person. As well, throughout high school, I was never really into school spirit. In my mind, it was just high school. We were there for a few years, then we were gone. It wasn't life. And everyone moved on from high school eventually. I didn't really get it, I guess. A lot of us are no longer at that school but in university. I tend to look at things in a bigger way. Look at Canada. I mean, sure, we could say, "Canada's great"--but it won't be here forever. I think the Minoans thought they'd be on Crete forever--oops! Sorry, but you got destroyed. The Roman Empire fell. Life goes on. If all we have pride in is our school or our country or something of this transitory world, then that's not a lot to be excited about. But Jesus is something--someone to be excited about. And in the Bible, we are told to be thankful. And I am thankful for Canada. I like Canada. I thank God that I live here.

Why is Canada something to be thankful for? I can worship Jesus here without fear of persecution, for one thing. We can parade down the street for Jesus. We can set up in our University Centre for a whole week to let people know about Jesus. As well, in Canada I can choose to vote or not to vote. But I can vote. Voting is pretty cool, I guess. But if I don't like democracy, I have the legal right to leave Canada and try to find some monarchy or dictatorship to live in--if I really want to. In Canada, I don't have to pay for healthcare. Go see John Q and find something to be thankful for in Canada. In Canada, if I were so inclined, I could freely criticise the government, the press, the military--whomever. I'm not so inclined, but if I were, I could do it. In Canada, I can live in Ontario, Alberta, or Nunavut. I am able to drive a car from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia then up to the territories. I could canoe from one end of this country to the other--from sea to shining sea--with minimal portages. If I dislike the taxes in Ontario, I could move to Alberta where taxes are lower. If I don't like high tuition fees at the University of Ottawa, I could go to the University of Victoria where they're lower. If I don't have enough money for tuition, I can get an Ontario Student Loan or a Canada Student Loan--or both. I'm thankful that Canada doesn't spend excessive amounts of money on "national defence" like our Southern neighbour. The only NATO country that spends less on national defence than Canada is Luxembourg! With money being spent in other places, I see the Government of Canada offering programs some countries don't offer. I'm thankful for Canada because of Cape Breton fiddle music.

I think Canadians whine too much. We should stop and take some time to see that although this country isn't perfect, there is some good stuff. Despite the fact that Canada won't last forever, we should realise that while it's here, it's not such a bad place to live. I like living in Canada. I'd rather live here than the USA where too much money is spent on military or the UK where food is expensive because it's all imported or in Afghanistan where I wouldn't be free to worship Jesus. And we should realise that Canadian history isn't boring--we just make it look that way. Just because we don't have the media giant like the USA to spice up or make up our history for us doesn't mean it isn't cool. We could make Canadian Westerns--all about the NWMP and whiskey runners. It'd be exciting, cool, and true. Canada is where the fur trade happened. Fur traders are full of cool stories! The fur trade is cool! Canada was the backbone of the European felt market. I was saddened by someone who wrote a song about being Canadian that had the line "A beaver's not a symbol, it's just an animal." The beaver is an excellent symbol. The beaver is the base of Canada. No beaver, no fur trade. No fur trade, no settlement. No settlement, no Canada. Without that beaver, we would have been annexed into the United States long ago. The beaver symbolises the economic, political, and social birth of Canada. And it can also symbolise the survival of Canada as a distinct nation through all these years. Canadians are very often completely unaware of where we've come from and what we're doing.

On Sunday, February 24, I trekked from the bus station home. As I was on the bus, I'd missed the Gold Medal hockey game for the Olympics. But I knew we'd won because cars were honking their horns, people were leaning out yelling, and masses of people were flapping Canadian flags. Hurray for that red maple leaf! Canada rocks! One of my friends changed his name to "Canadians Are Hockey Gods" on MSN after that. I saw there that sometimes we Canadians know what it's all about. I think we should be glad to be Canadian more often than just when we win at the Olympics.

Here are some Cool Canadian Facts:

The first scheduled radio broadcast in North America took place in Montreal in May 1920.

By 1914, Canada had more kilometres of rail line per capita than any other country in the world.

Canada consumes more Kraft Dinner per capita than any other country in the world.

Canada invented the telephone, insulin, the Polio vaccine, the Canadarm . . .

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, Canadian Parliament declared war on Japan 24 hours before US Congress.

On D-Day, Canada advanced further inland than any other Allied division.

Canada's coastline is 243 719 km long according to one source, 580 000 according to another.

By 1957, TV production in Montreal was 3rd in the world, after New York City and Hollywood.

Between 1939 and 1944, the RCAF went from 17 planes to 200 000.

Let's go paint maple leafs on our faces and shout the words to "O Canada" at the top of our lungs!

Here's a prayer for Canada:

Most gracious God, the Author of all good things, we humbly pray for the Parliament of Canada that You would be pleased to direct and prosper all their counsels to the advancement of Your Glory, the good of Your Church, and the safety, honour, and welfare of our people. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen. (Based on a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, Canada.)

O Canada, our home and native land,

True patriot-love, in all our son's command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise

The True North strong and free

From far and wide,

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

God keep our land glorious and free

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

Copyright 2002, Matthew Hoskin