Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Reasons I love Canada

Is it really right to post Thursday Thirteen on a Friday? I don't think so but I am doing it anyway....
You can link to the new Thursday Thirteen site here.

My topic this week is 13 reasons I love Canada - in honour of Canada day yesterday which was actually Thursday and I should have posted then, but I was at home celebrating!

1. Gay marriage is legal. On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act.

This is the reason my spouse and I moved here in 2003. I could wax lengthy on why this is significant in our lives but I will spare you all the details - for today.

2. Because Gay Marriage is legal, Adoptions by Gay couples is also legal. I would not have my family if this were not the case.

3. Fries with gravy.

Fries and gravy are divine, but I have to admit I have never eaten poutine. It is something classically Canadian, but it scares me just a little. I should put it on my list of things to do this year - try poutine.

4. Health Care. Last week my spouse broke her ankle. We went to the emergency room and we were in and out in the space of two hours. We will never see a bill (although we do pay for it in other ways.

Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly-funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use. The government assures the quality of care through federal standards. In general, costs are paid through funding from income taxes. There are no deductibles on basic health care and co-pays are extremely low or non-existent (supplemental insurance such as Blue Cross may have deductibles, depending on income).
A health card is issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health to each individual who enrolls for the program and everyone receives the same level of care. EVERYONE receives the same level of care. It has flaws for sure, but overall it is amazing - take it from someone who lived in the USA and dealt with the health system there. There have been times in my life I was sick and did not seek treatment because I was afraid of the cost. No-one ever should have to make that choice.

5. Population density. What this means for us is that we live without neighbours so close that I can look into their kitchen while I am taking a shower. Sure, we have neighbours, and sure we even have had problems with our neighbours, but nothing like when we lived in Ogden and the teenage son of the neighbour would throw used condoms out of his bedroom window - right into our driveway.

With only three people per square kilometer, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world.

6. Water.

Estimates of Canada's supply of fresh water vary from 5.6 per cent to nine per cent to 20 per cent of the world's supply, depending on how one defines "fresh water" – whether it means "available," "usable," or merely "existing." One study says Canada has 20 per cent of the world's fresh water – ranking it at the top – but only nine per cent of "renewable" fresh water.

This is also another blog waiting to happen -- there are huge issues about where Canadian water is going - who owns it, who sells it and how much the public know about it. In the meantime, there's a lot of water here.

Specifically in my house I love that we have " Spring water". This isn't true for all of Canada,and not even true for all of Alberta, but we have spring water in our house. That's right. Not treated water, not water with all kinds of additives, but spring water. Water from the ground. Water that TASTES like water. I love my water.

7. The regent of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the Canadian head of state.

I'm not going to lie. I love the Queen. I love that she is the head of state of Canada. God Save Our Queen.

8. Lot's of great people hail from Canada. For a comprehensive list you will have to link here, Otherwise here are a few:

John Candy, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Dan Ackroyd, James Cameron, Kim Carrey, Mike Myers, Micheal j. Fox, Nelly Furtado, David Foster, Peter Jennings, k.d. lang, Wayne Gretzky, Art Linkletter, Howie Mandel, Sarah McLachlan, Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morrissette, Carrie Ann Moss, Steve Nash, Sandra Oh, Matthew Perry, Christopher Plummer, William Shatner, Alex Trebek, Mike Weir.

9. BBC Canada and APTN

Most of Canadian television makes me laugh. Canadians have a distinct sense of humor which I admit I do not always "get" (For instance the red green show sometimes eludes me), but I love the BBC. I love BBC radio and BBC television and we get both of them! There are some great Canadian kids shows which I am grateful for since I have children. My kids don't really watch a lot of television - they spend most of their days outside, but when they do come in and we snuggle before bed, Canada has made some excellent shows - the Backyardigans, Four Square, Miss Spiders Sunny Patch, Mighty Machines. APTN is the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and they have the best news broadcasts of any I have seen since moving back to Canada. My spouse watches LOTS of APTN, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention it.

10. World Cup Soccer Coverage.

O.K. I will admit that there is something lacking in some areas of sports coverage on television overall. For instance -there is an awful lot of Curling and Ice Hockey and Canadian Football on television and I don't watch any of it, but the things I DO watch I can ALWAYS find. We have GREAT coverage of the world cup and we had awesome Olympic coverage. I just wish there was more NBA and College Basketball coverage, but then again, my spouse might not be so impressed.

11. My Family Live Here.

This is one of the reasons we moved back to Canada - to be closer to family. As it turns out we are now spread out almost as far as we have been historically, but having said that we have still spent more time together as a family recently than when we were living in the U.S.

My brother and his family spend Christmas break with us and have been to see us twice since we moved here. We have travelled once to Saskatchewan to my sisters and we see my other brother and his wife fairly often because they live about 5 hours away from us instead of 15 or 20. my little sister spend some time with us and my parents have visited ( my mom twice). Having said that it WOULD be nice to be closer to everyone still.

12. Tim Horton's

I am not a real coffee drinker - if only it tasted as good as it smells! I do like to Stop at Timmy's for an iced cappuccino though. I wish they made Vanilla Ice like they have in Singapore :(

13. Summer.

Summer happens everywhere - I know. But since summer here is so short it seems like Canadians pack as many fun things into their summers as possible to make them memorable. There are always music festivals, rodeos, car shows.... you name it - we have it. I love summer. Hopefully soon we will have a camper -- then summer's watch out!


Danielle said...

Good List!I love Canada. I've been there a couple times. I love how they have legalized Gay marriage. I wish they would do that across the States. And Heathcare here? UGH! Don't get me started. My husband is a nurse so we have great health crae but as you know, the health system has soooooooo many flaw. And have made me love my cop of morning Joe.

I could go on.Whether it's on a Thursday, Wednesday or Friday, Great List!

Thanks for visiting my blog too!

Teena in Toronto said...

Canada rocks!

Queen Elizabeth is in town today. Alas, she didn't stop in for tea.

And it's Gay Pride week ... they will rockin' tonight!