I am a very proud Canadian, through and through.
Our country is far from perfect, though. Many Canadians tend to be risk-averse and prefer comfort over opportunity. We are often compared to our neighbours to the south. The land of the free and the brave often touts itself as a place of unrestrained capitalism. I am no stranger to its ideals. I myself am part American, with my great-granny hailing from Buffalo. From what I know, the family was comprised of hard-working business people of German and American descent, who according to my ancestral research from a few years ago can trace their lineage all the way back to the founding of the New England colonies, and I imagine would likely have been Puritans.
But I have a lot of pure Canadian blood in me (as well Scottish, English, Irish and a tiny bit of French). My paternal grandfather’s side probably had some United Empire Loyalist stock, who farmed in northwestern Ontario, as most people did then for a living. I know that my great-great-grandfather came from County Cavan, Ireland and was a blacksmith who arrived in our land as a “home child” during the second potato famine, as my grandpa was careful to point out.
But Canada could use with some more gumption, more bravado that is common to America. My father couldn’t really sell any product from his life sciences company to Canadians. There just wasn’t the appetite or companies. In order for Canada to succeed and reach our maximum potential, we need to be more confident and sure of ourselves, albeit willing to concede when we make mistakes, which we will.
There is so much we have going for us: a peaceful land, welcoming people, an ethnically diverse society. Let’s build on our strengths and continue to pursue excellence… and step out in to the unknown, with gusto! Our forefathers, which included the French settlers who established the Quebec settlements, ran the rivers all the way down to the Mississippi delta. These entrepreneurs established vast trade networks and caused the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company to soar to great heights of prosperity.
Indeed, our young country has much to offer. All we need to do is keep playing to our strong points.