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Throughout Canada’s relatively short existence we have created quite a reputation for ourselves. Our great nation is known for many things , and I am proud to say that most are positive. Does Canada have a strong national identity? Anyone can see the answer is yes. Just take a look at the facts. For example, we are renowned for our peacekeepers and no other country is considered more peaceful. Without a doubt this is the type of identity we should work to keep.
The first thing we should examine is what exactly is meant by “strong national identity”. A very good example of strong national identity is the U.S.. I doubt there is a man on this planet who is not familiar with the U.S.. People immediately recognize their flag, and most people can tell you quite a bit about them. The same is true of Canada, and what do they know of Canada? In 1995 U.S. President Bill Clinton stated his view of Canada in a speech where he declared, “Canada has shown the world how to balance freedom with compassion and tradition with innovation, in your efforts to provide health care to all your citizens, to treat senior citizens with the dignity and respect they deserve...”(Canada Today 9). We were also rated first in the UN’s 1992 “Human Development Index” (9).
As I have already stated Canada is very well known for our many peacekeeping efforts. This is due to the many places our peacekeepers have been, or are at this very moment, such as Bosnia, East Timor and even Central Africa. These are just a very small portion of the places our peacekeepers are presently stationed. I am not even mentioning the dozens and dozens of other places they have been to. Our peacekeepers have helped save countless lives and Canada has gained relatively little in return, but Canada does it anyways, because it is the right thing to do.
Aside from our activities outside the country, we are also one of the best countries to live in. We have one of the top 5 life expectancies for both men and women. We also have the longest expected education according to the UN’s stats. These are just a few reasons why Canada is the greatest country.
Not only do we have a lot to offer Canadian citizens, here is a list of reasons to immigrate to Canada provided by KAM International:
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•Immigrant Visas issued within a reasonable time frame.
•Migration possible for skilled workers as well as investors
•Many opportunities in the Information Technology sector for software professionals - over 20,000 jobs unfilled in the IT sector.
•Eligibility for Canadian Citizenship within three years of arrival in Canada with permanent residence status.
•Dual Citizenship allowed.
•Entitlement to government welfare benefits (in case of necessity), free medical facilities, free education, old age insurance, unemployment insurance etc.
•Minimal government regulations in starting your own business.
•Access to the U.S. market based on the NAFTA Agreement
•The best country to live in the world- and the United Nations keeps reaffirming it !
There is so much to Canadian identity it would take days to cover a fair portion of it, and so far I have only covered the economics and military but there is so much more. For example, we are known as the founders of hockey, witch is a great source of nationalism. This is something that MUST be pursued. Everyone loves hockey, and Canadians are proud of our part in it, but slowly the Americans are stealing it away, like they did with basketball, which was also Canadian. We’re also know for our beautiful land, which I won’t even bother stating that we must maintain because it is so obvious. This is a small portion of what Canada has to offer, and definatly the type of identity worth pursuing. To me it is not a question of “Whether we should pursue our strong national identity at all costs? ”; it is a question of, “If this is what we are we pursuing, why would we not?” There is so much that makes up Canada, and we must work to protect all these aspects. I pose this question before you, if Canada would not protect our identity what would become of Canada?
United Nations. “ Social Indicators”. On-line. UN web site . July 30, 1999.
Smith, Daniel J. McDevitt, Angus L. Scully. Canada Today: Third Edition.
Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Canada Inc., 1996.
United Nations. “Human Development Report”. Online. Human Development Report 1998. 1998
Canada. KAM International.“ Knowledge”. On-line. Immigration To Canada. 1999