The Best of What Canada Has to Offer BY: jASMEET BENEPAl

The year 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation and this is a major milestone for our country. It is an important time to acknowledge the factors that make up this country. There are three features that we should pride in as Canadians; multiculturalism, landscape, and nation branding and patriotism.

Multicutrualism

Multiculturalism is the state of being multicultural, meaning to support different cultures and racial or ethical groups within a society. Canada is a very multicultural country and this is something that we should be proud of.

In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to make multiculturalism an official policy and by doing so, Canada acknowledged the value and dignity of all Canadian citizens, despite what their racial or ethnic origins might be and what language they speak (“Canadian Multiculturalism: An Inclusive Citizenship”). Pierre Trudeau, the father of current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau made the materialism policy in Canada (Kalra). As a result, Statistic Canada’s new figures show that Canada is one of the most multicultural countries on the planet. Most of the immigrants came from Europe in the 1960’s, but after that time, the country has invited more people of different ethnic origins (“Census shows Canada truly multicultural”). Furthermore, Canada has become a country of new beginnings, people often come to Canada to start a new stage in their life. Some of these people were fleeing from oppression or wanted cheap land, but whatever their reasons for coming, all of these immigrants believed that Canada will give them a better quality of life. Today, the Canadian government continues to welcome immigrants and more than 2.4 million immigrants have come to Canada between the years of 2000 to 2010. Canada consists of many diverse cultures and this can be seen in almost every single Canadian city. The multicultural society is similar to a large symphony orchestra, there is diversity through each section of the orchestra much like all the communities (Canada’s Multicultural Society Today 8-9). In addition, Canadians are full of awareness and have come together by their own sets of values and beliefs which is to be able to have a diversity and not demand homogeneity (Hussain). Moreover, multiculturalism ensures that all citizens are equal, it allows all of us to have the same basic values of democracy with all the other Canadians who came before us. It ensures that everyone gets to keep their own identities and allows everyone to get a sense of security and increases their self-confidence. This will create a peaceful integration throughout the country and causes society to be open-minded (“Canadian Multiculturalism: An Inclusive Citizenship”). Recently, the president of the United States, Donald Trump had announced a temporal restriction on refugees in 7 Muslim countries and many people were incensed because they believed he was taking away their right. Here in Canada, Justin Trudeau invited everyone by saying diversity is our strength (Vieira). In addition, the burqa was banned to be worn in public in France because according to French constitution, it is wrong to be wearing religious symbols in public. Many countries in Europe like Bulgaria and Switzerland followed France. Here in Canada, the laws do not ban religious expression. Hate mongering and xenophobia, the hate of different cultures has become a major issue in the world. However, during the peak of the 2016 global refugee crisis in 2016, 300,000 immigrants were welcomed into Canada. Canada is a ray of hope to everyone (Kalra). There is success in Canadian multiculturalism, the society allows immigrants to come through their generous, benevolence and sincerity to values which allow people to have their own identities. This has been a national character, Canada is an example of social cohesion in this planet right now (Hussain). Justin Trudeau spoke on Multiculturalism Day that as Canadians. our roots reach to every corner of the globe, we come from far and wide. He acknowledged that our national fabric is varied however, it is still vibrant. All Canadians have a core value of respect and all of us are woven together by that core value. Therefore, multiculturalism has become strength, it has become as familiar as the maple leaf to everyone (“Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Multiculturalism Day").

MULTICULTURALISM is important:

Multiculturalism is the diversity of cultures. Multiculturalism should be valued by all Canadians. Canada is a country made out of immigrants, most people are immigrants. All these immigrants have come from different countries or ethnic origins. Therefore, they have different languages, values, beliefs, religions and backgrounds. However, hate against different cultures should be vanished and since the multiculturalism policy, the Canadian government has supported cultural diversity. The policy has allowed citizens to keep their identities. In return, racism, discrimination, and prejudice have been decreased under these laws because there is more acceptance of everyone. By making Canada multicultural, the relationships of people within the country have improved. Furthermore, we have become an open-minded society and accepted different food, sports, ideas, clothes, arts, music, festivals, celebrations and etc. Canadians understand and are learning from other cultures, children are growing up in this multicultural background as well. Living in a multicultural society is good because everybody is allowed to contribute a different part of society. This provides different views, ideas, and friendship. Children are allowed to learn more about the different cultures and the problems in the world as well. This can let them learn more about problem-solving which can help them as they are older. Everyone is understanding different views, values and behaviours in different countries allowing harmony and peace. I think multiculturalism is positive to a society because of respect, order and progress. It is human nature to fear what is not known, people that are against multiculturalism are scared of change. However, if we do not learn to deal with multiculturalism then a homogenized society will begin and this will only cause more political and violent conflict in the world. We need to progress as a society. Multiculturalism is respecting and being open-minded to different cultures and beliefs. Therefore, I believe multiculturalism is a good thing for Canada and is a something we should be proud of.

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park in Alberta, Ontario

Landscapes:

Landscape are the features of the land. Canada has many lakes, rivers, and sources for fresh water. Canada contains many forests as well. These two features contribute to the natural landscape and are important for Canadians.

Canada is the second largest country on the planet and has a mass of 9,970,610 square kilometres ("Canada - A Country Overview"). Canada has many different forms of landscape due to the large size of the country, such as there are areas with mountains, forests, prairie grassland, arctic tundra and etc. There are lakes and rivers in almost every part of the country (“Canada: A brief overview"). There is a total of 2 million lakes in Canada (Boyce). The Mackenzie River is the largest river in Canada, it is 4, 241 kilometres long and Canada has 563 lakes which have an area larger than 100 square kilometres (“Canadian Water Facts"). Canada has one-fifth of the world’s freshwater (“Freshwater | WFF - Canada"). Therefore, Canada could be a considered a freshwater-rich country because the average discharge from Canadian rivers to the world’s renewable water source is only around 9% but Canada’s population is less than 1% of the world’s. Water can be seen in almost every part of Canada, no countries in the world have this much surface area covered by freshwater. The Great Lakes, that are shared with the U.S., make up the largest surface area of water that is fresh to be found in one place compared to the rest of the world (“Water | Natural Resources Canada"). Water is essential for all organisms and it is used in many activities by humans. Water sustains wildlife in the Canadian ecosystem; in the streams, forest land and the wetlands. Canada uses the aquatic natural resources every day. It is needed for; transportation, resources, employment, growing food, drinking, hydroelectric dams (for energy), recreational purposes and to admire the scenery. Recreation activities includes swimming, boating, or fishing. Also, the country has 243,000 km of beach or coastline and this is the are longest in the world making the water a tourist attraction (Kylie). Water is used in services and business such as hospitals, schools, office buildings, water is essential to humans as well (“Water Use”).

A forest region is a geographic belt or zone in which there is a broad composition of dominant tree species and physiography, making a broad uniformity. Canada has eight forest regions; boreal forest region, great lakes - st. lawrence forest region, acadian forest region, deciduous forest region, coast forest region, subalpine forest region, montane forest region and columbia forest region (Bourchier and Stanton). Forests cover 40% of Canada’s land and overall, Canada’s forest represent 30% of the world’s 30% boreal forests and 10% of the world’s overall forest cover ("Overview - Canada’s Forests"). Additionally, the boreal forest makes around 80% of Canada’s forested land, it goes northeast British Columbia, south of the Mackenzie River Delta and the Alaskan border to northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. It passes through Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec to the Labrador Sea (Bourchier and Stanton). Canada’s boreal forest and the other forest are very important to the country’s national environment, history, culture, and economy. Canada respects and looks after the land, 96% of the most forestland is publicly owned by the government. There are many laws placed to keep the land safe, such as the sustainable forest management ensures that Canadian forest is healthy. This is a way to manage the forest with environmental, social and economic benefits in the future. All the parks maintain the landscapes, keep the biodiversity safe and allow there to be scientific research. The boreal forest is very important to Canada and the planet, Canada’s boreal forest takes up around to 270 million hectares that store carbon, clean the air and regulate climate. The forest and many other forests provide; jobs for Canada, are culturally and economically important to the Aboriginal people, contribute to the national economy for timber products, non-timber products, mineral, energy resources and hydroelectricity. The forests also provide food and raw materials to Canada. There are many unique tourism and recreational opportunities. The forests are therefore essential to the landscape and play a major role in Canadian lives (“Boreal Forest | Natural Resources Canada”).

Algonquin National Park in Ontario

LANDSCAPES ARE IMPORTANT:

Living near lakes, water and sources of freshwater should be valued by all Canadians. About 97% of the water on the planet is salt water, with only 3% fresh water. Most of the freshwater is in the glaciers or ice up north. Freshwater is essential to life; plants, humans, and animals need it to survive. We use it for multiple reasons; transportation, employment, growing food on farms, to drink, energy resources, for recreation or just to enjoy the beauty. Additionally, living near water allows there to be an industry and water has become an asset for local businesses, when a city is near the water there are many business opportunities such as transport of goods, the use of water as energy and fishing. Living in water makes the land more beautiful, more interesting and more breezy. The land becomes an attraction and there can be trails, pathways, beaches and etc. placed around the water. There is natural beauty in the water, I believe that water is one of the most beautiful features in a landscape. Lakes, rivers, oceans bring many aquatic animals and plants which even add to the beauty. The water sustains wildlife in the Canadian ecosystem; in the streams, forest land the wetlands. Additionally, it is good to live near forests because it can help you breathe better because trees make oxygen, this causes citizen’s health to increase. Trees help with anxiety, stress and depression. Also, a healthy ecosystem such as a forest can clean and purify rainwater and groundwater. Furthermore, there are many species living inside forests and help provide scientific research. Overall, forests can provide us with food, machine, jobs and other resources, and are essential to everyday live. In conclusion, forests and water are crucial to our everyday lives and create majesty beauty by the greenery, recreational activities, and tranquility. There are many countries in the world where these features are disappearing. This makes us lucky to live in Canada and we should enjoy but value these natural resources greatly.

Nation Branding and Patriotism

Nation branding is used to determine the reputation of countries. Patriotism is the love, devotion or support, to one’s country. It can also be described as national loyalty. Canada has a strong nation brand and Canadian patriotism is growing over the years.

Canada came first on the Country Brand index and was named the most powerful country brand by Future Brand. The country brand index is a study about perception and focuses on how travellers will perceive countries. The most important factors that truly differentiate in a nation's brand are it’s association and attributes according to the CBI. This includes what thoughts go through a person’s mind when the country’s name is said out loud, when they read about the country, when they see images of the country or when planning a leisure or business trip to the country. This makes Canada desirable for travellers or immigrants. The index is a measure of the international representation of the country. The CBI reports that growth and expansion are linked to the brand equity ("Canada named top country brand in the world - again”). Canada was also ranked the most admired country in the world by an annual survey done by the Reputation Institute in 2015. This is based on a series of factors such as environment, political and economic factors. Examples of these factors include an effective government, cooperation is absent, friendly people and a good welfare support system. These factors make Canada a good place to live and it can offer a good life to the residents (Elliot).

Canada is getting more patriotic by the day while there seems to be a more dim and gloomy style in the U.S. of nationalism. July 1st and the 4th are important dates in the calendar. Both countries celebrate these dates in different ways. Many Americans took independence Day to the extreme, while Canadians did not show as much patriotism. Canadians were proud of the country's location and the values of the country. However, Canadians never really demonstrated this until the 2010 Winter Olympics games. The games were a key factor as they changed the country fundamentally. Canadians began cheering for Canada and this could be seen from coast to coast. The people never stopped cheering in a way. Canadian patriotism has grown over the years and patriotism is what starts a country and brings it together (Mason). In a study titled, “Pride and Prejudice: Shifting Mindsets in an Age of Uncertainty,” many different nations were studied for their identity, government activity, and happiness. One of the countries measured included Canada and according to the report, 75% of Canadians are proud and this is the 15th highest in the world. Globally, everyone was proud of their culture and history but here in Canada, the highest percent said our values. This includes diversity, equality, and politeness which are key factors in this country. The values make this a good country to live in (Kolm).

NATION BRANDING AND PATRIOTISM IS IMPORTANT:

Nation brand is the strategic self-representation of a country to create a reputation capital through political, social and environmental factors and patriotism is the love a citizen feels for the country. Nation brand should be valued by all Canadians. Nation brand is an important concept in the world, all countries are competing over their tourism, exports, people, government, investment, immigration, culture and heritage. Canada getting a good rank in the nation brand proves that Canada has a good reputation around the world. A good representation is a key factor as it attracts more tourists and immigrants. It causes a boost in exports, and stimulate inward investment. These factors are examples of how Canada is growing and becoming better. Nation branding has made citizens feel happy in Canada. Furthermore, patriotism is important to a country because it's important for people to take pride in their country. Patriotism is what started this country and it continues to bring people in this country together. As Canadians, we are taught to be proud of being Canadian citizens. Patriotism focuses on love and respect, this does not mean that there is a belief that the country is better than the rest. It means that we should take pride in our origins and try to protect, preserve and make our country better. This is similar to a family because without love, respect and loyalty a family would be incomplete. Patriotism should be important to everyone especially the youth because we are the future. Therefore, I think our nation brand and patriotism should be valued by all Canadians as it helps bring our country together and demonstrates how privileged we are to live in Canada.

In conclusion, these features are some of the best that Canada has to offer.

Thank you

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