Every year at this time I feel pride in being Canadian and I give thanks for living in such a great country. Despite how much we gripe and complain about things, Canada Day gives us a chance to realize how fortunate we are.
This year was no different, except for one thing. This year I took one of those quizzes that tests your Canadian history knowledge and I kind of failed. OK, not kind of… I failed.
After sweating through a few questions that featured pictures of prominent figures in Canadian history, I started to wonder how I could be proud of a place I seemed to know very little about.
But then I talked myself up into believing I don’t need to be a history expert; leave that up to the history experts. I am a Canadian. I was born here, I live here, I work here, I love here. Isn’t that the bottom line?
Yes, these online quizzes and tests in newspapers gauge my knowledge of stuff that happened way before I was born, but I’m up-to-date on current events and know what’s going on in my own backyard.
Can I name the first five prime ministers? No. Is knowing that important? I guess so. I wouldn’t say it is vital. Do I know the names of our current provincial and federal leaders and cabinets, etc.? Yes. Do I follow news and know what’s happening from coast to coast to coast? Absolutely.
And, how about this fun fact about your favourite newspaper columnist: I worked all through Canada Day because my radio show airs primarily in the United States and I had interviews and regular business to take care of.
Did I wish the American celebrities a Happy Canada Day? Of course I did. They got a kick out of it. In fact, prior to taping one interview, I educated a millionaire star all about our fine country.
So that, my friends, is what being Canadian is all about: telling people great things about where you live, standing up to snide comments made by outsiders and being thankful to live in a country that is a pretty decent place to be.