Oh Canada — not too bad, eh?

I don’t want to get all patriotic on you or anything, but I came across a couple of tributes to our home and native land (okay — my home and native land anyway) and they were sufficiently funny and yet true at the same time that I couldn’t help but take note of them. One was a guest post on the Queen of Spain’s blog by Meg Fowler, and while it’s entitled “Ten Things That Are Better About Canada,” it isn’t really about why we’re better than the U.S. or anywhere else, I don’t think — just why things are pretty darn good. My favourites include:

— Our national bird is tastier than yours.

— We know the secret to feeling rich — turn all your currency into gold-coloured coins!

— Our national flag is a leaf and two bars — something you can find in any town we have, too.

— We have more trees than we have McDonalds. And more hockey rinks than Wal-Marts. And more donuts than cops.

Nice job, Meg. And the other piece was a guest column in the National Post by a U.S. executive named Dave Burwick, who is leaving his tour of duty in Canada to head back to the U.S. and came up with his own list of things he loves about this country, including some thoughts about how hockey is a metaphor for our culture (and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with Don Cherry, thank God). Some selections:

— Hockey Night in Canada: One of the last communal TV events left anywhere.

— Eating a peameal sandwich every Saturday at 7 a. m. during my son’s hockey practice.

— Raising a family right in the middle of the city, and knowing they’re safe.

— Surviving a minus-30-degree day in downtown Winnipeg, and how it made me feel more alive.

I took a bike ride this afternoon through the Rouge River valley and into Pickering, out to Frenchman’s Bay — where some people were sunbathing, some were kite-surfing in the shadow of the giant Pickering nuclear plant, and some were sailing or kayaking — and along the way I saw hundreds of people walking, biking, picnicking, playing football, throwing a Frisbee, and just generally having a great time on a beautiful day. They were many different shades, from pale white to off-white to various shades of brown and black; some were wearing shorts, some dresses, some salwar kameez and some the hijab and chador and even burqa. And they were all Canadian. Happy Canada Day.

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