Lately I’ve been feeling extremely proud to have chosen to live in Canada.
Canada is playing a vital role on the world stage right now, and maybe it’s never been so important to be Canadian.
Britain recently voted to leave the European Union, a costly decision that was mostly motivated by rising protectionism and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Meanwhile in Canada, the “three amigos” – Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, U.S. president Barack Obama and prime minister Justin Trudeau – met in Ottawa last week for the North American leaders’ summit.
Together they signed deals to improve relations between the three countries, including lifting visa requirements for Mexican visitors to Canada. Mexico has agreed to open their domestic market to all Canadian beef products and the three leaders signed a comprehensive climate, clean energy and environment partnership.
But the deals they signed weren’t the most important part of their historical meeting. The symbolism of seeing world leaders coming together just a few days after the ‘Brexit’ vote was priceless, especially with Trudeau posting “working together always beats going it alone.”
It was the perfect example of how Canada is sending a powerful message to the rest of the world.
Just last week, the New York Times published an article saying that while anti-refugee sentiment takes over most of Europe, Canadians are welcoming refugees with open arms.
“Much of the world is reacting to the refugee crisis with hesitation or hostility; just across the border, however, the Canadian government can barely keep up with the demand to welcome them,” says the New York Times article.
Last Friday, the B.C. government announced that five refugee response teams from throughout the province received a second round of funding, sharing nearly $230,000 to continue helping refugees settle and integrate into B.C. communities.
B.C. Minister of Jobs Shirley Bond said “there is nothing more Canadian than welcoming people from around the world.”
And she is right. Even small communities such as Smithers have pulled together to bring families of refugees to Canada.
The Canadian attitude toward the refugee crisis is the perfect example of how Canada has much to offer the world right now.
While Donald Trump, presumptive U.S. presidential nominee, has called for temporary bans on all Muslims from entering the U.S., Trudeau has continuously stressed that diversity is what makes Canada prosperous.
In fact, that was exactly the content of Trudeau’s message on Canada Day.
“Canada was formed not in spite of differences, but because of them,” said Trudeau.
Canada is playing a vital role on the world stage right now by demonstrating a different way to deal with world crises – not by reacting with fear and taking unreasonable measures such as closing borders, but by trying to address the actual cause of problems while showing love and compassion for those affected.