Very Canadian problems

It’s good to be in Canada, and it’s good to have very Canadian problems.

Last week the Burns Lake and District Healthcare Auxiliary announced they will nearly double the size of the thrift shop they run on Fourth Avenue.

The reason? Over the past five years, item donations have progressively increased, and now thrift shop members are feeling overwhelmed (they told me themselves).

Isn’t this simply the most Canadian problem you can think of ?

People are so generous here that a local organization is struggling to accommodate all donations. In fact, they are now asking people to postpone their donation items until the thrift shop renovation i complete (so they are literally asking people to be less generous for a few months).

Having grown up in Brazil, I can tell you this is definitely not the kind of news you would hear out there.

Another example of very Canadian problems was a recent discussion in Ontario on whether or not teachers were “getting paid too much.” I don’t know about you, but I love hearing about these problems (it’s definitely better than discussing if our next president will be Donald Trump).

But perhaps nothing illustrates Canadian problems better than prime minister Justin Trudeau’s elbowing incident earlier this year. I’m sure you remember that; after all, it was all over the news for an entire week.

I watched that video over and over for days, and I simply could not understand why we were even talking about it. HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ with John Oliver dedicated one of their episodes to the elbowing incident; and of course, making fun of how Canadians thought that was an actual problem. John Oliver showed Canadian politicians using words such as “molest” to describe the prime minister’s action.

But I think I got off track here. Let’s get back to local news.

Last year the health care auxiliary was able to generate a staggering $74,000. Considering how cheap the thrift shop’s products are, that should give you an idea of how hard they all work (I once bought a vacuum cleaner there for $5; I felt like I was stealing it).

What’s impressive is that the health care auxiliary is just one of the many organizations in town that are dedicated to improve the lives of others. And what’s the impact of that? It creates a culture that believes we can all make a difference and help each other out.

This is so ingrained in Canadian culture that some of you may be asking, “Isn’t everyone else like that?” Unfortunately, no. But in here you see this ‘culture of giving’ everywhere.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Jaden Simone West, a determined 12-year-old, walked approximately 90 km to support people battling cancer. She was able to raise $3600.

Burns Lake had another special visitor last week, Brett Merchant, who’s walking 1236 km along Hwy. 16 to raise money to protect at-risk Aboriginal women. His goal is to raise $50,000 to support the creation of women’s shelters.

It’s good to be in Canada, and it’s good to have very Canadian problems.