untitled (9)I’ve taken some work with a multicultural newspaper as a Reporter/Photographer.  It’s brought into contact with a lot of new Canadians, and people on the tough road to becoming Canadian.

This Canada Day it’s struck me that sometimes we here can’t see the forest for all the trees. We’re too busy complaining about our politicians, and nitpicking all the flaws about this place that we fail to see to truly amazing it is.

For one of my first stories I covered a citizenship ceremony.  I interviewed a couple from Syria who called their citizenship certificates a second birth certificate.  They looked forward to giving back to their new country.

For another story I covered the ongoing opposition to the new Health & Physical Education curriculum.  In this area Muslims form the bulk of the opposition.  I went to one event and kept thinking a lot of these people come from countries where disagreeing with the government meant jail.  And yet here they were fearlessly sharing opinions, asking questions, seeking to better inform themselves.  Where else but Canada?

My birthday wish for Canadians is perspective.  Sometime before next Canada Day, take a few steps away from the nitpicking of everyday life, and try looking at the country from a newcomers eyes.  If you do, you’ll find it’s still very much the beacon of it always has been.