Since I have told you what I dislike about Canada, let me tell you a few of the things that I do like (please note that #5 is Ontario-specific, I’m not sure about the rest of the country):
5) Whatever, show us your boobies
Men can go shirtless in public almost anywhere — it’s pretty much accepted as a norm. Maybe not the classiest thing, but dude won’t get ticketed for public indecency just because he wants to show off his pecs. Well, here in good ol’ Ontario, there’s no discrimination based on gender, and if I want to walk around downtown Toronto with my shirt off and boobies hanging out, I can. I must say that I have yet to see a shirtless woman in the city, but it’s comforting to know that if I felt the urge to be a free spirit, I could pursue this urge.
4) Two Party Politics? Laaaame.
Canadian politicians are like pirates. They can form a coalition, stage a mutiny, and overthrow the party that was elected into power. There are like five different political parties represented in the federal government right now (it might only be four, but I think the Green Party got someone in there?) and it’s awesome. There’s a viable political party for most points of view, and although there are two big players who pretty much “win” all the federal elections, everyone is (at least right now) forced to try and play nice together. Things don’t go The Republican Way or The Democrat Way based on who has a majority — the way Canadian politics are structured at the moment means that all parties are heard, and the party in power has to be willing to compromise, for anything to get done. I love it.
3) Fries + gravy + cheese = love
Let’s be real: I’ve never actually had my own serving of poutine. Why? Because everytime it’s been available to me, the gravy in question is beef based. But I’ve ogled it, I’ve daydreamed about it, and I know exactly where Smoke’s Poutinerie is in Toronto, on the off-chance that I ever end up around the corner and hungry.
2) Extra “u”s are extra cool!
For as long as I remember, I’ve been spelling words like “labour” “armour” “humour” and “colour” with the extra u. This is slightly ironic, considering my prior rant against the pronunciation of “again”, but let’s be real: tossing a “u” in after an o is just sexy looking. Also, it makes crossword puzzles infinitely easier.
1) Seriously, you can go bankrupt just because you got sick?
I remember Chris coming down with a cold shortly after I moved to Canada. As he sat sniffling on the couch one night, he said, “I think I’ll go to the clinic tomorrow.” I answered, “Okay, but how much will it cost?” and he gave me this look like you poor little American. Sure, you know, universal health care has its problems; I won’t deny it. I also won’t deny that it’s absolutely hideous that a health problem in the US can eat through your savings and throw families into bankruptcy and turmoil. If I donate blood in the US, for free, it still costs you money to get a transfusion with my blood. If your child is born with sensitive lungs and develops a lung disease because of the “air quality” where you live, oh well, it’s all on your hands to take care of that child’s medical bills. I am eternally grateful that money will not have to be a concern when it comes to my child’s health.
Runners up: Coast to coast to coast (hand in hand with Sea to sea to sea), Strippers actually strip, Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me (except they aren’t) and The men are infinitely sexier.