Christmas is a time to celebrate Canada the Good

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Editorial – While it is easy to fall into the trap of believing our nation is in a state of crisis and impending doom in these days of social media’s onslaught of negativity, the truth of the matter is that most Canadians are only beset with first world problems. At this time of year when we are exhorted to exhibit good will toward our fellow man (albeit the generic use of “man” is falling somewhat out of favour among the woke) it is enlightening to look upon ourselves through the lens used by the rest of the world.

True, Canada has far more poor and disadvantaged than a nation as rich as ours should, and we continue to struggle with the more odious vestiges of our colonial past including demonstrable systemic racism (something most Canadians can turn a blind eye or ear to thanks to our entitled positions in life). And don’t get us started on the impact of inflation, pandemic-induced shortages and the lack of affordable housing—housing in many cities is even out of the reach of those whose resources would seem to place them squarely in the middle class—let’s save that for after the new year rings in.

There is so much about our nation to be proud of. Not the least of which is the effort that our national and provincial leaders are putting into correcting those aforementioned systemic shortfalls. We have a Charter of Rights that is the envy of the world, not least of which because it is enforced, unlike so many high concept proclamations across the globe and we enjoy a wealth that bulwarks us against much of the ills afflicting so many beyond our borders.

While some freedoms were curtailed in the name of the public good over the past two years, it is only those so blind by partisan willfulness that do not recognize those freedoms are returning as the crisis abates. A civil society is fueled by a balance of rights and responsibilities, and it is the strength of a nation’s people that ensure those freedoms remain protected.

Over a million immigrants will be coming to live in Canada over the next couple of years, with 420,000 slated to arrive before the end of 2022 and as many as 450,000 a year until 2025. These new Canadians will be vital in ensuring our economy continues to thrive even as our “old stock” of Canadians continues to dwindle. This year there will also be up to 80,000 refugees fleeing war and oppression drawn to our shores—seeking shelter in a country seen as a safe harbour in the midst of the world’s stormy seas—some of whom have settled here on Manitoulin Island and are already proving to be a boon to the local economy.

It is said that you cannot see the forest for the trees. Well, Canada is not only blessed with vast forests filled with trees, but also a welcoming and tolerant population presenting open arms, hearts, homes and communities to those in need of succor.

As we enter a new year, let us be filled with hope and endeavour to count our blessings, for overall, Canada truly deserves the title of “good.”