Canada is 156 years old today. But saying we’re a young country is like saying we’re a small country. We’re neither. We’re middle-aged, and with 40 million people, 157 countries are smaller than us and just 36 are larger.
I often say to my superlative-obsessed American friends that we may not be the best country in the world, but we’re easily the luckiest. One big reason is that we share our bed with America. We’re also hard to invade, because we’re so far from anywhere else, except America of course. But hey, if the US can’t have a civil relationship with Canada, who can they have one with?
Sure, we have lots of problems. But we also have a national pension scheme that’s second to none. While our health-care system is fraying, at least we have one. And parts of it work superlatively: Toronto General is the 4th best hospital in the world, Sick Kids is the world’s top children’s hospital. Which makes living in downtown Toronto another lucky rabbit. Which could be why so many people from outside are immigrating here. Oh, and one reason Canada shot so fast to 40 million people is that we opened our doors to more than a million immigrants a year. Last year, it was 1.05 million, compared to 1.5 million who emigrated to America in 2021 which has 10 times our population.
But the best luck of all is to be born or raised in a country where the odds of getting shot are tiny, the chance of going to university are better than anywhere in the world, and the chance of living a long and useful life are high and rising.
So raise a glass to the slightly paunchy, often hesitant country where “We’re pretty good!” is our national anthem.