Canadians have many reasons to feel good these days. The Vancouver Canucks are poised to be the first Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadians in 1993. Winnipeg is getting back its beloved Jets. Can the Nordiques be far behind? But wait, what’s that you say? You’re not a hockey fan? Don’t worry, you are not alone. After all, Canadians have a lot more to be proud of than just their hockey teams. Canada’s unique character and ingenuity is well represented in a wide variety of industries ranging from entertainment to space exploration. Below are four more good reasons to cheer for us Canucks.
Yes, maple syrup. We almost take it for granted. Did you know we Canadians produce over two thirds of the world supply of this delightful natural product? The distinctive flavour of Canadian maple syrup is enjoyed by people in over 30 countries around the globe. It is one of the world’s truly natural sweeteners. It is rich in essential minerals, and is used in a variety of health and purification practices including fasting and detoxification. It is even effective as an anti-aging skin treatment.
The Great Canadian Series
Let face it. We can’t all be die-hard hockey fans. Some of us are not even remotely interested who wins the cup or how many travel miles Winnipeg’s new team will accumulate next year. Some of us express our Canadian pride by watching our favourite Canadian T.V. series. This weekend I’ll be going to Metro Video to get myself the DVD set of season 3 of Durham County, arguably one the best Canadian series ever. While our hockey compatriots guzzle beer and inhale chips, we’ll be downing our warm chicken quesadillas with a good bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc. As an afterthought, Canadian wines probably should make this list too.
One of the Most Peaceful Places on the Planet
In 2011, Canada ranks in the Top 10 of most peaceful nations in the world according to The Global Peace Index. The index, published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, uses a broad range of indicators to measure the peacefulness of a country. Canada ranks eight this year, our first top ten score since the index came about in 2007. By comparison, our neighbours to South ranked 82nd this year. Canada might not be one of the most exciting places on earth, but it is comforting knowing it is one of the safest and most secure places to live.
Home to the World’s First Mars Base
This one may seem like a bit of a stretch, but it’s true. Canada is home to the world’s first simulated Mars base. The project is operated by Mars Society, an international nonprofit organization that advocates for human exploration and eventual settlement of the red planet.
Environmental conditions at the base’s location on Devon Island in Nunavut match well with those on Mars. The Mars Society is collaborating with NASA to study how international crews would work under these challenging conditions. Reminiscent of that unforgettable image of canadarm emerging from the space shuttle, NASA may one day beam back an image from deep space with a maple leaf-adorned Mars space station.
It’s customary for us Canadians to handle our accomplishments with an air of self restraint and modesty. Still, there are times, like last year’s Olympics and this years’ race to the cup, when even us unlikely sports fans find it hard to resist getting caught up in all the excitement. Go Canucks!