Woodstock, NB border

Today the year is half over. July 1, 2013. It is also Canada Day. I’m not a Canadian, nor will I pretend to get inside the psyche of a Canadian, but I will rattle off a few facts and dispel a few stereotypes.

Canada became a country in 1867, so it's a young nation by some country's standards at 146 years old today. The capital city is Ottawa located on the southeastern edge of the province of Ontario. The country is made up of 10 provinces and three territories. I was taught Canada had two territories in geography class, but at some point in the past 20 years, Canada added a third territory. Canada’s population is about a tenth of ours in the U.S at about 34 million people and Canada is the second largest nation in the world next to Russia.

Here we go with a few stereotypes that I will nix. Canada is a country with two official languages but not everyone speaks French. In fact, Canada is very English with the exception of Quebec and pockets of the Maritimes (eastern Canada). Not every Canadian likes hockey. Many do, but not all. Sports fans do get into hockey more so than we Americans do but it is in their culture. As polite as the Mounties act and look in their red and black uniforms, they’ll bust your behind on the highway in their other uniform just like a state trooper will.

I hold an American passport and have a wonderful life here in Maine but it doesn’t mean that Canada hasn’t touched me. I was brought up there; I went to school in Canada and lived a few years in Canada as an adult before moving to the United States. I don’t want to spark a debate on which country is better, but Canada is a beautiful nation and their citizens are and should be proud who they are and where they live.

I always say the same thing when people ask what the difference is between Canada and the U.S. The border crossing sums it up well. Canada wants to know what you have on board and The U.S. wants documentation of who you are.

I hope all Canadians at home, abroad  and here in Maine spending their money enjoy their day.