Was Canada Effective in World War II? ASK THE WORLD

I used to always state that Quora.com was a site where people could ask questions on any topic, and those who feel qualified attempt to answer them.¬† “It’s much like Yahoo! Answers”, I would further explain.¬† But it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is not a fair comparison.¬† ¬†It’s becoming more like a bunch of yahoos WITH answers making up answers.¬† And doing an even worse job with some of the questions.¬† Quora doesn’t make people stupid.¬† It just makes stupid people more accessible to the general public.¬† And as the old adage says – “stupidity is contagious, and there’s no known cure”.

The question popped up a few days ago, and I couldn’t believe it.¬† I also couldn’t keep quiet.¬† How dare the uneducated chatter class insult the memory of the tens of thousands of Canadians who gave their lives for our global freedom (yep, including the freedom of the brainwave that wrote this question, no matter where he or she lives).¬† This writer should be happy to discover that Canada was very effective in World War II, along with their Allied partners.¬† It’s why we aren’t speaking German or Japanese today.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS MY RESPONSE, word-for-word, to this highly controversial question.  Photos were later added for this blog article only.


You‚Äôll have to excuse my homeland of Canada – we were amiss apparently by not personally educating YOU on our war effectiveness from 1939‚Äď1945. Let‚Äôs fix that. There are a few people you should talk to:

  • Workman John Hawkins of Toronto checks the tags of Bren machine-guns at the John Inglis Co. plant in Toronto. Canada produced millions of arms for the Allied war effort. ¬© Archives Canada mikan-3197327

    ASK THE BRITISH  how effective we were. Before we even sent a single man, gun, plane, tank or ship Рwe made sure to take care of the British people themselves.  Remember, they live on an island, and risked being isolated by the Nazis, after the war started in September 1939.

    Canadian exports accounted for as much as 77% of British wheat and flour consumption in 1941, 39% of the bacon, 15% of the eggs, 24% of the cheese, and 11% of the evaporated milk that the British imported globally.

    Abandoned British equipment on the beach at Dunkirk. Although 340,000 troops were evacuated from Dunkirk, the British Army left behind: 120,000 vehicles, 600 tanks, 1000 field guns, 500 anti-aircraft guns, 850 anti-tank guns, 8000 Bren guns, 90,000 rifles and half a million tons of stores and ammunition. (Credit: LIFE Magazine, 1940)

    Britain also had to leave 75,000 of their 80,000 vehicles behind in the evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940. Virtually defenseless on the ground, Britain turned to Canada – and particularly the Canadian auto industry – to replace what had been lost. Canada not only replaced those losses – we also did much more.

    Canada produced more than 800,000 military transport vehicles, 50,000 tanks, 40,000 field, naval, and anti-aircraft guns, and 1,700,000 small arms. 38% of this production was used by the British military alone. The Canadian Army “in the field” had a ratio of one vehicle for every three soldiers, making it the most mechanized field force in the war.

    Canada also loaned $1.2 billion on a long-term basis to Britain immediately after the war; these loans were fully repaid in late 2006. That’s the equivalent of about $17.7 billion today.

  • Canadians landing at Juno Beach. (Credit: Le Conseil Regional De Basse-Normandie / Library and Archives Canada)

    ASK THE FRENCH how effective we were. On June 6, 1944, 14,000 Canadian troops stormed Juno Beach, arriving on 110 Canadian ships and supported by 10,000 Canadian sailors, part of 150,000 Allied troops total, who were part of the greatest invasion by sea in world history. Canada was the only nation that captured its beach and fulfilled all Her orders on D-Day. We suffered over 1,000 casualties that day alone.

    The French WILL tell you we were effective, by the way – they were occupied by the Germans for over 4 years – but then just 74 days after D-Day, we liberated Paris, and less than one year after D-Day, our little nation had assisted in bringing down the Third Reich completely – an empire that conquered 11 nations on 2 continents with 20 million battle-hardened troops, And Hitler was dead. Were we effective. They would shout a resounding ‚ÄúOui!‚ÄĚ

Dutch Ambassador to Canada, Dr. J.H. van Roijin and Mrs. van Roijin, greeting Dutch immigrants arriving by ship in Montreal, June 1947. (Credit: George Hunter / National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada / PA-123476)

ASK THE DUTCH how effective we were. Our country welcomed Queen Juliana, Prince Bernhard and the other members of the Dutch royal family as our guests for 5 years, after the Nazis invaded their Kingdom in June 1940. Dutch Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa Civic Hospital.

Later, Canada almost single-handedly liberated the Netherlands from the Nazis on May 9, 1945, and the Dutch still celebrate Liberation Day (unofficially called ‚ÄúCanada Day‚ÄĚ) with Canadian flags flying in Amsterdam on that day, citizens still running to give our aged soldiers flowers as they march or ride in parades there.

In a decades-old Dutch tradition, schoolchildren visit the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Netherlands on Christmas Eve every year, where nearly 1,400 Canadian soldiers are buried, and they place candles on every grave. More immigrants arrived in Canada in the 1950s from the Netherlands than from any other nation in the world, including America. In fact, the 2016 Canadian Census reported 1,111,655 persons of Dutch origin living in Canada out of 37 million Canadians. Did they find us effective? They would say ‚Äúja!‚ÄĚ

  • In fact, I’d even recommend ASKING THE GERMANS how effective we were. Particularly the German troops that were garrisoned at the town of Zwolle, in the Netherlands. Canadian soldier L√©o Major was the only Canadian and one of only three soldiers in the British Empire and Commonwealth to ever receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) twice in separate wars. In 1945, he single-handedly liberated the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands from German army occupation. He was sent as a scout with one of his best friends, but he thought the town was too beautiful for a full scale attack. So the next rational option was to clear it out himself. A firefight broke out and his friend was killed, but that didn‚Äôt stop him – he put the commanders of each group of soldiers he found at gunpoint, and the entire unit would end up being taken prisoner as a result. He ended up taking nearly 100 Germans prisoner that night, until the entire city was clear of Nazis. He received his second DCM during the Korean War for leading the capture of a key hill in 1951.

(Credit: Globe & Mail.)

Canada declared war in Germany just 7 days after Great Britain and France, and had troops in Europe literally weeks later. It would take a further 26 months before the United States would enter the War. By the time the War was over, Canada had over 1.1 million soldiers in uniform – about 33% of our entire adult male population.

At the end of the Second World War, Canada had one of the largest navies in the world, with 95,000 men and women in uniform, and 434 commissioned vessels including cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and auxiliaries.

During the 2,159 days that Canadian soldiers fought across Europe, Asia and Africa, 45,000 were killed, and 55,000 were injured. Those total casualties were equal to nearly 1 out of every 10 soldiers that served.

Canadians are not a blunt, brash or boasting lot. We are famous for apologizing for things that aren‚Äôt our fault. So let me say ‚ÄĚsorry‚ÄĚ to you in that vein – during the War, our armed forces were too busy making scraps to make a scrapbook for posterity. Many of our soldiers were gone for six years and then had to be re-integrated back into society after the War. We were also kind of busy burying our dead, and helping rebuild the world.

We’ll be sure to get it right for World War IIIwhich ironically will likely be started by someone like you, asking ill-advised, inflammatory questions like this.


(Editor’s Note:¬† The answer above certainly struck a nerve, which I’m thankful for!¬† ¬†In just the last 30 days alone, nearly 50,000 people on Quora.com read my answer above, and I received dozens of very kind comments.¬† I’ve shared my favorite at the end of this article.

I’m also honoured to have been “upvoted” over 2,900 times, which, according to Quora, means that these readers “believe I answered the question asked and contributed in a meaningful way to Quora’s repository of knowledge”.

If only the ORIGINAL QUESTION had been written with that same goal in mind.

And for the very first time in my life, I believe, something I’ve written has been painstakingly translated word for word into French, by a man I don’t know and have never spoken to before!¬† Merci beaucoup, Pierre Luc Gaudreault de Montr√©al!¬† You did an amazing job / Tu as fait un travail incroyable!

And it’s comments like these that truly make my blog, Quora, Youtube, Twitter…all worthwhile.¬† Thank you Raymond Li!


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By Shawn Jorgensen,  Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Posted:  January 19, 2020
[God’s Got A Plan For You!]

Canada Versus (And For) The World

BhGzOP9CIAACs8EIn May 2015, I published a rather blunt article about our national anthem, ‚ÄúO Canada‚ÄĚ, We Stand On Guard For Thee!¬†¬†which seemed to have really hit a nerve – it’s now the 2nd most read out of the 120¬†posted in the last 2 years – and we saw the 2nd highest number of new followers added in a single day (over 135!)

However, one reader wasn’t at all impressed, and it took me by surprise.¬† He seemed quite genuinely ticked off.


angry-man-clenching-teeth-at-computer“Why are you so militantly patriotic?”, he started. ¬†“I don’t get why you are so ‘up in our business’ about Canada. ¬†There’s ‘loving my country’ and then there’s the ‘I’d DIE for Canada’ uncomfortable crap that you believe.¬† It’s just so¬†——- (censored)¬†black & white for some of you Conservatives.¬†¬†It’s totally backwards¬†to be so¬†disgustingly patriotic like the Americans… ¬†It’s not how we do things here. ¬†Oh and btw (by the way) Canada does bad things too. ¬†Canada is sometimes REALLY WRONG.” ¬†(Emphasis mine)

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Click this image to watch the 3:03 minute video (Credit: Facebook / Your Everyday Canadian)

I admit I couldn’t respond to him – it made me so mad I just didn’t bother.¬† Then just this morning (Sunday, November 6) – a full 1.5 years later,¬†I saw¬†a short video clip on Facebook, highlighting the differences in reaction between Canadians and Americans when it comes to the homeless, and it just hit me emotionally – though¬†I didn’t really get why at first.

I’ve thought about it off and on over the last day, as the impending U.S presidential election was at that time still 2 days away, and on the minds of much¬†of the world. ¬†I sat down to just start writing out what I was thinking. ¬†Here are my thoughts, in¬†their entity and (almost) completely unedited.

First off, I’d say to that miserable guy¬†that messaged me that day that¬†I’d take the days that Canada has actually been wrong over any day of the week where most countries, including the United States, has been perceived to be RIGHT. ¬†(Sorry America, but even you have to admit you really aren’t doing so well lately.)

(Credit: I Am Canadian/Molson)
(Credit: I Am Canadian/Molson)

When I saw the video, I said to myself “THIS is why I love Canada so much, THIS is why I would gladly lay down my life for Her.”¬† When you get past the United States and all it’s “we’re number #1” bravado, many of them will tell you, behind closed doors, late and night, perhaps when few are listening – that CANADA got it right.

Canada was the grand experiment in multiculturalism that worked. We are like a great tent, and inside you’ll find 200 nations sitting down together, breaking bread together, talking together, laughing together, learning together.

There are very few in Canada who can truly say “I am friends only with my own race” – and mean it. ¬†Almost no Canadians have premeditated that statement. ¬†Very few Canadians¬†would be¬†proud of that statement.

treeoflifeThe Bible says in Revelations 22:2 that in the last days of mankind and this world we live on, we would see a “tree of life” planted: “and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

I’ve heard it said that Canada is like that tree. ¬†Of all the nations on earth, and all the flags and symbols and logos and crests of all the nations on earth – our Maple Leaf is one of the simplest, yet most striking and easily identified flags on earth.

Vector – Canada Flag Heart Glossy Button

That Maple Leaf adorns backpacks and sweatshirts and smartphone cases all over the world today – why? ¬†Because those that wear that symbol – Canadians literally on the far flung corners of the world – are walking under a banner of peace and acceptance. ¬†The whole world looks to us as “peaceful”, “trustworthy”, “reliable”, “kind”, “giving”, “intelligent”, “determined”, “loyal”, “just”, “dependable” and “humane” – whether it be to fish or fowl, man or women, old or young, black or white, rich or poor, weak or strong.

Why? We aren’t perfect. We suffer from a fringe of fear, a ring of racism, a shadow of suffering. We make mistakes. ¬†We quietly wore¬†our patriotism in our hearts, not on our sleeves, for the longest time. ¬†We aren’t boasters, we don’t have to be #1, but we’re happy when we are.

I have to say at the same time, where we have erred, where we consistently are wrong again and again…. those issues are predominantly a part of the HUMAN condition, a GLOBAL issue – perhaps something only God Himself can fix on earth.

The breaktaking Canadian War Cemetary at Vimy Ridge (Credit: William Paul Kinsman / WordPress.com)

But when we get it right, we NAIL it. Canada does not “attempt to be good”. Canada “is good”. We don’t “try our best” to help others. We have laid down our lives to fight tyranny around the world, in places we could barely name, couldn’t point to in a map and often can’t even spell like Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, the Somme, Ardennes, Dieppe, the Scheldt.

In honor of our men and women who fell in foreign battlefields, here is a complete list of all the Canadian War Cemetaries around the world (The sheer number of them alone can cause one to get a bit emotional – I know, so anti-Canadian, right?):

Europe

The stunning cemetary at Vimy Ridge. This massive monument was made with over 30,000 tonnes of granite. (Credit: William Paul Kinsman / WordPress.com)

Belgium:  Florenville Cemetery | Saint Mary Cemetery

Cyprus:  Dhekelia Cemetery

Denmark: Copenhagen Cemetery

England:  Brookwood Cemetery | Cheadle-Gatley | Farnborough | Gosport | Hebburn | Helston | Langar | North Luffenham | Portland, Dorset | Royal Naval Cemetery | Radcliffe-On-Trent | Seaton | St. Merryn | Wallasey-Wirral

France:  Ars-laquenexy | Bistroff | Choloy | Le Vigan | Lelling | Marville | Metz | Piennes | St. Avold | Y Ravine Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel РWorld War I | Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais РWorld War I | Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Dieppe РWorld War II | Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, Bretteville-sur-Laize РWorld War II | Bayeux War Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux РWorld War II | Canadian Cemetery No. 2, Pas-de-Calais РWorld War I | Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Bény-sur-Mer РWorld War II

Germany:¬† Arnsberg |¬†D√∂rlinbach |¬†Hannover |¬†Iserlohn |¬†Karlsruhe |¬†Kippenheim |¬†Kuppenheim |¬†Lahr |¬†Rastatt |¬†Rheindalen |¬†Rheinm√ľnster-S√∂llingen |¬†Werl |¬†Willstatt |¬†Zweibr√ľcken

Italy:  Cagliari

Netherlands: Holten | Nijmegen | Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery РWorld War II

South Korean sentries at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Busan - where nearly 400 Canadian soldiers are buried from the Korean War (Credit: Legion Magazine)
South Korean sentries at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Busan – where nearly 400 Canadian soldiers are buried from the Korean War (Credit: Legion Magazine)

Northern Ireland: Belfast City

Scotland:  Arbroath | Glasgow | Lossiemouth

Asia

Hong Kong:  Sai Wan War Cemetery РWorld War II | Stanley Military Cemetery РWorld War II

South Korea:  United Nations Memorial Cemetery

We make mistakes – and we are men and women enough to admit it, putting us at the top of the list worldwide. That’s why¬†at least 6 years in a row, in a survey of 37,000 people around the world, CANADA was named either #1 or #2 most “trusted” nation on Earth by the Reputation Institute.

Top 10 most trusted nations in the world. Canada has been #1 or #2 for the last 7 years in a row (Credit: Reputation Institute)

I would rather see Canada be most “trusted”, than most: feared, powerful, useless”, or the “richest, largest, densest, angriest, cheapest, weakest, dumbest, greediest, rudest” people on earth.

When the world talks about universal health care, a social safety net, taking care of those less fortunate, they think of Canada. When they think of natural beauty, some of the most photographed places on Earth, their minds will drifted to Lake Louise, Banff, Prince Edward Island, 1000 Islands, the limitless canvas of a prairie sky, Vancouver, Halifax, and so many more.

3010130We are the only nation on earth that is almost universally recognized – frankly, it’s often even the punchline of a few jokes – that we will apologize even when someone else walks into us.

It says a lot about our natural tendency to prefer others, to defer to others, to downplay ourselves. ¬†Our chivalry isn’t what it used to be, but it also isn’t what it could be if we grabbed our passport and flew to almost any other nation on earth.

3401322-funny-canadian-quotesCanada is VERY different than every other country. ¬†There is a sense of peace that envelopes this country. ¬†Nothing quite feels at home like…home. ¬†Though I suppose that’s true no matter where you live, when people think if immigrating to another country, 300,000 a year come here first. Yep, even to the cold cities. They determined that they would even trade surf for snow blindness, +40 for -40, densely packed cities to miles of endless sky.

Why? The Statue of Liberty may symbolize freedom – and has for millions. But where do AMERICANS want to go when the chips fall even on the US? What ONE NATION ON EARTH do they wanna flee to when they no longer can trust their own government anymore? The beaches of CanCun, Puerta Vallerta and many more down south?

_88540632_0afa62c9-2f13-4499-9bb2-d8fba1dcdc7bHELL NO, 95% of them think of CANADA FIRST. How many times have we heard in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and now 2016: “if such as such becomes President, I’m moving to….”

Honduras? Bali? Bermuda? Jamaica? Argentina? Brazil? Fiji? No no, they want to VISIT those. But if they had to flee and wanted to be safe and feel secure again….they would MOVE to Canada.

Because deep down they know – we GOT IT RIGHT. We keep getting it right. And we will always be here to get it right for THEM when they need it. And the best thing of all – they’ll never know we even think it. We will keep treating other people like they matter more, like they are better, like we are so glad they are here.

imagesmh9r08dbThey won’t be put off by our patriotism and no one will ever be fearful of our flag or despise our democracy. Those things are the reason why they will come, do come and are already HERE.

But deep down, just between us Canadians, we know what’s REALLY going on.

And we breath a silent prayer of true thanks right now (which is the Canadian way) to the God we love for continuing to bless the Dominion of Canada from sea to sea to shining sea.

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By Shawn J., Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Posted November 11, 2016

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Election 2015 (Week 1): Bring It On!

by Calling Out Community, Posted August 10, 2015
For the week of August 2-8, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa, after calling the election last Sunday. (Credit: The Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa, after calling the election last Sunday. (Credit: The Canadian Press)

Last Sunday, August 2, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called what some have calculated will be the longest election campaign in Canadian history, running 11 weeks (78 days) and culminating in the Monday, October 19 federal election.

At¬†316 km2, my home city of Surrey is the largest of the 24 municipalities making up Metro Vancouver, and is growing by more than 1,000/month, soon to overtake Vancouver as Western Canada’s largest city. As a result, all of Surrey’s ridings were recently redrawn, with the addition of one new riding. ¬†My own riding has been resized and renamed Surrey Centre (formerly Surrey North). Across BC, there are 6 brand new seats (we have a total of 42 now), making us one of the biggest¬†battlegrounds in Canada for this federal election, along with Ontario and Alberta.

IMG_0117I’m so happy to see that the Conservative Party in my riding is clearly ready for that battle, having nominated a truly stellar candidate 3 months ago (May 3) – Mr. SUCHA¬†THIND. Lawn signs are already popping up from their campaign all over the city.

Mr. Thind’s life story gives¬†a face to the¬†Canadian Dream at its best,¬†reminding us how and by whom this fantastic country was founded and built. As a young university graduate, Mr. Thind¬†immigrated to Canada in his 20s from India to start a new life for his family here, working in several local businesses when he first arrived.

Mr. Sucha Thind. Credit: Sucha Thind Campaign site
Mr. Sucha Thind. Credit: Sucha Thind Campaign site

Then, over 20 years ago, he founded Mainland Aluminum in Surrey, an aluminum railing business. He can be proud of his mentorship of an untold number of other business leaders in the area for decades, as well as being a strong employer for the region ever since.

In comparison, Mr.Jasbir Sandhu, our current NDP Member of Parliament, has done such an (cough) admirable job – I actually had to do a Google search to remind myself again who my MP was – and as you can see from my blog, I do tend to keep in touch with what’s going on out there.

Sandhu was elected first in 2011 on the “orange wave” (which I think crested years ago) of NDP popularity – when all kinds of less-than-stellar NDP candidates were swept into the role of Official Opposition under the leadership of the late Jack Layton – not because they were any good, but because the Liberal leader¬†Michael Ignatieff was so bad.¬† Thomas Mulcair – not much better.¬† And it wasn’t a vote against the Conservatives either at the time¬†– the party won their first majority government in that election.

Sandhu has worked as a “business analyst, a customs officer, a self-employed building contractor, a truck driver, taxi driver and factory worker” according to his site, and a “program manager” (whatever that involves) for 15 years at the Justice Institute. Wow – does that ever sound random.¬† I’m not seeing what makes him particularly quailified to represent me in Ottawa, and I say that when he’s actually already done the job for the last 4 years.¬† Thus I’ll be working my butt off to avoid a repeat performance.

As an MP, his website says he “advocated for his constituents by bringing attention to the issues facing students, seniors and veterans, and to challenges of the immigration system.” That’s a joke, right? As a constituency manager for an Alberta MLA for 3.5 years, I can say without hesitation that he just gave the basic job description of EVERY Member of Parliament. Big deal.

NDPPolls_600pxSandhu’s campaign site then states:

  • He has introduced legislation to restore federal protection for Bear Creek“. ¬†Bill C-538, An Act to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act (Bear Creek) was introduced for First Reading June 16, 2013. On October 16, 2013 it was reinstated from the 1st to 2nd sessions of the 41st Parliament – which is where it died.¬† FAIL
  • “[He introduced legislation] to provide funding for successful youth gang prevention programs”.¬†¬†Private Members Bill M-407, Youth gang prevention¬†was¬†“placed in the¬†order of precedence” on June 18, 2015. after beomg resinstated from a previous session of Parliament on October 16, 2013.¬† After two years, this is how far it’s gotten?¬† His own site has a page entitled: “Let’s make youth gang prevention a priority”.¬† Try to navigate to that page, however, and you get a “404 – Page Not Found” error in giant letters.¬†SOME PRIORITY – FAIL.
  • Sandhu also sponsored a motion demanding an official apology for the Komagata Maru tragedy.¬† May 28, 2012 he introduced a motion in the House. On August 3, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appeared at the Ghadri Babiyan Da Mela (festival) in Surrey, B.C., to issue an apology. People there were upset it wasn’t done in Parliament, but Jason Kenney stated the P.M. wasn’t going to repeat himself.¬† End of that situation.¬† FAIL

For those Conservatives who are ringing their hands about this upcoming election – calm down. I predict a lot more vote splitting on the left this time around with Trudeau as leader. I don’t see that being to the Conservatives detriment – Trudeau looks like a champ against the NDP’s Mulcair, but against our Prime Minister, he looks more like a chimp and a chump.¬† He’s a hack with very little experience and no real talents to speak of, attempting to use Daddy’s name (good or otherwise) to advance his own fortunes.

may3161And as¬†for all the theatrics in the polls, showing Mulcair’s NDP actually leading in the country, a few thoughts. The media had crowned Trudeau the guy to beat in this election a few months ago, remember? That seems to have vanished. Worst case scenario and the NDP wins the election…the polls don’t suggest the Liberals even being the Opposition either.¬† Shows how much the media gets it right.

Desperate to try to convince voters we need a change, the NDP and the Liberals are now pushing the “Canada is in a recession” monologue.¬† Really? Based on what?
– the Globe & Mail‘s Michael Babad wrote in an August 10th Report on Business piece that Canada’s politicians should “stop saying we are in a recession“. The numbers just don’t support that theory yet.
– the unemployment rate, the most important of these signals, sits at 6.8%, and has remained exactly the same for the last six months in a row. According to Statistics Canada, our economy actually added 166,000 jobs since last year at this time. In fact, with over 1.2 million net new jobs since the 2009 recession, Canada’s economy is on the right track. And this despite the bad energy sector numbers of late.

Over the coming weeks of this historically-long campaign, we will profile the four key leaders going into this election (the Bloc will not be given the courtesy, as they are not a national party in any capacity): Prime Minister Harper (Conservative), Justin Trudeau (Liberal), Thomas Mulcair (NDP) and Elizabeth May (Green Party).

We have a clear choice between zero experience and dim ideas (Trudeau), the environmental lobby destroying our economy (May), a socialist with no personality (Mulcair)…

…or a man who has stood tall on the world stage for a decade (Stephen Harper), leading us out of near-Depression in 2009, building our credibility around the world, while making our economy the strongest of G8 members.¬† Three Canadian cities in 2014 made the list¬†of the top 10 most livable cities in the world¬† (Vancouver #3, Toronto #4 and Calgary #5) .

The 2015 report from the Reputation Institute also ranked Canada as the #1 most reputable country in the world, based on a variety of environmental, political, and economic factors – for the third year in a row.

None of this happens by accident.

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Canada…Still Glorious, Still Free

Canada is more than a location, a huge land mass, a country, a set of borders, a group of people with a common language, government and currency. Canada is an idea: the founding of a collection of souls from around the world into one fold, with a common set of values, a common bond of pride in who we are, what we have done and where we are going.


images (3)As Canadians from sea to sea to shining sea gather together today with their friends, families or entire communities to celebrate the 149th Birthday of the Dominion of Canada – the land we love so much – a few things popped in and out of my head as I thought about our homeland.

I’m happy to report that this morning, as I did last Canada Day morning 2015, and as has been the case every other morning of our lives in Canada thus far…. we all woke up free.

Having a hard time grasping how precious that is, or what that even really means? I completely understand and could relate – until, that is, I got on a jetliner and headed to Australia, France, Spain, North Africa and all over the United States. And suddenly, it all became incredibly obvious how blessed we are as Canadians to live in a mosaic of cultures that still works.

Victoria, BC on Canada Day
Victoria, BC on Canada Day

It’s true that on this Canada Day perhaps more than any other in modern history, we are threatened by groups that want to wipe us off the planet, and the occasional drooling Neanderthal from this illiterate lot occasionally sneaks into our country to try to do so. ISIS has even threatened to kill Canadians in their own bedrooms in the past.

But we are not afraid. We have heard this all before. We heard it in the 1930s and 1940, generally followed by shrieking “Sieg Heils”. Adolf Hitler had 20 million soldiers in his Armed Forces – our entire population wasn’t that large. Regardless, our teenage boys and young adult men went over there by the hundreds of thousands – in fact, nearly 1 million Canadians total – and we barrel-rolled over his goose-stepping goons in France after storming the beaches of Normandy. Then we liberated the Netherlands before pushing the Nazi beasts all the way back into Germany, where their ultimate defeat awaited.

Look, some Canadians have lived through a record -81C temperature, and we all suffered under Free Trade, a 69 cent dollar, 20% interest rates, a 13.1% national unemployment rate and the GST. Pierre Trudeau (shivers)… and now his idiotic offspring. There’s really nothing out there that’s bigger than we can handle.

IMG_2473On this Canada Day, as with the 148 before it, Canadians will have a day of lawn chairs, hot dogs, and fireworks – and have you noticed how sunny Canada Days tend to be? But the day really begins the moment we catch a first glimpse of our iconic flag – snow white and crimson red – painted on a cheek, draped as a cape, emblazoned on a T-shirt, or hanging from a balcony.

As far as the experts in marketing will tell you, it’s one of the most brilliant, simplistically designed brands in the world – and the whole global village knows who it belongs to the moment they see it. Like the Red Cross flag it closely resembles, it speaks safety and healing and security to the masses of wounded, terrified, displaced peoples everywhere. Canadians have a reputation for quiet patriotism – until the flag comes out. Then it’s all bets off how emotional we are going to get.

We live in a peaceful land with a federal government which has never been overthrown or even temporarily supplanted in an internal coup. In fact, the very idea of Canadian democracy itself has never been truly threatened – not ever. In the 149 years of our national story, no foreign power has ever overrun our borders (except maybe Wal-Mart) – not once, not even for 5 minutes.

distinctive

Former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien (Liberal) and Stephen Harper (Conservative), political foes, enjoy a laugh together as they flew 18 hours to Nelson Mandela's funeral last year.
Former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien (Liberal) and Stephen Harper (Conservative), political foes, enjoy a laugh together as they flew 18 hours to Nelson Mandela’s funeral last year. They were joined by Canada’s first female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell (Conservative) and Brian Mulroney (Conservative) – the four lead Canada for nearly 30 years total.

And you can be absolutely certain of one thing – in Canada, the wider the pendulum swings back and forth, the quieter the streets will be the next morning. We have never protested the results of elections being won by illegal means or so ridiculously close to call we waited days for the results – because it’s never happened. If Canadians are happy with a government or have no reason to be mad, they could stay elected forever. But if we are furious with them, we wipe them off the face of the earth or whip them back to the doghouse and give the other side fair chance to prove themselves. There are no dynasties or guys that we just can’t get rid of. We took Brian Mulroney’s massive majority government down to two seats in the next election. We’d never wipe out a ruling party though because we know eventually they’ll be needed again. Our politics are just that logical.

There have been no riots on election days, no rubber bullets, no tear gas. If our guy loses, we get up and put our pants on the next morning one leg at a time as we always have, perhaps grumble at the water cooler when we get to the office – then graciously accept the fact we’re gonna be slightly irritated by the new Prime Minister for his entire term – unless of course, he surprises us by doing something out if the ordinary that we can actually relate to, and he becomes “our man” (perhaps for that hour) as well.

IMG_2474Since the founding of Canada in 1867, we have had 149 consecutive years of total peace within our borders – there has never been a war or rumour of war. I am not sure that any other country on earth can make such a claim.

Our military is small but mighty. We dared to stand tall even the United States of America in the War of 1812, crossing the border and setting many public buildings on fire including the White House (which we burned to the ground – sorry about that!), and then successfully returning all our troops home.

  • In World War I, just 50 years along as a nation, we conquered Vimy Ridge when no one else could. We mobilized an army that was nearly 8% of our entire country’s population. We were often used as cannon fodder, and far too many of our boys died in places like Passchendaele, Ypres, and the Somme, that we could barely spell or pronounce. But we fought for King and in so doing, we became a country.
  • In World War II, our farm boys from Saskatchewan and city slickers from Vancouver and Toronto all stormed the same Juno Beach together, and were the only country on D-Day – June 6, 1944 – to successfully land our troops and push into Nazi territory, completing all of our ordered objectives. Then we waited for our British and American allies to catch up. We continued the push across Europe and almost single-handedly liberated the Netherlands from Nazi tyranny. It should be again stated that Hitler’s armies numbered nearly 20 million – larger than our entire Canadian population. But we were not going to be defeated. Oh, and by the way, the Netherlands still celebrates a special “Canada Day” ever year, as their eternal thanks for their liberation. It makes me emotional even to think about it now.
  • We served in many other conflicts, liberating captive populations and policing others in Korea, Kosovo, and Kuwait. We became known as the peacekeepers – we were the ones that no one wanted to mess with privately, but publically, oh they may have made fun of our older weapons and tanks and planes. But we have a secret that makes all that new-fangled, high-tech equipment today mostly irrelevant anyway. There have been very few moments in history when any other nation on earth has ever wanted to actually harm us. But shhhhhhh, keep that under wraps.

Oh yes, the world laughs at us for being so polite. We apologize…sometimes several times… when someone else walks into us, and I’m sorry I have to even admit that to you. We’re so mild mannered and boring up here, there were actually some Americans over the decades who believed we were closed on the weekends. The entire country.

Terrorists don’t generally want to blow us up. They barely remember we’re here. No one goes on television or radio or stands in large rallies and screams “Death to Canada” or brags about the missiles they can launch now upon Toronto or Montreal. It just simply doesn’t happen. EVER.

And you know why? Because they love us. Deep down, they all really do love us.

Canada Day fireworks over Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Canada Day fireworks over Parliament Hill, Ottawa

The 2015 report from the Reputation Institute ranked Canada as the #1 most reputable country in the world, based on a variety of environmental, political, and economic factors. Oh, and we have been one of the top two countries EVERY year for the last 10 years in a row.

Our former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, said it best on Canada Day 2013, when he described Canadians as..

“Compassionate neighbours, courageous warriors, and confident partners, a bastion of freedom in an un-free world, a standard-bearer of goodwill, in a time when too many choose to hate, a land of hope in a sea of uncertainty.”

May God keep our land…glorious and free!

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By Shawn J., Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
‚úí Posted July 1, 2015. Updated July 1, 2016

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