How To Become A Canadian Citizen

Okay, Friends. With so much talk on so many levels about Canadian Immigration and Refugee issues, and because there’s a reason we call it the ‘Dead of Winter’, I have decided that I will push for the following to become one of Canada’s Priority Criteria for Citizenship. Please feel free to share with our like-minded friends.

“As a Prospective Canadian Citizen, preferential status will hereby be given you should canadian-beer-flagyou also bring with you some cultural tradition that involves, or could be expanded upon to involve, some sort of unique and new celebratory practice. Traditions that encourage gathering of people for mutually enjoyable activities are preferable. Those that involve new culinary treats, loud music, some kind of competition, and publicly acceptable physical exertions such as dance or sport are considered more desirable. Any that provide the opportunity to drink beer will be given priority treatment.

“Should you also contribute an event-type tradition that has the potential of becoming a Holiday Monday, you will be required to immigrate all of your friends and family as well, providing the instruction and support necessary in giving us all yet one more reason to drink beer*. 

“For more information, click

Note:  St. Patrick’s Day,  Cinqo de Mayo, Victoria Day**, St. Jean de Bapstiste***, and Oktoberfest**** have already been fully integrated into Canadian Culture.

*       – the few Canadians who don’t drink beer tend to like their friends better when they do
**     – denotes Holiday Monday Exceptional Status
***   – a Quebec thing, but definitely catching on…
**** – not a Holiday Monday, but extra points for being a week-long affair”



An Open Letter to Potential Refugees

Dear Refugee:

I am one of the Canadians who is not supporting our new Prime Minister’s promise to bring you and thousands of others like you here to relocate.

There is a good chance I’m going to lose some friends over this. Fact is, if anything I say here comes as a surprise, they didn’t know me very well. But please, hear me out.

This does not make me a bad person. This does not mean I don’t care. And it does not make me racist.

It does, however, mean that I will protect my family and my friends, my safety and my way of life before I will blindly accept you on your word. The fact of the matter is, I don’t know you. You have an incredible story. It’s very likely a lot worse than you’ve been able to express. And I don’t for a minute pretend to understand what you’ve been through.

But I do understand enough to know that I cannot let you bring danger with you.

Chances are, you have a great deal to offer Canada. You likely have skills and ideas to improve things here. You are probably capable of contributing to the compassion, culture, and success of our land. You will bring new opinions, traditions, and perspective. These are actually the ingredients that have made Canada the beautiful place it is!

But I don’t know that. I don’t know you. You can’t possibly just expect me to trust you. And that has nothing to do with who you are, where you’re from, or what deity you think created us all.

It does have something to do with the people who are chasing you from your home.

You see, if I were a bad guy, I’d make sure me and some other bad guys blended in with you and your families, and I’d wait for some caring, big-hearted country to let us in, and, well, really, it’d just be too easy. Things have changed in the 500+ years that immigrants have been joining this nation. Gone are the days when people arrived not knowing what a suicide bomber was. All it takes is one lone murderer, one who is convinced of his mission and is not afraid to die, to threaten the safety of innocent Canadians. That price is too high to pay. And I for one do not want to be sitting at the funeral of two hundred of my friends and family consoling myself with the fact that at least I didn’t hurt some poor refugees’ feelings by not trusting them.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t come here. On the contrary, like most Canadians, I’d like to do more to help those who do come find their way once they’re here.

What I am saying is, I’d like to see a better way to get you here. As our neighbours in Newfoundland reacted to hundreds of sudden visitors on 9-11, there are countless families in Canada who would be willing to help – to put their own money, not just their tax dollars where their mouths are – and our Government should encourage that. I’d like to see every family who supports this initiative sponsor a refugee family. Sponsorship should include lodging, within or close to the sponsor family’s home, provision of new and donated supplies, goods, and belongings, intensive guidance to help the new family find their way through our health and education systems, our employment and banking systems, even our grocery stores and garbage collection protocols. Sponsoring a refugee family should mean inclusion into Canadian culture – all facets of it: our food, our dress, transportation, entertainment. The sponsor must ensure that the new family understands Canadian manners and masters at least one of our official languages. And the sponsor should be completely and totally, 100% responsible for any negative impact their charge may have on our community.

Imagine coming to a country where you spend at least three years in close, protected, inclusive, and compassionate contact with a family who already knows what life in Canada really has to offer, and sponsors would enjoy untold tax breaks to help offset the expense of having a second family to support until they’re on their feet.

Of course, Canadians who are truly against this humanitarian immigration would not feel compelled to participate, but could rest easy knowing that those refugees who do arrive are making connections and building relationships with their Canadian sponsors, neighbours, and community in a positive and meaningful way. As we get to know each other, we build respect. And trust. And you become one of us, contributing everything good that you, your family, and your culture have to offer. Trust me, Canadians will always welcome a new food and another reason to celebrate!

The bottom line is, I’m afraid. I’m as afraid of the bad guys as you are. In some ways, I have more to lose. We enjoy a peace that you probably can’t imagine. One that I’d love to share with you. But to do that, we first have to protect it. And if we’re stupid about this whole process, you could very well be making the trip for nothing.

5 Reasons This Canadian Loves the Sochi 2014 Olympic Gaymes

I wouldn’t consider myself a sport fanatic. I’m not all that athletic. And I usually carry a typical, though intense, quiet Canadian patriotism.

Until the Olympics hit. For two weeks, every two years, I am glued to the tv – now to my computer and smartphone as well!! – foregoing my normal sleep patterns, rearranging doctors appointments, and ordering takeout. I am addicted. To the sports, the competition, the drama, the athletes, their journeys.

But something’s changed. There’s something a little more alluring about Sochi. I’m dreaming about it. I’m tweeting about it. I’m having conversations with complete strangers about the events – a welcome and grateful reprieve from the months-long-crap-talk about the worst winter we’ve seen in decades. And I’ve begun to wonder why the best of the best are demanding so much of me. Why are the Sochi Olympics so all-consuming? Here’s what I’ve come up with.

own the podium I’ve got money on it! If anyone has a problem with more of our tax dollars supporting Team Canada’s athletes, I’m not hearing a whisper of such disapproval during Sochi 2014. Someone decided to start pumping some money into our ‘Own The Podium’ quest for Vancouver 2010. And the difference is obvious, notable, and impressive. Now, it seems that I am (indirectly) invested in our success. I am a part of Team Canada. It’s as close as I’ll ever get, and I’m loving it!

Cdn gives skiCanada looks good! We have arrived in Sochi with purpose, determination, and a competitive attitude that has the world wondering what happened to the ‘nice’ Canucks. Until a Canadian coach gives a Russian skier a ski to replace his broken one so he can finish his race. Until one athlete gives up his Olympic race to a teammate, who in return, wins us a Silver medal. Until someone shows up at the beer fridge with a Canadian passport – because you know NO Canadian will drink a beer by himself.

The Dufour-Lapointe sisters take gold and silver, with US bronze medallist Hannah Kearney

The Dufour-Lapointe sisters take gold and silver, with US bronze medallist Hannah Kearney

We are kicking our big brothers’ butts all over Sochi. We love our American friends. But they’re bigger than us. And any time we come out on top, the victory is all the sweeter. We are David. They are Goliath. And while I’m sure other countries harbour the same sentiment, I’m claiming this as a uniquely Canadian feeling!

In Women's Hockey, Canada beats the USA 3-2

In Women’s Hockey, Canada beats the USA 3-2

Hockey. At the risk of having my citizenship revoked, I will admit that I am an anti-NHL fan. It’s not the game. It’s the overpaid, spoiled players, the greedy owners who constantly confuse themselves with gods, and the fighting. Yeah. The fights. Regardless of the blood and broken noses, the fights look staged and choreographed. I pity the Leafs fans who have been brainwashed into thinking that Toronto will EVER win anything. So long as the lambs contribute so faithfully and generously to the pot, there is NO incentive for the league or the owners to invest a penny into a winning team. Suckers. But when it comes to hockey at the Olympics, the fast, exciting, even breathtaking action is addictive. The players are ALL-IN. And, of course, the thought of beating the US is icing!!

The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion had this to say...

The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion had this to say…

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Gaymes.  I’m not sure how necessary it is for our home town to sport the rainbow flag right now. But I am sure that the world is making a statement, taking a stand, and passing judgement on the whole issue. And anything that promotes human rights for all is a wonderful thing. And maybe, just maybe, Russia, and 90% of the rest of the countries in the world, will at least begin to see that there’s really nothing to fear when everyone has the right to love and be loved by whomever they like.

So as I sit here in my igloo, watching the Russian and American men duke it out on the hockey rink, wearing my red shirt, and pouring maple syrup on my pancakes, I can’t help but feel that busting Canadian pride that sits quietly under the surface for two years at a time, just waiting for a chance to cheer with my 35 million fellow Great White Northerners. The closing ceremonies are next weekend. It will be a sad slow climb to Spring after that.