Audio Version

 

Wordio Version

It’s a philosophical question much like the famous, “If a tree falls in the forest …” but in this case the deep question is, “If Canadians left Canada would it still be the best place to live?” We are currently ranked as the third best country in the world but imagine where we’d be if Canadians weren’t here? (Answer: we’d still be third because Canada is that amazing.)

But speaking as an insider, I believe we deserve the number one ranking. I could be wrong but it seems to me that the best thing about Canada is that it is inhabited by Canadians. Yes, we’re known for being nice but it’s so much more than that – we really are nice!

We have the two traits people all over the planet crave: freedom and niceness. As if those weren’t enough, we also have one of the world’s healthiest economies, large tracts of unspoiled nature, public peace and safety, universal health care, and a generous sprinkling of different accents just to make it fun. Of course all this greatness is possible in spite of, and because of, not having a Republican Party to ruin it.

As you might expect, all this pride erupted in my heart after hearing the glorious news that Harry and Meghan are planning to move to Canada! These two refugees and baby Archie are desperately fleeing from countries with corrupt governments, social unrest, and leaders with bad hair. Naturally Canada will open its doors to them because, as you will recall, we are nice.

Unfortunately this caused The Queen (odd name) some royal heartburn because she needs H & M’s help with royal duties like visiting exotic places, greeting important people, acting interested, and speaking from notes while standing straight.

After some initial royal stress, Queen and family met at her Sandringham Estate to iron out the details, even though none of them had any previous ironing experience. According to sources who weren’t in the room, Meghan did not join in the conversation, choosing to remain at her residence in Canada in order to supervise the nanny who is raising their son.

Anyway, Queen Elizabeth (her full name) has more or less given H & M permission to change their royal role (say ‘royal role’ six times fast). They will now only be part-time royalty, cutting back on their royal ‘work load’ of visiting exotic places, greeting important people, acting interested, and speaking from notes while standing straight.

H & M will now reside in Canada on a part-time basis although I’m predicting it will be more like a ‘most of the time’ basis.

All this is because Canada has a high population of Canadians.

All this too, because Harry and Meghan seem to want a fuller way of life away from the pressures of the loud, busy, clamouring, cultures they came from.

Having lived previously in Toronto and its surrounding bedroom communities, I understand a bit of what Harry and Meghan must feel.

Or as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:“… make it your ambition to lead a quiet life …”

As most of you know, Cheryl and I recently moved to Northumberland County, an area of forests, rivers, farms, and enough toboggan hills that each person can have one of their own. How different it is from the hurry, crowds, and ‘conveniences’ of life in the GTA suburbs.

Four lane roads are rare here – most paved roads are only two lanes – and there are gravel side roads that are part of our daily travels. It is typical to be slowed down by a large farm vehicle occupying most of the road.

Towns and villages abound all through the region and as regular readers will know, we are living temporarily in an apartment in one of those places. It’s a village with a flourish of quaint, interesting shops along its main street, and a population of 600 people who are in no particular hurry to get anywhere.

There are numerous festivals and events centred here and the tidy streets have seasonal decorations and lighting. Parking is always available and it is free. Yes city people, I know it’s hard to believe but I said the ‘f’ word … free.

Most of the shops are open through the day but doors close at 5pm sharp – one has a sign saying they close at 4:59 on Fridays. There are a few restaurants in the area: one closes at 4pm each day, another at 2, another opens as needed, and the others, I’m not sure. Each of them serve homemade cooking and baked goods (unless they run out of ingredients that day). The bank in town is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays because, who needs to do banking every day? And the bakery is open 9-5, five days a week – unless it’s closed.

People make small talk here when they meet in the post office, in the little eateries, or on the street. They hold doors for each other, say thank you, wait patiently on the rare occasion when they stand in line.

As we have cruised the countryside we have seen more amazing skies than ever before and the closeness of nature’s seasons makes our surroundings feel colourful and fresh. Local meat and produce are clean and flavourful, especially the crispy, sweet, local apples. Snow can actually be pristine and beautiful when it falls on the fields and and sticks to the trees – no it doesn’t have to always be brown and slushy. Even those slow tractors on the roads are no bother because they represent something more important than my hurry.

All that to say, I understand where Harry and Meghan are coming from. I’m sure there is information we don’t know but on the surface I don’t blame them. Life really is better away from the lights, the crowds, the roads, the buildings, the daily rush, the daily fight. Simplicity leaves room for us to appreciate the only thing we have for certain – Today

Moving to Canada must be so refreshing for those who feel beaten down. Moving to Canada must feel like moving to the country.

So Harry and Meghan, I want to welcome you to Canada, a country full of Canadians. We welcome you like we welcome so many others who dream of our freedom and niceness.

Just don’t bring the craziness with you.