I am Canada. I was conceived when the earliest settlers fell in love with the beauty of my landscape and the rugged profile of my mountains. Born July 1, 1867, I grew rapidly, becoming a strong and prosperous nation that welcomed people of all races, colours and religions to share the bounty of my rich natural resources.
I, Canada, have given my children freedom to choose, freedom to worship, freedom to travel. I have provided for them one of the highest standards of living in the world. They have enjoyed peace, prosperity, universal health care and a high standard of education.
In return they have given me outstanding citizens, dedicated politicians, brilliant academics and world-renowned artists. I can stand on the world stage and proudly introduce my offspring as having achieved outstanding success in almost any field one wishes to mention.
I, Canada, have brought people together who enjoy a buffet table featuring ethnic dishes, wholesome foods, safe water and congenial conversations on topics ranging all the way from our curious diversity, to agricultural opportunities, to industrial progress to technological advances.
When I, Canada, advertise in travel brochures featuring my magnificent scenery, my pristine wilderness areas, my world-famous cities, my creative arts, and my friendly people, tourists from around the world are attracted.
When I, Canada, go to sleep at night, I and my property are kept under the watchful eye of dedicated police forces, emergency workers, firefighters and medical personnel. My peace is secured with the help of military personnel stationed here and around the world.
I, Canada, have not personally borne the scars of war on my soil, but have willingly and sacrificially offered my sons and daughters on behalf of other nations. My citizens can turn on a radio or television or pick up a newspaper and hear or see or read whatever they choose, thanks to the privilege of free speech. On election days, they can drop their choices into a ballot box, unafraid of reprisals, intimidation or undemocratic outcome.
I am Canada, confident but cautious, patriotic but unpretentious, positive but prepared – for today, for tomorrow and for decades to come.
– Alma Barkman writes from Winnipeg