As a Canadian immigration lawyer, I think about Canada a lot. I am a proud Canadian. But what does Canada stand for? And what does it mean to be Canadian?
For me, Canada is all about breathing space, both literally and figuratively.
As one of the biggest countries in the world, Canada has a lot of physical space. Our thirty-five million inhabitants enjoy national pastimes such as cross-country skiing in winter and swimming in lakes or oceans in summer. There is room to spread out, to take a break and to breathe deeply.
Canada also has breathing space in the form of tolerance. Our laws protect both Canadian citizens and immigrants against discrimination. In Canada, there is space to be yourself, regardless of your religion. There is space to speak your language and have your children grow up to be perfectly bilingual or even trilingual, if they are lucky.
Canadians take care of each other. When something big happens in your life, you hold your breath. If you get sick, start a family or lose your job, you think, “Will I get through this?” In Canada, there is a support system to help you get through vulnerable times.
Now, I’m not saying that Canada is perfect. But I think we are doing really well, especially compared to other countries. What makes Canada so special are the things we consider to be “normal” such as free healthcare, democratic government, clean drinking water, generous childcare benefits and job-loss benefits.
So, what does Canada mean to you? Let’s talk about it. Please take a deep breath and contact me to discuss your future in Canada.