Thursday, January 25, 2018
Celebrating Number Two?
Every once in a while another organization tells Canadians what we already know, that this is a wonderful country in which to live despite cold snaps such as the one in December. US News & World Report has ranked countries on everything from economic influence, power, citizenship and quality of life. Apparently Switzerland is the world's best country for 2018, with Canada finishing runner-up. After Switzerland, Canada, Germany, the U.K. and Japan round out the top five spots -- all countries with progressive social and environmental policies and Scandinavian countries are close behind -- did you get that Mr. Trump?
This is so Canadian, don't you think? We're not Numero Uno, but we're close. And when you look at the areas for ranking we weren't at the top for any of them. Overall though this is a great place to live, and I am constantly aware of it as a...white, Caucasian, Baby Boomer male in good health.
I hope Canada is also a land of opportunity for immigrants and people of colour and women. We got the news of our ranking two days ago, the same day the same day results were released of a federal study on the status of First Nations peoples. They live an average of FIFTEEN YEARS less than the rest of us. Many communities don't have clean drinking water and may not for years. Federal spending on education lags behind what is offered for other Canadian children. If some of these First Nations were ranked, would they make it into the eighty chosen?
Prime Minister Trudeau did a town hall with First Nations kids on a reserve recently and told them we have to do better on their behalf. He's got that right, but it's been said before, by a succession of governments. We'll see. As Christians and faith communities we must continue to figure out how we can come alongside our aboriginal brothers and sisters and advocate for changes which benefit them. Otherwise being Number Two has a whole different connotation.