7 amazing things about Canada that we owe to our veterans

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Although November 11 at 11 a.m. marks the end of the First World War, Remembrance Day is an opportunity for Canadians to remember the sacrifices of all our veterans. It’s also a chance to reflect on what an incredible country Canada is, and to acknowledge the fact that we wouldn’t be nearly as awesome if it weren’t for the heroic efforts of military men and women throughout history. In fact, a report by the Legatum Institute’s prosperity index recently named Canada the freest country in the world. Here are just some of the freedoms we’re most thankful for.

Our peaceful parliamentary democracy

No matter who you voted for on October 19, be grateful for the fact that you were able to vote with relative ease and without conflict. And regardless of how you view the outcome, Canadians can at least be confident that the results are accurate and free from the corruption that taints so many elections worldwide.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms

We can speak, assemble, and worship freely. We may not always agree with each other, but everyone has the right to express their opinions and make their voices heard. And we extend those rights to every citizen, not just the elite or the privileged.

Universal healthcare

It’s a (bafflingly) controversial issue across the border, but up here, we take it as par for the course that Canadians shouldn’t have to go broke when they get sick. The system’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn wonderful.

Paid parental leave

This is another issue that some developed countries haven’t quite figured out yet. Canada offers a year of paid maternity/parental leave, allowing moms and dads to be home with their babies if they want to be—and ensuring they have a job to return to when their leave is finished.

A multicultural society

Canada is one of the most diverse, multicultural countries in the world—and it’s a favoured destination for immigrants because of available opportunities and a peaceful, tolerant society. That’s definitely something to be grateful for.

A global reputation for peace, order, and good government

Canadians are still honoured for their role in the liberation of Holland during World War II. Canadian peacekeeping troops have been a common sight across the world for many years, with more than 125,000 troops serving in almost 50 UN missions.

Security and safety at home and in many parts of the world

Canadian troops work on avalanche control in B.C., help fight illegal trafficking in the Caribbean Basin and the Eastern Pacific, and contribute towards establishing peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The world’s not perfect, but it’s better because Canadians have made a contribution.

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