By Stephen Hayes
Canadian flag

As we gather together to once again celebrate the birth of Canada, I believe we are presented an opportunity to examine what it means to be Canadian and to explore why so many choose to come to this country. (We all know it’s not for the weather!)

What makes Canada such an alluring and desirable place for so many? What is it that sets it apart from other countries? I believe an area where Canada succeeds is in its desire to integrate, not assimilate.

Integration is the act of combining into an integral part or role, and herein lies the beauty of Canada: Canada encourages all of us—you and me—to function together to form a strong and resolute we. We are better together. Integration, after all, is not about relinquishing but replenishing.

What makes me happy to wave proudly a flag of peace and tolerance is the stories that lie in its wake—stories of hybridization and acceptance, stories of people with great character and diverse backgrounds.

For me, what defines Canada is that it is indefinable, and for that reason, I believe Canada beautiful.
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