(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
Canada is the best country in the world, and being Canadian is the greatest privilege one can obtain. There are so many reasons to be proud and patriotic, so many reasons to love Canada and to embrace the big celebrations of Canada’s sesquicentennial.
One of my favourite things about Canada – and it’s a very long list – is our proud and historically successful tradition of welcoming newcomers.
While I am a frequent critic of the Trudeau government’s foolish approach to immigration and national security, Canada still gets the big things rights.
Our immigration program focuses on admitting individuals who will most likely be successful in Canada and who will contribute to our economy and our communities.
We select newcomers based on merit, boosting the economy and strengthening our already great country. We also have a proud tradition of helping and welcoming refugees in need of Canada’s protection.
Once a newcomer arrives in Canada, we all play our role in welcoming our new neighbours and helping them adjust to life in Canada.
We are the world’s model for sound immigration and successful integration.
For example, look at the Mado family in Richmond Hill, Ont.
Jasim Mado, his wife Marjan, their two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren arrived in Canada in January 2017, and even though they are not yet citizens, they're already patriotic Canadians.
The Mados are Yazidis who fled Iraq after ISIS invaded their city. They found safety in Turkey and were selected to be resettled into Canada through our private sponsorship system and the Mozuud Freedom Foundation.
They were the first privately-sponsored Yazidi family to reach Canada, and they’ve fully embraced their new home.
One son, Saadi Mado recently graduated as an adult student from York Region District School Board’s continuing education program. In between classes, he got a job working at a Home Depot warehouse.
He’s also helping his family embrace Canada and adjust to life in their new country.
“Canadian people are very nice and kind. They help. No exclusion. Back home, we were not safe and we were scared,” Saadi’s father Jasim Mado told the Toronto Star.
Speaking in Kurdish and being translated through his son, Jasim Mado said he hopes to find a job as a cashier once his English improves. Before he was forced to flee Iraq, he owned and managed a store.
“We feel Canada is our own country,” he said. “We thank all Canadians, because they are kind to refugees and newcomers.”
The Mado’s are just one of millions of immigration success stories in Canada. And they’re just one of the millions of reasons why Canada is such a great place to call home.
You don’t have to be from Canada to become Canadian. Newcomers join the Canadian family when they work hard, play by the rules and become a patriot.
And while patriotism is increasingly met with suspicion in countries across the West, thankfully, Canada is bucking this trend.
Whether you’re a new Canadian (like my husband) or a ninth-generation Canadian (like me), and regardless of your political persuasion or partisan affiliation, we’re all united by true patriot love.
We love our country, even if we don’t agree with the government of the day or the political decisions being made...(READ MORE)