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Canada’s National Identity

Canadians take pride in the way they are viewed as a whole. When the world thinks about Canada, it is not just the cliche stereotypes that come up, igloos, polar bears, hockey,etc. The culture, customs and international involvement It is viewed as beneficial and helpful throughout many nations. Canada’s national identity is a good example of a working system of diversity, democracy and a beneficial international role. There are approximately 35,851,800 citizens in Canada. In a population as large as this, it can be argued that you can not lump the entire population together.

With a surface area of almost 10 million km? the population divided amongst itself into smaller groups. Most Canadians are loyal to their province or region in Canada The 10 provinces and 3 territories all have their own customs and provincial level laws. The health care and education system are set provincially, and yet Canada is praised as a whole for the overall success of in these systems. Despite the wide array diversity help in Canada, most customs are shared across the country (Kwintessential. ) The common greeting, for a good impression, is a strong, firm handshake accompanied by direct eye contact and a sincere smile.

Dining etiquette is considered to be generally relaxed by outer cultures standards, except in Quebec, where it is considered to be formal (Kwintessential. ) Unless there are specific religious or personal reasons, gifts are given on the occasions of birthdays, weddings, christmas, and celebration of accomplishments (Kwintessential. ) The country itself is located in the northern half of North America. It shares a border with the United States of America. Canadians who live close to the border tend to mix with American culture. The main divide in Canadian culture is between English and French citizens.

The 2 official languages in canada are English, with 49. 9% of the population, and French, with 22% of the population, making Canada bilingual (Kwintessential. ) The top 3 languages after are Chinese with 2. 6%, Punjabi with 0. 8%, and spanish with 0. 7% (Kwintessential. ) Canada holds a population full of diversity, yet still has an overall Canadian theme. The Canadian spirit is bright and kind entity. The military represents Canada in foreign countries. The way the military is viewed directly affects the way the country as a whole is viewed.

Canada is culturally mocked as a joke because it is said to not have a strong army. Canada ranks at number 14 on the GFP (power index) scale, with a score of 0. 5627 (Global Firepower. ) A perfect score is 0, and no countries have achieved this. There are 196 countries in the world, in this perspective Canada has a large and strong military. The country’s manpower is vital in any military. Canada has 15,786,816 citizens considered “Available manpower” (Global Firepower. ) That is about 44% of the population. There are 92,000 active frontline personnel, and 51,000 active reserve personnel. (Global Firepower. A country’s military technology is very important to modern day war.

Canada’s total air power consists of 420 aircrafts (Global Firepower. ) All aircrafts from all branches of service that are fixed wing or rotary wing are counted in this number. Land systems include main battle tanks, light tanks, tank destroyers, armored personnel carriers(APC’s), and infantry fighting vehicles(IFC’s). Canada has a total of 181 tanks, 3004 AFV’s, and 161 towed artillery (Global Firepower. ) Canada’s naval power consists of 12 frigates, 1 destroyer, 4 submarines, and 12 coastal defence crafts (Global Firepower. All military technology can be very costly to a country and finances are usually what limits its ability to grow its military power.

A country’s financial stability is a key to having a strong military. Canada’s defense budget is 15,700,000,000$. The current Canadian international debt is 1,360,000,000,000$ (Global Firepower. ) There are a lot of internal issues with the Canadian military. This is a big problem for Canada because if it fails to control its own troop, it makes the country look incapable as a whole. Sexual assault is rampant in the Canadian military, with little being done about it.

It is estimated that at least 5 people in the military community for Canada are sexually assaulted a day (Mercier, Noemi and Castonguay, Alec, 2014. ) The military is not protecting their own personal. There is not a good system for punishment or protection. Victims rarely speak up and when they do, they have been, and can continue to, be punished (Mercier, Noemi and Castonguay, Alec, 2014. ) They claim to take every allegation seriously, and to protect those in the service. “We take every allegation of sexual assault seriously and we investigate it thoroughly. Said by Lt. -Col. Frei, the commanding officer a the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

Many members in service who are affected by this have a different experience. The Canadian chief of defense staff can stall a member of the services from being registered on the National Sex Offender Registry. This is temporary, while they are doing operational obligations that serve their missions (Mercier, Noemi and Castonguay, Alec, 2014. ) This can make sexual offenders in the military feel protected from the consequences of their actions.

The system often lets the victims down and feel abandoned by the measures put in place that are supposed to protect them. Canada’s military is supposed to be a peace force used for protection its own citizens and the citizens of other countries. If it fails to even protect those within its ranks, then how can it be expected to be capable of protecting any else? The Canadian government needs to crack down on this system. If the military is viewed as incapable, then the entire country is viewed as incapable by those it fails. Every country has internal conflicts within their military.

Even with the current issues, the Canadian military is still force to be reckoned with. Canada’s international role and influence is a topic of a lot of debate. How a country influences the world is measured through its economy, military strength, diplomacy, and development assistance to other nations. As a whole, Canada dealt well with the 2008 global economic crisis. Canada has the 9th largest economy and is very tangled into the world’s economy. For development assistance Canada has the 8th largest assistance budget internationally. The military is a respected, strong force.

One of the main issues with Canada from outsider perspective is that productivity and innovation need to be increased as a whole. Canada is viewed in a positive light by any countries due to its high rates of diversity, multiculturalism, and acceptance. The Director of the centre for Canadian studies at the Trier University in Germany had said “This notwithstanding, Canada as a model for a multifaceted immigrant society with many different voices and multiple forms of cultural expression- including these of her native people- is still an important subject in the classrooms of many German universities.

While Canadians as a whole are thought to be less egotistical than Americans, it could still come as a shock to some that a lot of the world knows very little about the second biggest country in the world. An English literature teacher a the University of Maribor in Slovenia; Michelle Gadpaille, had stated that citizens there generally think warmly of Canada, even though as a whole very little is known or taught about it.

Lucia Otrisalava, a Slovakian teacher for Canadian studies at Comenius University claims that the Slovakian general public knows almost nothing about Canada. She’s stated that Canada is “A better United States” because we do not generally interfere with matters that do not concern us. The only country Canada shares a border with, The United States, tends to favour Canada, even though generally the citizens know almost nothing about the country, according the Endowed Professor of Canadian studies at Brigham Young University; Earl Fry.

A main role Canada has played internationally is the role of peacekeepers. The Canadian reputation as peacekeepers has been slowly dwindling, and currently ranks at number 55 out of 108 countries. Canada used to be the world leader for peacekeeping missions. Canada has sent a total of 120,000 troops on UN peacekeeping missions and holds the second highest number of soldier fatalities with 114 dead. The Canadian ambassador for the UN originally suggested the peacekeeping force be instated in the first place.

It was designed to be thrown into any war or conflict to allow negotiations to take place so that non-violent solutions could be discussed, and to maintain ceasefire treaties. Canada’s international role changes from situation to situation. The expertise Canada holds is respected and praised for what it does to help fellow its countries. It is considered to be a model for a functioning society of diversity, federal structures, public education, and public service based on merit.

A beneficial international role, and a working example of a diverse democracy. That is the country of Canada. It is so much more than igloos, polar bears, hockey, and other stereotypes. It is more than “America’s top hat” or a far away country to be brought up in classrooms around the world. It is a country of peaceful, caring, polite citizens with a strong sense of pride for their homeland. It is an open door to people all around the world. Canada is a model community full of multiculturalism, peacekeepers, and functioning systems.

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