Last updated on February 13th, 2024 at 10:31 pm
I first crossed paths with Gail in 2016’s Tales from the 2.9 when a mutual friend connected us for her radio show on Newstalk 1010! I remember being nervous as heck—Sarah and I are huge fans (watching syndicated ‘Til Debt Do Us Part episodes numerous times), so every time she’s willing to work with me? I’m 100% honoured.
Gail’s #Chronicle150 submission is like a love letter to Canada, reflecting on much of the good our country has to offer. We’re not perfect and we shouldn’t soon forget that, but we need to live with the hope that those full of hate are in the minority… that we can have 150 years ahead filled with improvement and settle for nothing less!
Please enjoy Gail’s post below, and we’ll see you tomorrow for another day in the #Chronicle150!
For years I’ve been the girl that people turn to when they have money questions. But I’m much more than Canada’s money honey. I’m a Mom. A gardener. A painter. An opinionated believer in fairness. I swear like a trucker, love to cook, and am a half-decent writer. I’ve been a wife, but I’m done with that now. I’ve also been a daughter and a sister. Through it all I’ve learned that wherever I am now, that’s not where I’m going to be tomorrow. So I make the best of the great days. And when a holy storm blows up, I hang on by my fingernails because tomorrow will be better.
I am Jamaican-Canadian. Jamaican because that’s where I was born and where all my sauciness simmered. Canadian because this is where I’ve grown into the woman I am. Canada has given me opportunities I would never have had in J A. And I’m grateful for a country where anyone can make of themselves as much as they want to be. I love Canada’s heart.
My Canada is a mix of people and the sound of their languages is like music I can’t play but love to listen to. The food, the faces, the friendships formed across cultures and religions. Inclusiveness. Yes, inclusiveness is what I love mostest about Canada!
And kindness. When I first arrived I tried ice-skating. Never a particularly coordinated individual, I don’t know what possessed me to try sliding around on those thin slices of steel. It looks so easy on TV! Half of my body went one way, the other slipped sideways. BAM! Bum on the ice, knee out, I was down. I beckoned to some strange man walking past. “Help me, please,” I said. And that lovely man picked me up and carried me back to my parents’ apartment.
I think people around the world know that Canada stands for humanity and social justice. But people may not have realised that Canada, too, has its share of bigots and racists and that those of us who are not have to shout louder and stand stronger to not be overtaken. Just because we look like a really polite nation doesn’t mean that everyone in Canada wants to get along. Some don’t like the inclusiveness that I adore. Some don’t want to share. It is the determination of those with heart who will not allow our country to be overtaken by mean-spirited jingoists.
On our 150th Birthday, I plan to celebrate Canada as the joyful, kind and thoughtful country it is for me, even as I stand on guard for inclusiveness and fairness as the Canadian way.
About Gail Vaz-Oxlade
You can find Gail on Twitter.