Marble Pedestal: Canada has the top quality of life?

U.S. News has declared Canada the supreme, but is that really true?

In this, the day and age of self-criticism, it’s often difficult for us to accept that we’ve done something right. That’s why it might be hard to take an article published by US News seriously that ranks Canada at number one for quality of life in 2019.

I like to be critical of the things around me. If I feel I can help make something better, I try and do my best to make it happen. The same is true for my country. Canada isn’t perfect, not by a long shot. There are things we need to work on for a long time — like the inherently racist beliefs many Canadians hold about Indigenous people — before we can confidently say we have no real problems, as certain other countries might suggest. But sometimes it can be nice to acknowledge the good things. 

US News cited our wilderness as one of the main reasons our quality of life is so good, and I have to agree. I can’t imagine being surrounded by cityscapes all day, every day without respite. Here in Canada, even in the more populated areas, it’s never more than a half hour drive to the wilderness. Having grown up in a town which was an hour from the nearest civilization, I can appreciate the value of being in nature. 

Another aspect that was praised was our widespread acceptance of immigrants. Some people may see this as a flaw, but I agree that it makes our country better. Every country has racists, Canada included, but we’re by and large supportive of immigrants here.

No country is perfect. Like everyone else in the world, Canada has distinct flaws which we must continue to work towards fixing. But once in a while, we have to admit that it isn’t so bad. I don’t agree with the assessment that we’re number one, but I don’t mind living here. My quality of life in Canada is good enough that I wouldn’t risk trading it for another country. Raise a glass of maple syrup, and make a toast to winning the birth lottery.

Payton Ferguson

Payton Ferguson is a second-year English major by day, 2019-20 Opinion Editor for The Gateway by night (and also day). She enjoys long walks to the fridge, writing until her wrists ache, and bombarding social media with pictures of her chihuahuas.

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