HuffPost Canada spoke to Canadians to see if citizens could describe their home and native land in just one word.
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It's become part of the Canadian identity.
Canada has sent a powerful message that reverberates across all factions: Canada stands with Muslims. This is what M-103 accomplishes. And this is the kind of religious tolerance and inclusiveness that make Canada a model for diversity around the world.
We are entering a new era of identity politics -- the increasingly common practice of political campaigns throwing actual policy to the wind and instead playing directly to our emotions -- this method is defined by selfies, sunny-ways, hope and change, fear and division and class anger turned into blind rage.
While many Canadians look at the politics in the U.S. with confusion and frustration, a more informed reading of our Canadian context highlights our reality may be heading in a similar direction. Silence by the political centre can lead us down the same road as our neighbours south of the border.
David Suzuki's vision of shutting down immigration and Bill Morneau's advisers' call for a massive spike in population are two extreme ends of an argument that Canada is having, seemingly without knowing that it's having it.
I remember your heartfelt speech in the House in the days after we lost Jim Flaherty. I watched. I mourned. I really felt for you as a physician who had tried so hard to save your friend. I cried. I miss him too. Please think about him as you head into the end of this race.
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It's getting pretty frustrating having to tell people, especially white people, what racism looks like. As a black woman, it's heartbreaking to see how such incidents are handled and how they are reported and discussed in the media. Most frightening, is the direction in which Canada is going regarding race relations.
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The idea that the prime minister can get away with tiptoeing around Trump's attack on international law and human rights isn't going to cut it. As much as Canada has economic interests, we have moral interests. And this isn't simply a question of values. This is also a matter of standing up for Canada's vital interests.
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While president Trump's America-first policies focus on turning inwardly to protect, promote and privilege Americans, a Canada-first approach to international relations does the opposite. The overwhelming response over the weekend shows that Canadians value hospitality, diversity and internationalism.
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During a recent visit to my hometown of St. John's, I went to a busy restaurant to meet friends for lunch. The hostess asked my name. "Bolu," I started. After she refused to take my first name, I began with my last name. "O-g-u-n ..." but was abruptly cut off by the visibly irritated hostess. My name was an inconvenience to her -- too foreign, apparently.
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Though Canada is far from immune to the forces of intolerance, we generally still self-identify as generous, socially conscious citizens. In this moment of unease and unrest, it's heartening that we see ourselves as the world's helpful, conscientious neighbor. Well Canada, this week we have the chance to put our money where our identity is.
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What I loved most in that moment listening to strangers argue over my clothes was the open conversation about culture. The friendly acceptance of our differences. They did not find it odd that an American girl needed a sari. I realized that feeling American is part of what made me Canadian.
We need to cultivate generations of young adults who have been educated through an unbiased curriculum that has helped them understand how the world works today, and how it actually should when they take on their roles as global citizens.