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Meh… Still The Same Queen

, , , , , , | Related | October 14, 2019

(When I am about eight years old — around 1972 — my class has an essay contest. The topic is “Why I’m Proud To Be Canadian.” I am a pretty decent writer for an eight-year-old, and my essay contains a lot of stuff about the beauty of our country, the freedom we enjoy, and so on. When the time comes to announce the winner of the contest, I am thrilled to hear my name called. I don’t remember what the prize was – a candy bar, I think – but I am just happy to have won. I can’t wait to get home and tell my parents.)

Me: “Mum, Dad, guess what? I won an essay contest at school!”

Mum: “Wow! That’s great! What was the topic?”

Me: “‘Why I’m Proud To Be Canadian’!”

Mum & Dad: *bursts into laughter*

Me: *smile slips off my face* “What’s so funny?”

Mum: *still laughing* “You’re not Canadian, dear. You’re British.”

Me: “But… I mean, I know that I was born in England, but I’m here now.”

Dad: “You’re not a Canadian citizen, though.”

Me: “What?”

Dad: “You have to go through a bunch of paperwork and stuff to be a citizen, and we haven’t done that for you yet. So, you’re not Canadian.”

(He and Mum went to make dinner, still laughing. I’ve never forgotten how let down I felt about their reaction. Plus, I felt like I’d won that contest under false pretenses. I became a Canadian citizen a few years later, at least.)

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