Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Canada – CCCXI. Montreal (3 of 9)

To better understand this last part of my odyssey, a brief background on Canada and Canadians follows.


I knew enough about Canada since it was part of my curriculum at school.  A French education meant that anything that concerned France was taught to us.  And make no mistake about it Canada concerns France even to the present day.  Indeed, more than a quarter of Canadians are French; and they are not only in Quebec; New Brunswick is partly French and is recognized as a bilingual province; Ontario has a large Franco-Ontarion population; for instance the famous Dionne quintuplets were Franco-Ontarion.  Really, go anywhere in Canada, and you’re sure to find people speaking a fluent French.

I remember as a child looking at pictures in my textbook, and seeing children throwing snowballs, tobogganing, and skating on a frozen pond.  How lucky they were I thought; I had only seen snow in movies.

John Cabot on behalf of England appropriated the East Coast in 1497.  But Canada’s history really started when Jacques Cartier planted a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula on behalf of His Majesty the King of France.

Perhaps this summarizes Canada’s history:  two nations, two languages, two cultures, and irreconcilable differences.

To me this is an asset, for where else can one live and benefit from two cultures.  Go anywhere in Canada, and you’re sure to meet people who are fluently bilingual.  And Canada can count that as part of its wealth.

Canada occupies the entire North American continent north of the U.S. except for Alaska and the tiny French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

It is a confederation of 10 provinces and 3 territories.  They are from East to West:   Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.  The territories are The Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.

Its biggest cities are Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa (the capital), Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Regina.

Canada has so many natural resources; I am at a loss as to where to start.  I’ll start with the one that in my view is the most important, water!  Canada gets so much snow in the winter and rain in the summer, that, not surprisingly, it is very rich in this critical natural resource.  It has countless lakes, and many rivers (examples:  The St. Lawrence, The Red River, The Columbia, The Mackenzie, The Yukon, and The Fraser) and, of course, the Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario).

In a world hungry for energy, Canada has abundant coal, oil, and gas reserves.  Mineral resources include aluminum, nickel, gold, silver, platinum, iron, and uranium.  Lumber, diamond and potash (as fertilizer) are abundant.

Regarding agriculture, the Prairie Provinces are one of the greatest producers of wheat in the world.  Canada is renowned for its apples and its berries (example blueberries, and strawberries).  What it cannot grow, it imports from the U.S.

It borders on three oceans:  Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. Therefore, not surprisingly, the bounty from its oceans (examples:  Salmon and many other varieties of fish, shrimps, crabs, and lobsters) is a big part of its economic equation.

Canada is a tourist’s paradise; be it its wilderness; its mountains such as the majestic Alberta Rockies; its countless lakes; its bewitching cities such as Quebec City, Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto; and its beaches in the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

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