Letter to the Toronto Star (June 27, 2014)
Preserving his Canadian-ness
Re: Suppressing vote of expats latest Conservative court battle, June 24
Suppressing vote of expats latest Conservative court battle, June 24
The attempt by Minister of State Pierre Poilievre to deny long-term expats the right to vote shows a small-minded view of the world.
I left Canada in 1999 after completing university to pursue doctoral studies in the United States. After graduating I have since lived and worked in Europe, East Asia, the U.S. and now in Dubai.
One thing that has always been true is that I — and many of the expat crowd — have maintained strong connections to Canada while living in our host countries. (The hockey beer league in Dubai in which I play is 70 percent Canadian and we frequent the local Tim Hortons and smoked meat restaurant here.) In the digital and globalized era borders have become less relevant.
Living abroad is a great experience that every Canadian should try at some point in their life if they are able to. I found that my “Canadian-ness” increased after leaving Canada as I was then able to appreciate much more how great a nation we have after having experienced first-hand other countries.
Indeed, Canadian-ness is not defined solely by geography or passport, but also by character. In that sense, there are people living within Canada’s border with mean, intolerant and petty views who, in my opinion, display less Canadian-ness than those living beyond the borders.
Kai L. Chan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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