This is our life. No dress rehearsal.

James K.: My Canada is working as a community

My Canada has a bright future with people like James in it.

My Canada Project

Duleepa Wijayawardhana

January 9, 2017

I don’t often make a big deal of someone’s age, but James is (so far) our youngest participant at age 14 with part #4 of the “This is my Canada” Project. I’ve known James for a couple of years and watched him become a better programmer than many double or triple his age and I’m always impressed with his thoughtfulness and dedication to detail. My Canada has a bright future with people like James in it.

Q. Tell me bit about yourself and your life in Canada?

Hey I’m James. I’ve lived in Canada for all my life and I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I live a typical life in Canada, dealing with school and cold weather of course! I love to curl, and I love to program and deal with other computer related tasks. I’ve got a pug who is a lovely dog and she loves to go on walks when it is nice outside. In Canada, I love hearing about the world news with the access to information we have. I also like that our libraries and health care are free to access as well as our schooling systems.

Q. When you think about being Canadian what does it mean for you?

Being Canadian to me means working as a community to solve problems together. It also means treating others as you wish to be treated yourself. Whenever, I’m walking around, people are always friendly and welcoming and you can always have a good conversation wherever. It also means inclusion to me because of how we interact with everyone and I never seem to be judged by anyone else.

Q. What makes you happy about Canada? Where do you feel the happiest in Canada?

I’m happy in Canada because of how open most things are. We have access to a lot of services and we never have to worry about accessing health care or getting help because there’s people who are willing to help you either directly or to hook you up with someone who can help you. I also like how people in Canada are so generous. We run donation drives and everyone is willing to chip in, we have plenty of volunteers, and we’re always willing to go the extra mile. Personally, I feel happiest in Canada right at home. I’ve got my family and friends nearby, school is just a bus ride away, and I never have to be afraid of invasions or fights breaking out spontaneously.

Q. What frustrates you about Canada?

I’m frustrated how we still have problems for the First Nations because we seriously need to work that out. We’ve had that problem since our forefather’s forefathers were here and it’s about time we get that resolved. I also wish that our legal system was faster; all too often you hear about these cases which have been going for years, and more and more problems just keep arising. I honestly wish that we could somehow speed that up. Or at least not give it as much publicity, because then it always seems to glorify the lawyer rather than to serve justice. I’m also frustrated how we rely on oil and gas for pretty much everything, it’s time we expand our horizons.

Q. Where would you like Canada to be in 25 years when we celebrate 175?

In 25 years, I would like Canada to be using entirely renewable energy. I would like people to be more educated around solving problems, and I would love a large variety of jobs to be open to people. I would like for more services to be available to the less fortunate, and I would love to see our homeless population reduced extensively.

Q. If you have one piece of advice to give someone being born in Canada today, what would it be?

My best advice for anyone being born in Canada is that they should really follow their passions and not be held down by anyone they encounter. All too often, there are people who will try and put you down to feel better themselves and you must not let that bother you. Stick to what you enjoy and always continue to enjoy it no matter how much people disagree with you.

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