Sunday, July 31, 2011

o canada...

My dad is Canadian and despite the fact that he has lived in the States for almost 30 years now he has never renounced his Canadian citizenship. When we were little he would tell us that as his children we also qualified for Canadian citizenship and that when traveling throughout the world it is usually safer to travel with a Canadian passport anyway. My brother and I would smile widely at each other, grinning at the idea that we were eligible for entrance into this secret club of world traveling northerners who had an extra measure of security than their neighbors to the south.

Over the years we would periodically pester our father to fill out the paperwork to make us dual citizens, but nothing ever came of it. Then, in 2009 when I was away at college, I saw this commercial:

I thought, Hey! That could be me! I could wake up to the Canadian national anthem with a hockey player in my room and a Mountie at my door because that's not creepy at all! (But mostly I'd be in it for the tuques and the maple leaf pajama bottoms.) However, the issue wasn't really a pressing one and after perusing the official citizenship website I got confused and forgot about it.

Until yesterday.

Braeden, Nikki, and I were watching this episode of The Daily Show where John Stewart was talking about how the 9/11 first-responders health care bill doesn't cover cancer, the illness that first-responders are being over-whelmingly diagnosed with. The reasoning? They can't prove with 100% certainty that the cancer was caused by their work at Ground Zero. Really? Really. Why would you not want to take care of those who have served your country in an incredible and important way? "How about everyone who worked down on the pile gets a pass on the exact origin of their personal tumors?"

I told Braed and Nikki that in Canada when my grandpa was old and sick and needed a live-in nurse to help take care of him the government paid for it because he was a veteran. Braeden and I were already big fans of Canada because the people are Midwestern friendly but with liberal political views. (In other words, Iowa City is the Canada of the Midwest.) Oh, and did I mention that my dad is from there? I told Braeden that I was pretty sure I qualifed for Canadian citizenship because I'm what they call "first generation born outside of Canada" and he immediately hopped over to the computer and looked it up. He answered a few questions on their site on my behalf and this lovely screen appeared:

(Click to enlarge)
Hooray! Now the only thing we have to do is fill out some forms and pay $200 (American? Canadian? I guess we'll find out) to claim citizenship before my 28th birthday and we're golden! We'll be using in loonies and toonies, eating Tim Hortons, and saying "eh"  before we know it. Oh, and benefiting from universal heath care.

1 comment:

pieface said...

I'm going to speak for the rest of Canada (I know for a fact it won't mind) and welcome you to the fold. It's great you'll never regret it (as in, when people are on their death beds, they rarely lament having Canadian citizenship). It's a great move.