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5 Reasons Canada is one of the happiest places in the world

In case you haven’t heard, Canada was just named the fifth happiest country in the world according to the 2015 World Happiness Report, co-edited by VSE Professor Emeritus John F. Helliwell, a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).

And it’s no surprise that Canada has made the 2015 World Happiness list; I mean we’re a pretty happy bunch (when we’re not apologizing for everything!).

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In honour of our designation on the list, I’m going to count down the top five reasons why it is no surprise Canada made the 2015 World Happiness List, in no particular order.

1. Canada legalized same-sex marriage

Back in 2005, while many countries still couldn’t make up their minds about what they wanted to do about same-sex marriages, the Canadian government said “bye Felicia” to the outdated laws and legalized same-sex marriages. Since then, there have been 21,015 same-sex married couples and 64,575 same-sex couple families (stats from 2011, up 42.4 percent from 2006). Now that is something to be happy about!

2. Poutine

OK, so I know that must be a pretty trivial reason for why Canada is a pretty happy place, but take a moment to hear me out. This quaint dish from Quebec of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy (originally plated in 1957) is the quintessentially Canadian dish. Poutine has kept us comforted in good times and in bad — and if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.

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3. Yours to discover

Canada is a big place, approximately 9.98 million square kilometres big. As the second-largest country in the world, there is a reason why the slogan of Ontario is “Yours to Discover.” From coast to coast, Canada boasts everything from mountains, oceans (three of them), islands, lakes and more. Oftentimes, people road trip or train across Canada to partake in all its scenic glory, and that is something you can’t be mad at.

4. Good ol’ hockey game

We have deep roots in the game of hockey. For starters, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens were part of the original six teams to start in the league back in the 1940s. Beyond that, 50 percent of the players drafted to the NHL each summer come from Canada. Even when our team is losing, we’re still winning. Hockey is Canada’s game!

5. Health care, anyone?

Unlike other countries, as soon as we’re born we are given health care coverage, which is something so many of us take for granted each and every day. This coverage stays with us our entire lives and helps us out when we need it: visiting the doctor about a cold or needing a doctor’s note. The health care system is funded by taxes, which can suck. But knowing we have this system available makes it truly great to be Canadian.

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