Thanks, Canada. You’re pretty great, too.

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It’s been a tough year for America.

Prince died. The alt-right is on the rise. We still haven’t gone more than a few months without a mass shooting, in what’s become a sadly regular occurrence.

And, of course, here in the land of endless political campaigns we’ve had one for the books — full of declarations of genitalia size, fat shaming, questioning science, mockery of the disabled and insults about women. And that’s just one candidate.

Canada feels bad for us.

So bad, in fact, that the country wags have termed “America’s Hat” (that’s OK; to them, we’re “Canada’s shorts,” and you can imagine how Florida is identified) has made a video telling the U.S. and A. how wonderful it is.

(OK, so it’s a Toronto branding agency. Close enough.)

This is why Canada is the nicest country in the world. Other countries would dance on our Dakotas and kick our Maine; Canada celebrates what’s Made America Great. (It’s not the first time, either.)

Now, I’m biased. I’m half-Canadian. My mother’s from there and I still have a number of relatives north of the border. (Hi, Aunt Cheryl!) I crave Timbits and keep a box of Red Rose tea in the pantry. I’m headed to Montreal in a couple months — first time in years — and I can’t wait to see the new money, which isn’t all that new anymore.

So, in the spirit of Canadian courtesy, here are a few things I love about Canada:

  • Canadian comedy. You can thank Canada for SCTV, the Kids in the Hall, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Leslie Nielsen and Samantha Bee. And, of course, Lorne Michaels.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He’s youthful, egalitarian and self-deprecating — and a lot of other things. I hope the world doesn’t wear him down.
  • Healthcare. In the United States, we keep fighting over whether we should even have nationalized healthcare. On the other hand, when Canadians were asked to name the Greatest Canadian, the winner was … Tommy Douglas. Who’s Tommy Douglas, you ask? He created the model for the country’s single-payer system. (Incidentally, No. 2 on the Greatest Canadians list? Cross-Canada runner and cancer activist Terry Fox.)
  • “O Canada.” If not quite as stirring as “La Marseillaise,” it’s simple, singable and sounds great at hockey games.
  • Apologizing. Nobody says “I’m sorry” like a Canadian. Just ask Alex Trebek.

Listen, Canada: You have nothing to be sorry about. And thanks for the Timbits.


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