Transplants a Canadian treasure

Transplants, foreign or domestic are good for Canada and our community.

Maybe I’m the lucky one.

From a very young age I was exposed to children of various ethnicities, as well as physical and mental abilities.

They were my play friends, my classmates, teammates and their parents were my parent’s friends, my teachers, my coaches.

Hearing French, Swiss, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Spanish around me made me feel like a world traveller.  Other benefits included fabulous food of course.

I loved it when my Swiss friend Doris would share her desserts.  Later in college, a Vietnamese friend taught me how to prepare a Vietnamese meal which is to this day one of my favourite meals to prepare for special guests.

In history classes we learned how Canada was built through the hard work of many, many of whom emigrated to Canada from across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

We can ship goods and travel across Canada by rail thanks in large part to Chinese immigrants.  What to say of our previous Governor Generals Michaëlle Jean, a recent immigrant, or Ed Schreyer whose grandparents emigrated to Canada from the Ukraine.

What about Naheed Nenshi, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, or Sandra Oh?  Should we disagree with their views simply because they or their families have not been in Canada long enough?

Canada is the better for their contributions to our country.

Today, with the shortage in doctors, communities across Canada, including Smithers, are more than happy to see a South African doctor hang their shingle in their community.

I wonder how Smithers resident Alex Cuba would appreciate being called a foreign-born transplant.  I am sure the majority of residents in Smithers are very happy to have Alex as part of the community.

What about Alyson Tomson.  She’s been in town for only four months, but has volunteered to take on the coordination of the Relay For Life activities this year.

Thank you Alyson.

I am a descendant of the original French colonists that hit the shores of Nova Scotia in the 1600s and the emigration of Irish during the potato famine in the mid 1800s.

Does that mean my voice carries more weight than a recent immigrant to Canada or Smithers?

I hope not.

Calling someone a foreign-born transplant is divisive at the least and just plain mean and insulting at the worst and irrelevant to the issue.