The question about being a Canadian in the twenty-first century is a rather complex one because answering it requires a lot of research work and reflective thinking to be carried out. To define a modern Canadian means to define any person living in any country of today’s world. At the same time, to define a Canadian means to take into consideration the national and cultural peculiarities of this country and analyze them against the economic situation, industrial development, levels of education, and the impact of globalization. Drawing from this, the current paper attempts to define what it means to be Canadian in the twenty-first century on the basis of all the above-listed factors and their interrelation in the particular setting of Canada.
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Thus, the first idea that comes to mind when one gets the task of defining what it is to be Canadian in the modern world is the idea of globalization. The latter, apart from its economic and political consequences, means that the features typical of any other nation can most certainly be observed in Canadians of today. According to Coyne (2008) for instance, “Canadians are encountering the future much faster than we ever have before”, and the great role in this speeding up is attributed to two major factors, i. e. technological progress, and globalization. So, the first feature of a Canadian living in the twenty-first century is the ability to operate with the modern means of communication and being a globalized person, which means being ready to coexist with all nations, races, and ethnic groups acknowledging their equal rights and freedoms.
At the same time, Coyne (2008) argues that being a Canadian in the twenty-first century means also being updated about the political development on the international stage and the domestic Canadian political and economic events.
Supporting this, Coyne (2008) notices that “Canada’s influence and effectiveness on the international stage depends on maintaining out internal coherence and stability”, which means that a modern Canadian should be the person that cares about the economic wellbeing of the country but also pays much attention to environmental considerations, participates in the social and political life of the country and takes care of his/her family. Thus, the second feature of a twenty-first century Canadian is public and private awareness, willingness and ability to change the situation in his/her own household and in the whole world.
Respectively, the issues of education and professional qualification come into play in this regard. A person that should trace the domestic and foreign political and economic events, care about the environment and his/her own household should possess a considerably high level of education and have, or be willing to, substantial experience in any particular sphere of activity. According to the report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2008), one of the main problems of modern Canada is the shortage of qualified and skilled specialists for the positions in the local industrial, technological, and business enterprises. In more detail, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2008) reveals in its report that “there is a skilled labour shortage facing Canada”, and this fact should make the society as a whole and its every member in particular think of the ways to achieve the improvement of the current situation.
Therefore, being a Canadian in the twenty-first century means also being a socially aware person that understands the problems Canada experiences and works, either as a professional or yet as a student, to solve the issue of skilled labour shortage and to become one of the Canadians that would prove that this country is able of preparing highly-qualified professionals for all spheres of human activity. For this purpose, the things that a modern Canadian should take his/her time to think of include the ways to increase the workers’ mobility within the country and from abroad to Canada; the innovative pension and benefit schemes that would attract skilled professionals; the opportunities for skills training and further development (The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 2008). Although the bulk of these things are subject to consideration by business corporations and governmental agencies, ordinary Canadians might also take part in improving the workforce climate in their country.
One of the ways to increase the role of an ordinary Canadian in the above discussed process is to change the situation with voting in the country. Coyne (2008) sees a serious problem in the fact that 30% – 40% of Canadians eligible to vote usually choose not to participate in any elections. Coyne (2008) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2008) connect this fact to the instable workforce climate in the country and argue that being a Canadian in the twenty-first century means changing this situation. To ensure that the political and economic development of the country is carried out in a proper way a modern Canadian should consider becoming an active voter and participant of any socio-political discussions in the country.
However, to be able to achieve all the above aims, a Canadian of the twenty-first century should be first of all a highly educated person. The report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2008) states that “the level of education in Canada compares favourably with that of other countries”, but the actual picture of employment levels and the above mentioned skilled labour shortages makes people think that statistical data are not always the perfectly clear reflections of the reality. Drawing from this, a Canadian of the twenty-first century should pay much attention to getting education and becoming a highly-skilled professional. For this purpose, one should attentively select the profession to get education on by monitoring the employment levels and supply and demand rates in the employment market prior to or in progress of the study.
So, the above discussion reveals that being Canadian in the twenty-first century means being a person in whom a number of qualities are integrated. In short, a Canadian in the modern world is a person that lives in the globalized world and makes use of all the advantages of the civilization. At the same time, this person should be socially, politically, and personally aware to handle the situation in his/her own household and in the whole world in a proper way. A modern Canadian should also be a highly qualified worker, who knows how the workforce issues in the country can be solved, participates in elections to express this knowledge, and permanently updates his/her levels of intelligence through studying. Thus, to be Canadian in the twenty-first century means much more than to just live in Canada, adopt the local culture, and have the Canadian citizenship; it means, first of all, to be a rightful member of the modern globalized human society.
Coyne, Deborah. Reinventing Canada for the Twenty-first Century. University of Toronto, 2008. Web.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Building Twenty-First Century Workforce: A Business Strategy to Overcome Canada’s Skills Crisis. CCC, 2008. Web.