Gloria Cilliers
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Oh, Canada | Canadian Insurance
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Oh, Canada

Whenever I meet a Canadian, and they learn that I’m an immigrant (which usually happens as soon as my South African accent gives me away), I get asked the same question: Why Canada?

My answer is always the same: Why not Canada?

Not too long ago, my husband and I sold everything back home, bought a one-way ticket and arrived in Toronto, each with two suitcases and a heart full of hope.

We had never been to Canada before, but like so many before us, and many more to come, we bet our futures on a country that welcomes diversity, embraces inclusion, and ranks among the top in standards of living and environmental, health, safety, education and youth programs. (Not even to mention maple Timbits and hockey!)

That sounds like pretty good odds to me, eh? (Yes, even after my first Canadian winter…)

Now, I’m in no ways qualified to write an authoritative opinion piece on the history of Canada in such an important year as this one, but what I can say is that every Canadian, immigrant and refugee who can call Canada home today should consider themselves pretty darn lucky, on so many fronts. I’m not dismissing any concerns Canadians may have about their homeland, of course. I’m comparing, as immigrants often do, this country with a host of others, including my own, and arguing that the facts on major issues impacting our daily lives speak for themselves, and that the little things should not be taken for granted.

Over the last century and a half, many people, Canadians and immigrants alike, have worked together to build this country into what it is today. And so have different industries contributed fundamentally to its prosperity, among these, P&C insurance—an industry that has served Canadians in the worst and best of times for centuries, and will continue to do so for many more.

To find proof, one needs only recount the rich histories and strong futures of Canada’s oldest insurers (as Brynna Leslie does); or talk to the generations of family-owned brokerages still thriving today, like those at Coburn Insurance Brokers in Mount Forest, Ont., which, as Tessie Sanci writes, has employed six generations who’ve served local customers for 135 years.

As we celebrate 150 years of Confederation, we honour insurance trailblazers and game changers: Terri Goveia revisits five ground-breaking Canadian achievements that today involves new risk and opportunity, and talks to the movers and shakers that are leading the industry to great new heights as we look towards the future.

This is indeed a month to celebrate, a year to remember. And we’re lucky to be part of it.

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Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the June/July 2017 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine