Rick Mercer’s rant: Go see Canada

by W. Andrew Powell
Rick Mercer at Confederation Bridge in PEI

Rick Mercer finished 15 seasons of the Rick Mercer Report this week, and I’m going to miss him, but I also can’t help but be excited to see what he does next. He also made a great point in his final rant for the show, and it really got me excited about Canada.

I’ve interviewed him a few times over the years (one of my favorites is from season 9 of the show), and I was always impressed by his energy, and most of all, his love of this country. It was always there when he talked about making the show, and it certainly was obvious on every episode of Rick Mercer Report.

That love of our country was probably there already, before he started making the show, I would guess, but making the Rick Mercer Report probably made a big impact on how he saw Canada. He was accepted into homes and businesses across this country, and in his last rant I think he had one of the best suggestions for Canadians.

“I don’t know if we are the greatest country on Earth, but I know this: we’re the best lookin’,” Mercer said. “And I also know, in my heart of hearts, we would be better, stronger, and more unified if more Canadians could make it their business to see more of Canada.”

Right now, I think most of us can all agree that it’s a great time to see Canada. Our neighbour to the south is not incredibly appealing, and that place can be a great country to see, I think we’re all a little guilty of not seeing enough of our own great nation.

I was fortunate to visit both Fogo Island last year, and Sault Ste. Marie, and it’s a bit life-changing to travel across this country. We are so lucky to live in Canada where there is so much to see and do, and so much variety from coast to coast, and I think Mercer is exactly right about what that travel means to people.

Just like he says, “skip the trip to Florida” and plan a trip somewhere beautiful right here the next time you’re planning a trip. You won’t be disappointed.

It’s also easier to understand your neighbours, your country, and the people in it when you see where they live and take in the culture, and every part of this country has something amazing to offer. I feel fortunate to have grown up in New Brunswick and ended up here in Toronto, and to have visited a number of places in Canada already, and I want to see so much more.

Take the train, take the bus. Get in a car and drive. Or fly somewhere and explore. Canada’s National Parks are astounding, and so are the small towns, the people, and the experiences. Go visit the Bay of Fundy and eat some clams! See the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, or find a place to see the Northern Lights. Or visit the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, the Saint John Market in New Brunswick, or the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market in Ontario.

Watch Rick Mercer’s rant below and I’d love to hear about where you would like to travel or visit in the comments. Plus scroll down for a few photos of Rick visiting parts of Canada.

Images courtesy of CBC/The Rick Mercer Report.

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