COLUMN: Chill out people

Canadians love to one up each other over how much colder their city is

As a polar vortex is pummelling the rest of Canada, while most of British Columbia enjoys some of its usual mild weather, I sit back and think why do we Canadians take so much pride in our weather?

Don’t get me wrong, being proud to be Canadian and proud of Canadian weather are two very different, very separate things, and the latter is not necessarily a good thing, especially this time of year.

Between the months of November and March, the entirety of Canada is engulfed in a season-long battle of egos. Those of us who are lucky enough not to be miserable get the brunt of it, and why you ask? Because we aren’t miserable.

Everywhere you look it’s, “Oh you’re only -18 C, that’s cute. We’re -40 C.”

Temperature gives us Canadians a reason to gloat. Cold-shaming is something that seems to unite this country and somehow drive it apart. We all do it, and it happens to all of us. No matter how cold and miserable it is in one city during the winter, it is undoubtedly colder and more miserable somewhere else.

RELATED: Weather extremes a new fact of life for Canadians: experts

Unless you live in Beaver Creek, Yukon. Then you win. Seventy-two years ago today, Feb. 3, 1947 the coldest day in North America was recorded at -63 C.

The travel company Expedia even compiled a list of Canadian “cities with the most miserable winters” with our neighbour Terrace placing 20th. You can bet that people are beyond proud of their miserable winters.

But for the rest of us, it is a constant battle of who is colder, and more miserable, cold-shaming at its finest.

Here in Prince Rupert, we have it easy, according to the rest of the country. Our “freezing” cold temperatures of -13 are laughed at.

An Edmonton based journalist tweeted out, “You know you’re a Prairie when you feel kind of left out because it’s only -11.”

As if being 20 degrees warmer was a bad thing.

My question is why? Is being cold and north of the equator so deeply ingrained in our sense of pride, both individually and nationally, that those of us who aren’t suffering through Chinook winds, polar vortexes, or Nor’easter snowstorms are less Canadian?

It is a constant one-upping contest of who can suffer the most through the winter.

Look, we all get it. Canada is cold, and we love Canada and being Canadian, but please lets put aside our pettiness and just accept the fact that we don’t have to love the freezing weather. Those of us who don’t experience it are not any less Canadian than those who do.

READ MORE: Wildfires, flooding: Environment Canada’s top 10 weather stories of 2018

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