Canada is a Great Country – but the dirtiest?

The cleanup crew with the unimpressed exchange student on Sunday morning.


It was a sunny but windy day on Highway 17 North when the three of us with our heads down, sorted the recyclables when a male voice out of nowhere complimented our efforts. In surprise, we looked up and there was this tall man in a perfect cycling outfit on an even more perfect bike introducing himself. He had a British accent and started his cycle trip from Halifax to Vancouver and was pleasantly surprised to see us cleaning up the mess near our hometown.


He commented about his journey through many countries – but Canada was, in his opinion, the DIRTIEST. He took a photo of us, my volunteer sign and the trash bags on the truck and promised to stop in Thunder Bay at a TV station (I don’t know what he would accomplish, the littering is too deeply ingrained in most Canadians’ psyche).


Then there was a councillor from North Bay area who offered $1.00 for the soup kitchen for every handful or 10 pieces of garbage that people would pick up! Desperate? I wish he would come to our area: and who would offer money for the soup kitchen for every bag full we pick up?


Last but not least – I had the pleasure to host Wawa’s Rotary Exchange Student for 2 days. Since my buddies had plans to clean up the eyesore at Tim Horton’s end of parking lot area on Sunday, I bamboozled this young man to come along and help – wrong! Yes, he helped. We filled 4 large trash bags and one recyclable. But I could tell by his demeanor, he was not impressed. Where he came from, people are respectful and littering is not a big issue. He had only one word when I asked for his opinion: DISGUSTING!!


So, people, Canada is a great Country. Unfortunately, some of us abuse the privileges we have and mess it up. Smarten up and keep it clean. More next week.


Karin Grundt
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