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Canada isn’t just a place, but a lifestyle says the Morris family

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
June 30th, 2012

Canada turns 145 years old on Sunday, July 1.

Many Canadians view the day as paid stat holiday away from the daily grind.

Ben and Angela Morris of Nelson have come to appreciate the day a little more now that the two have become Canadian citizens.

The couple didn’t need to go through the process, which took some time. However, Ben and Angela thought it was the right thing to do and have never looked back.

The Nelson Daily reporter, Erin Perkins, caught up with the family on the eve of Canada Day.

For Ben and Angela Morris of Nelson, choosing to be Canadian is about choosing a lifestyle.

The two, Ben from England and Angela from Scotland, began their immigration to Canada about six years ago and officially became citizens during a citizenship ceremony in Kelowna in January of this year.

“We were looking for something a bit different,” said Ben. “The UK was okay but Canada offered lakes, mountains and a good work life balance.”

“The emphasis was on a good work life balance,” Ben added.

“We enjoy the outdoors and the weather, winter or summer.  It seemed really nice and the attitude of people being opened and friendly in Nelson in particular was a really good fit for us. The people are warm and friendly and have a good sense of community here.”

“We traveled so much around Canada and loved it,” said Angela. “We made the plunge and never looked back.”

They had traveled as tourists through British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Banff and the Kootenays both before they met and after.
“Then we heard about Nelson and we really liked the feel of it, even when it was socked in with rain,” said Ben.

Ben’s own parents, also from England, had considered moving to Canada in the 1970s but never did.

“We were at the age that we felt if we don’t do it now, we never will,” said Ben, who is now in his 30s.

The Morris’s didn’t have to go through the test, the oath or the paperwork involved in getting their official Canadian citizenship to remain in Canada, but they felt it was the thing to do.

Both their children, Ella, five and Coen, three, were born in Nelson.

They also wanted to vote.

”It seemed to make sense (to get a Canadian citizenship) with having children from Canada and we were fully integrated into life here. (We also liked) being able to vote and the nice benefits of having a Canadian passport like making traveling south easier,” said Ben.

“By being part of Canada we now feel like we truly belong,” said Angela. “It was frustrating not being able to vote and having a say in the election and the government … We feel quite fortunate being able to live here.”

They also continue to hold their British passport but they know that they are truly Canadian when they return to the UK for visits.

Their personal sense of space and their love of the Canadian wilderness has already become a part of them.

“It’s nice to see family and friends but the place is just so busy,” said Ben, who plans on attending Canada Day at Lakeside Park Sunday.

“There’s just a sense of having more people there. It’s just rush, rush and in stark contrast to Nelson.

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