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We Choose Canada


RISE™ up Canada - It's time to wave the flag

We Choose Canada has gathered thousands of stories on “Why Canadians Love Their Country”, this year it’s time to RISE™ up and let the world know that it still cool to be Canadian.

Oakville, Ontario, May 23rd, 2004

The response to the holiday question was overwhelming – “It’s a holiday, the first long weekend of summer.” What Messer and Trenholm wanted to hear Canadians to say was “It’s Canada’s Birthday, and we are proud to be Canadian!”

The pair recognized that Canadians need to RISEup and start waving the flag. After doing a little more research Messer found that Canadians want to see a new culture emerge, not one that concentrates on ethnic diversity, but one that provides honourable and ethical leadership. In business, in politics and in daily dealings in the world around them. Messer heard Canadians complaining - they are tired of rising gas prices, of broken promises and of the words – it’s not my fault. No longer are Canadians satisfied to write letters, they want answers to their questions and they want positive action taken when it comes to their rising cost of living.

So, Donna Messer and Debbie Trenholm are asking Canadians across the country – to RISE™up and begin to force this new culture to emerge. RISE ™ is an acronym that was coined by Messer’s company ConnectUs. RISE™stands for Rapport, Information, Solutions – Ethically!

The pair are suggesting that Canadians everywhere follow the same process they use when networking. Begin by building a rapport with politicians, at all levels - get them to come to the birthday party. Then gather information from the people in your community, find out what they need, what is concerning them. Have a series of questions drafted that effect the community you live in, and that have not been answered to your satisfaction. Print the list out, and send it to your local newspapers, radio and television stations with the tag line “Canadians RISE up!” It’s time to be accountable. We all need to know who we need to know, to guarantee that our questions will be answered. By holding birthday celebrations across the country every Canadian has the chance to have his voice heard and his questions answered. This is not a bash the politician party, nor is it a poor me party – this is a celebration of proud Canadians who recognize that we live in a free country and if we don’t ask for what we want, we will never get what we deserve! RISE up Canada! Get in touch with your politicians, gather community information needed to ask the questions your want answered, there are solutions, ask for them in a timely and ethical way. It’s cool to be Canadian – let’s tell the rest of the world why!

“Canada is a great country, last year we were hit hard in our economic pocket, with SARS, West Nile, and the climbing Canadian dollar, but we pulled together to help each other climb out of this economic disaster.” This year rising gas prices, broken election promises, and uncertain economic growth see Canadians ready to pull together again. RISE up Canada promises to be the beginning of a new era, a culture of integrity where truth is not only expected, it is mandated.

There is a strong undercurrent of national pride from those who live in Canada, traditionally, residents of Canada are quietly proud about the place they call home. When they travel, they are often found wearing maple leaf pins, or have a flag on their suitcase or backpack. The emerging trend today is for Canada’s residents to be more bold, brave and confident. To ask for what they want, and to be prepared to be competitive. It’s time to wave the flag – not just for Canada, but for all of the provinces and territories - Messer and Trenholm are determined to get the message across to the world loud and clear! RISE Up Canada!

Messer and Trenholm launched We Choose Canada on July 1st, 2003 with an email campaign that reached thousands of men, women and youth across Canada and around the world. They asked the question “Why did you choose Canada as a place to live, work and raise children?” The response was overwhelming with over 1,000 visitors to their website in the first 24 hours, most sharing their stories. The story was picked up by the Canadian Press, and both women have been interviewed on radio, TV and in print in every province and territory.

These two entrepreneurial women have been armed with tape recorders for the past year, interviewing Canadians wherever they go – the results of their findings will be published in their book “We Choose Canada”.

What has become very obvious is that not only is there tremendous pride in being Canadian, there is a strong provincial pride as well. During every interview, in each province the women heard the question “When will you be in our province, we want to share our local and provincial stories.”
Suddenly Canadians, in every province and territory are realizing that being modest and ‘nice’ just doesn’t cut it – they are becoming more verbal, instead of quietly singing their countries praises, they have begun to shout it from the rooftops. Why? Because they want the rest of the world to see Canada as they do, a vibrant place to live, work and visit. But that’s not the only reason, it’s all about business. A country’s GDP is based on buying and selling, and suddenly from the grassroots level, Canada, often through provincial initiatives, are determined to keep the economy growing and strong.
Author, Michael Gladwell refers to this phenomenon in his book “The Tipping Point”, as that magic moment when an idea, a trend or a social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. Over the past year, Debbie Trenholm and Donna Messer have started to experience this wildfire – in less than three weeks, the website has had more than 5,000 visitors with hundreds of stories submitted.

While meeting every Canadian is impossible, Messer and Trenholm are encouraging everyone to become Canadian Ambassadors, to contact their local MP, MPP and municipal politician, and make the July 1st holiday “RISE Up Canada Day.”

If you are interested in becoming part of this innovative initiative, contact Messer at (905) 337-9578 or Trenholm at (613) 851-1785 or visit

About We Choose Canada:
We Choose Canada is grassroots initiative to showcase why Canadians and immigrants love to live in Canada. Their stories will be from a variety of perspectives, collected by visiting and interviewing people across the country and gathering online submissions at . We Choose Canada promotes the good news about our country; a place that we are proud to call home.

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