Canada 101: A Primer for Americans

There have been many misconceptions swirling around down south about Canada.  While lack of knowledge about America’s closest neighbor and ally is certainly not uncommon, current issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline have brought many to the surface.

In an effort to better educate our American cousins, here’s a quick primer on all things Canada.  The best first step is to watch this video that NBC put together during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. >

As I mentioned, the Keystone XL is front page news on both sides of the border.  Big money has been spent on spreading rumors and misinformation in the effort to sway public opinion not just against the proposed pipeline, but against Canada’s oil sands industry as a whole.  Facts are always good, and there’s no place better to find them than these resources – http://www.capp.ca/Pages/default.aspx  &  http://www.ethicaloil.org/

Don’t believe what Nancy Pelosi tells you (why would you start now?).  Polls consistently show Canadians support the project.

With American flirting with the idea of a national gun registration, it would be wise to learn from Canada’s experience.  Billions of dollars in cost overruns with no substantial benefits were the result.  And as the Sun News Network’s Brian Lilley explains, it leads directly to confiscation. >


One thing most Americans do know about Canada is our universal health care system.  Long held up by America’s progressives as a model by which to base a U.S. system (and portrayed as stellar by propagandist Michael Moore in his piece ‘Sicko’), the truth is quite the opposite. 

Government spending on health care, on both the national and provincial levels, is quickly approaching half of all budgetary spending.  The results of all these billions is doctor shortages, endless rounds of union strife, and long wait times for both emergency care and scheduled surgery – some governments have even set up websites to display wait times in area hospital emergency departments.

Deaths have been attributed to this, including a recent allegation that up to four women in the past 12 months died because the wait list for their similar operations was up to three years long.  We are witness to the inevitable corruption in the system, including the phenomenon called ‘queue jumping’, whereby you grease the palm of those in charge – usually by who you are or you know – to ‘jump’ to the front of the line. 

A few quick points to wrap up:
  • Canada has had a national Conservative government led by Stephen Harper since 2005.
  • Canada sent forces in Afghanistan early in 2002 and has stood shoulder to shoulder with America in the War on Terror ever since.
  • Canadian Astronaut Chris Hatfield is currently in command of the International Space Station.  Rumors that it is actually William Shatner are false.



Louise said...

You are aware, I hope, that "official bilingualism" applied only to the Federal Civil service.

There was, and still is, a lot of misconception about that both at the time it was implemented and even now.

The only group that had French "shoved" down their throats were Federal unilingual Anglo civil servants, most of whom are probably now dead.

Leigh Patrick Sullivan said...

Certainly. I am also aware that more than just civil servants had french 'shoved down their throats'. All business big and small endure higher costs for packaging, marketing, advertising,etc. because of the gov't enforced pandering to a privileged minority.

And I won't even start in on the indoctrination centres known as 'french immersion' schools.

Louise said...

Everything you mention was done on a voluntary basis. As far as packaging, etc. is concerned, the capacity to sell products in two linguistic markets is what motivated that. Hell, I bought an appliance last summer for which the manual was printed in five languages. More sales = more profit, hence it's a good idea, which makes sense for the bottom line of companies so doing it.

French immersion schools were created by decisions made by democratically elected school boards. Voluntary organizations such as Canadian Parents for French share a big part of the responsibility for the creation of both all French schools and French immersion programs. I am unaware of any case where such schools exist where an all English option isn't also available. No one, short of Federal civil servants, was forced to learn a second language, unlike those who wish to comment on your blog are forced to use that stupid captcha technique, which nine times out of ten is so unreadable, one has to try several times in order to get through, but I'm pretty sure that was a voluntary decision on your part, which you are at perfectly at liberty to choose.

Leigh Patrick Sullivan said...

Government policy of social engineering, which is what this is, is always a negative. Boiled down, bilinualism in Canada is nothing more than special rights and status for a minority.

Louise said...

What minority would that have been? People who were already bilingual?

Are you aware that there a several bilingual municipal governments in Manitoba? Or that New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province? All that means in those cases (as well as with the Federal Government)is that official government publications as well as services flowing from those municipalities and from the provincial government in New Brunswick are provided in the two official languages.

People can choose which language they wish to be served in. You might want to look up the meaning of the word "official". I think you have misunderstood it.

The statistics you quote in your blog entry should tell you that you may have some rethinking to do with respect to the assumptions you seem to be making about bilingualism. No one, not a single soul, outside of Federal Civil
Servants was forced by the Federal Government to learn a second language. Those that did, did so on a voluntary basis (well, except maybe children whose parents made the decision for them, but even there, the parents had choices).

Leigh Patrick Sullivan said...

The stats speak for themselves. Single-language French Canadians, as well as those classified as English/French bilingual, are a statistical minority in Canada, in spite of decades of cultural indoctrination.

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