In the last year, I’ve made many American friends - mostly those who share a passion for mobile software development.
I’ve also worked with people from all corners of the globe - China, Russia, England, and Brazil to name a few.
The interesting thing I’ve noticed is the conflict between what Americans think of Canada and what the sad reality is that faces foreigners here.
Canada isn’t so great.
Our immigration policies are barely a step-up from the United States. Sure, socially we don’t have volunteers arming themselves to defend our borders, but gaining permanent residence here in Canada is incredibly difficult.
My friend is currently fighting with the Canadian government to stay here. He owns a condo, makes a decent salary, pays taxes, and is an irreplaceable member of the 500px team. And yet, he’s treated with suspicion from the government that he is here to try and freeload off of our socialized medicare.
Oh, socialized medicare! What a joke that is. I hear conservative politicians and pundits in the states rabidly exclaim that socialized medicare in Canada is broken and that the US should not emulate Canada.
They’re right. You don’t want to end up like Canada.
Like our immigration system, our medicare system is barely a step up from the US. Sure, you get free E.R. service for serious injuries (if you have your health card so the privately owned hospitals can charge the government), but you’ll be waiting 4 hours with a broken leg.
That is not an exageration. I waited 6 hours in an E.R. one Sunday evening with abdominal pains and someone with a broken leg, sitting in a wheelchair, waited with me for four hours to be triaged.
Wait times for long-term care are measured in years.
I only recently gained coverage on an employee insurance plan. Until then, I was paying hundreds of dollars a month in medication for my wife and I. She suffers from chronic jaw pain, which we are seeking treatment for. Since most orthodontic and periodontic treatments are elective, neither medicare nor my insurance covers the thousands of dollars we’ve paid for doctors, X-Rays, and appliances.
Socialized medicare is a fantastic ideal, but there are better countries doing better jobs of providing medical attention to their citizens than Canada. Go emulate those countries.
Certainly, there are positives to living in Canada, but these can only be objectively deemed “good” in relation to the appalling social conditions of the United States and third-world countries.
Our post-secondary education system has government oversight and hasn’t see the extravagent inflation the states’ PSE system in the past two decades, but the cost of tuition has still skyrocketed for domestic students. The price of a degree is more than double for foreign students who come to Canada.
Canada’s banking and real estate sector have not been granted the same deregulation that lead to the global financial crisis that came to a head in the American housing market. Because of our tight regulation, Canada’s economy is doing very well.
However, conservative politicians here are supporting regressive taxation and immigration; they encourage medieval social reforms that we see have failed in the states; finally, they have gotten in bed with industry lobbiests who have convinced them that privitization and deregulation are good for Canadian citizens.
Since Stephen Harper, our Prime Minister, gained a majority government, we’ve increased the number of jails we’re building; we’ve started a war on drugs when only a few years ago, we decriminalized petty drug posession; and we’ve increased spending on the military like new fighter jets while decreasing our spending on foregin aid.
All while blantantly flaunting democracy.
The US has exported its conservatism to Canada. We’re not better than the states; we’re just a little behind the curve.