Canada 101: A Primer for Americans

By: Leigh Patrick Sullivan

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 –  &
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.
About The Author Leigh Patrick Sullivan:
The Moderate Separatist

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