At least that’s the advice the Huffington Post’s Ryan McCarthy had forreaders yesterday because while the United States is mired in the economic equivalent of the Biggest Loser, Canada put on a hefty 93,200 jobs last month.
And our housing prices do nothing but rise!
Plus we have free universal health care, gay people can legally marry and unicorns roam wild on the prairies.
Okay, maybe we don’t have unicorns.
But the rest? True. Except that health care is not really free when the tax rate is put under the microscope, Canadians could care less about marriage in general as the majority live in common-law relationships for the most part, housing prices are so outrageous that the average person can’t afford home ownership and all those jobs? Service sector. Think Wal-Mart greeters and working the drive thru at Timmie’s*
I emigrated to Canada just a tad over three years ago. I met a Canadian on the Internet. We fell in love. The U.S. had way more archaic immigration rules and he had the better paying job anyway, so I moved north.
Since then, I have heard nothing from my liberal left-behind friends but how lucky I am to have escaped the imploding American Dream for Canadian Utopia.
And Canada is great. Don’t misunderstand me. I love it here. But in many ways, it’s no different from the U.S.
The government is conservative and more interested in business interests than people. Money is the driving factor behind public policy. Education is being savaged when it’s not just overlooked or neglected. Health care hangs on by its teeth but only because the average Canadian would riot in the streets if the provincial governments did away with it, so they nickel and dime it to death in the hopes that people aren’t really paying attention (they aren’t). Our housing is ridiculously over-priced and long overdue for a sharp correction.
Even though some Canadians like to promote the idea that Canada is the anti-America, the reality is that Canada is much more like America than it realizes.
It’s just lucky. For now.
Luck. That’s all that separates us from being you.
People here in Alberta, where I am, live dangerously on the idea that the oil in the sands will last forever and that the damage done by the foreign companies exploiting our resources won’t leave us with polluted fields and undrinkable water.
The spice oil must flow, eh?
My husband just rolled his eyes at the thought of Americans sneaking across the thousands of miles of largely unprotected border like Mexicans in Arizona.
Canada has a points system immigration system which basically has no use for anyone over the age of 42 who can’t speak English and/or French and isn’t skilled and/or a college graduate.
I actually squeaked under the wire on the points thing but fortunately marrying a Canadian meant I was able to get into a completely different immigration line – one that was no less tedious, incomprehensible and arbitrarily humiliating – but it was faster.
But I still can’t find work in my field – education – because the government has slashed funding and there are no teaching jobs to be found just about anywhere a person would want to live and work or anywhere they would die first before considering.
So I write for a blog that pays me peanuts and is, ironically, based out of California, and I teach yoga – not exactly Fortune 500 paying gigs.
Yes, there are jobs. Canadian Tire (think Kmart) is perpetually hiring as is the local Wal-Mart. You can wait tables just about anywhere and the 7-11 in town can never keep night managers. Hotels need housekeepers and if you are really a go-getter, you can probably hobble together two or three part time jobs which will just about pay the outrageous rents with enough left over to eat, pay utilities and cloth yourself. Just yourself. Try not to marry and especially don’t breed because daycare is scarce to non-existent and quite expensive.
But … you love Canada … right?
Yep, I do. But I am not average. I wasn’t an average American either. I live in the upper edges of the middle class. I am skilled and have two university degrees. My husband is an engineer in a field where more of them are retiring than entering.
And I didn’t come here for any reason other than being in love and wanting to spend my life with a guy who happened to be Canadian.
I know some people would regard that as something akin to winning the lottery, but life can be livable anywhere as long as your expectations are aligned with your reality and you don’t make the mistake of believing that salvation lies outside yourself.
*Tim Horton’s. Think fast food but waaaaay better than anything in the States. Seriously.