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The best place on earth

We’re wealthier than the Americans, live longer than the Swedes and even have more lovers than the Italians


 

The best place on earthLet’s not sugarcoat it—it’s been a bad, bad year. Plunging markets have siphoned an estimated $300 billion out of the pensions and retirement savings of Canadians. A huge wave of job losses—400,000 and counting—has pushed the unemployment rate to an 11-year high. Add in the billions spent on corporate bailouts, and the $100 billion-plus in projected federal and provincial deficits predicted for the coming years, and the economic gloom can seem overwhelming.

But Canadians might want to stop and take a deep breath before googling up the local chapter of the Hemlock Society. As we gather at the cottage, beach or in the backyard to celebrate our nation’s 142nd birthday, there is much to be thankful for. Things beyond the usual July 1 paeans to our scenic wonders, abundant natural resources, diversity, and stable politics.

Canada vs. the world

For our Canada Day special issue, Maclean’s scoured international opinion surveys, census statistics, think tank reports, policy papers and consumer databases to uncover the truth about this country’s place in the global order. The results may surprise you: we’re wealthier than the Americans, we live longer than the Swedes, we’re more industrious than the Germans, we have more lovers than the Italians, we eat better than the French and we have more TVs than the Japanese.

In so many areas—the economy, health, education, public safety, and living standards—the numbers, it seems, back up what we’ve always quietly believed deep in our patriotic hearts. Sorry to brag, but it looks like Canada is the best place on earth.

The best place on earthMeasuring prosperity can be a tricky business. By the International Monetary Fund’s reckoning, the oil-rich emirate of Qatar is actually the world’s richest nation, with a per-capita gross domestic product of US$85,200. The World Bank, using a different formula, puts Luxembourg at the top of the heap, with a per-capita gross national income of US$61,860. And neither number tells you much about how all that wealth is divided.

Since 1990, the United Nations has followed a different tack, publishing an annual human development index that crunches data about life expectancy, purchasing power, literacy and education levels to rank countries by their citizens’ broader “well-being.” In the latest list, released last December, Canada placed third, ahead of Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland and, well, the rest of the world. The United States was 15th. Only Norway and Iceland scored higher, although it’s a safe assumption that the collapse of Iceland’s banking system has since ended the island nation’s reign (despite what you might think, the UN gives no extra points for Björk).

Even by the narrower measurements of wealth alone, Canada is looking surprisingly robust these days. If you go by household net worth, the typical Canadian family is actually doing better than the typical family in America. After adjusting for currency and purchasing power, the median Canadian household has a net worth of US$122,260, versus US$93,100 in the States. Americans also carry almost twice the per-capita personal debt—US$40,250 versus US$23,460. And we spend just 19 per cent of our annual household budgets on shelter, a category that accounts for 34 per cent of theirs.

Even if you crunch the numbers differently—and look at all the bank deposits, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other financial assets in the country divided by the number of households—Canada still does surprisingly well on the global scale. According to Haver Analytics, as of late 2008, Canada ranks No. 2 among the top industrialized countries in the world, with a financial net worth per household of US$154,100, trailing only the U.S., which clocks in at US$245,700. We’re substantially ahead of Britain, France and Germany. And the good news in all the current bad news is that the global economic downturn is narrowing the gap between us and our southern neighbours. Since late 2007, their financial net worth has dropped by a staggering 24 per cent, while ours has dropped by 17 per cent.

Canadians also boast higher median household incomes than the Aussies and the Brits, and a higher level of home ownership than the Americans, Japanese, Swedes, Danes, French and Germans. And we live in spacious comfort—77 per cent of our homes have five or more rooms, compared to 74 per cent in the U.S., 72 per cent in Britain, and 70 per cent in Australia. (Not that we’re hung up on that stuff: when National Geographic asked whether owning a big house was an important goal in a global 2009 survey, just seven per cent of Canadian consumers agreed, compared to 14 per cent of Germans, and 22 per cent of the French.)

The Great Recession has undeniably made us poorer as a nation, but with the indicators suggesting we may have finally sounded bottom, Canada does seem better positioned than most for a recovery. As our politicians never tire of pointing out, our financial sector has come through the banking crisis relatively unscathed, and property markets, while down, aren’t in free-fall like they are south of the border, where house prices have dropped by 32 per cent from their 2006 peak, or Britain, where prices have dropped by 20 per cent from their 2007 high. In fact, a recent Goldman Sachs report predicts that Canada, along with Australia and Britain, will be among the first advanced economies to emerge from the recession, returning to trend rates of growth by early 2011, and raising outputs back up to capacity by sometime between 2013 and 2015. The U.S., on the other hand, isn’t expected to get its output back up to capacity until 2017. “I think we still have this inferiority complex,” says Benjamin Tal, senior economist at CIBC World Markets. “But we ought to start feeling better about ourselves. This crisis has really exposed the vulnerabilities of the U.S. economy.”

It doesn’t take Joseph Boyden long to pinpoint what he misses most about Canada—not being scared. The winner of last year’s Giller Prize for his novel Through Black Spruce spends much of the year in Louisiana, where he and his wife are writers-in-residence at the University of New Orleans. “When I go out at night—even just to throw out the garbage—I’m always careful. I stop to look around. Living there almost breeds a paranoia.” And not without reason. New Orleans is the most violent city in the U.S., with a murder rate more than 10 times the national average. Some years ago, the author and his wife even witnessed one.

Canada has its fair share of guns—31 for every 100 people, the 13th-highest level of civilian firearm ownership in the world. That’s marginally more weapons than Austria, Iceland and Germany, and fewer than Sweden, Norway and France. The heartening news is that, for some reason, we aren’t inclined to point them at other people. Canada’s murder rate is in the middle of the pack, and has fallen by more than 40 per cent since 1975. Firearms are used in about one-third of Canadian homicides. By contrast, guns are used in about two-thirds of killings in the U.S., where both the murder rate and the level of gun ownership (about 90 firearms per every 100 people) are three times higher.

Corruption, endemic in other parts of the world, is almost non-existent here (notwithstanding the innuendo of a certain German-Canadian businessman). At home and abroad, Canadians are recognized for their honesty and rectitude. The 2008 Bribe Payer’s Index, prepared by the global civil society organization Transparency
International, ranks Canada at No. 1, tied with Belgium—meaning our firms are the least likely in the world to engage in payoffs. Only four per cent of Canadian business people have ever bribed high-ranking politicians or political parties, according to the survey, well below the international average of 13 per cent.

It’s not that we are incapable of greasing palms, but even the recipients seem to recognize how out of character it is. Lisa LaFlamme, CTV’s globe-trotting correspondent, recalls a shakedown when she was in Baghdad in 2005, covering the Iraqi elections. The network’s car—festooned with all the necessary permits and permissions—had barely left the Green Zone when it was pulled over by a policeman. He placed a gun at LaFlamme’s temple and demanded $50. But once the transaction was complete, he followed the car to a local polling station where he spent the next three hours begging for assistance in securing a Canadian visa. “He kept saying, ‘I helped you, now you help me,’ ” LaFlamme laughs. “I think there was even a marriage proposal.”

The fact that so many people want to make Canada their home—sometimes even by unorthodox means—shouldn’t be overlooked. Our rate of immigration is among the highest in the world. We opened our doors to 247,243 people in 2008, according to government figures, and we grant more new citizenships per capita than any other nation. And it’s not just Canada’s wealth that attracts them. Our level of education sets the global standard—a full 47 per cent of the population proceeds on to post-secondary studies, versus 39 per cent in the U.S., and 30 per cent in Britain. When it comes to reading and science, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that our 15-year-olds place fourth in the world. And Canada is among the planet’s most diverse and tolerant societies. In 2005, we became the fourth country to legalize gay marriage, ahead of traditional bastions of social liberty like Sweden and Norway.

There’s another area where Canadians now have the advantage over the Scandinavians: good health. Forget those old ParticipAction commercials suggesting the average 60-year-old Swede is in better shape than a 30-year-old Canadian (the stat was later revealed to be a fabricated bit of government propaganda anyway). According to 2009 estimates from the CIA’s World Factbook, life expectancy at birth in Canada is now estimated to be 81.23 years, eighth in the world, which is actually slightly better than the Swedes (80.86) and years ahead of the Norwegians (79.95) and Finns (78.97). And when it comes to quality of life—the number of years lived free from disease—Canada is tied with France, Norway and Singapore for fourth place at 73 years, according to the latest World Health Organization figures. Japan topped the list at 76 years; Americans are way down at 70 years.

Part of that may be due to the way we treat ourselves. In 2007, Men’s Health magazine declared Canada the second-fittest, and second-most-relaxed country in the world (behind the Netherlands and Spain, respectively). We were ranked as buffer than the Americans, and more laid-back than the Aussies. And despite having the third-highest number of McDonald’s franchises per capita in the world, we are relatively careful about what we put in our bodies. Our rate of daily fruit and vegetable consumption is the third-highest in the world, behind only the Chinese and the Australians. We drink more fruit juice—52.6 litres a year—than the citizens of any other country (the Americans rank second at a paltry 42.8 litres). We have fewer daily smokers than every country in the OECD but three. And shockingly, we eat processed food less frequently than the French. Kim Brand, a lawyer for a Canadian bank who has lived and worked in Paris, remembers being astounded at the number of French people who now eschew France’s traditional markets in favour of vast, American-style hypermarchés. And despite a deeply ingrained national attitude that they know everything worth knowing about food (a worker in a Paris deli once flatly told Brand that capicolla “didn’t exist”), the French actually aren’t much for variety. “They do what they do really well,” she says. “But when it comes to ethnic food—or fusion—it’s a lot better in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.”

Canadians are no pikers when it comes to the more sensual pleasures either. We claim to spend an average of 37 minutes from beginning to end in the bedroom, longer than the Spanish, French and Americans. Canadian men and women both boast of having more sexual partners than the supposedly hot-blooded French and Italians. (Strangely, it is the Austrians who seem to be the most licentious. Could Tafelspitz be an aphrodisiac?) All of which may, or may not, be somehow related to the fact that, according to the global 2009 National Geographic survey, a higher percentage of us own, rent or lease TVs, than even the people that manufacture them, the Japanese.

Lord knows that none of this makes Canada anywhere near perfect. We fancy ourselves to be environmentally friendly, but we emphatically are not, using more energy per person than any other country. The United Nations reports that our greenhouse gas emissions are climbing faster than any other member of the G8. Our infant mortality rate is lower than that of the U.S., but not nearly as low as it is in the Nordic nations and Japan. Poverty and addiction remain significant problems in our Aboriginal communities. And our health care system continues to struggle with costs, wait times, and in some areas, outcomes.

But coming out of the year we’ve just lived through, let’s put all the negatives aside for at least one day. We are a uniquely privileged nation—wealthier, healthier, and happier than practically any other place in the world. Those who have reason to leave often come to recognize such truths. “Every time I come back across the border, I’m overcome with a sense of calm and happiness,” says Boyden. “I shed all those worries about my or my wife’s personal safety, or what happens if we get sick. In Canada we don’t live nearly as close to the bone.”

And should, by some miracle, we actually start believing what the stats tells us—that we are the best country on earth—don’t worry, the sky won’t fall. Rick Mercer has become a national icon by revealing what others think about Canadians, and poking fun at how we view ourselves. And he says that if this country has one bedrock saving grace, it’s a great self-deprecating sense of humour. “It’s true for every single region of the country,” he says. “You will find it in boardrooms on Bay Street, or the oil patch in Calgary; you see it talking to fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador, or farmers in Saskatchewan. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we are more likely to laugh at ourselves than others. It’s about as admirable a trait as you can ask for in an individual or a country.”

With Patricia Treble


 

The best place on earth

  1. I really hate this kind of 'we're better than everyone else' nationalism. Love of country does not require thinking that one's country is superior to all others, any more than love of a parent requires thinking the parent is superior to all others.

    Furthermore, several claims in this article stink. Example: "Our infant mortality rate is lower than that of the U.S…." That would be false; we merely count infants born under 500g birthweight as stillborn even if they're born alive, since they are considered "unsalvageable". The US counts them as live births if they have a heartbeat after birth and tries to save them. Since only 10% of these babies survive the first month after birth, it skews the stats.

    Another example: "And Canada is among the planet's most diverse and tolerant societies. In 2005, we became the fourth country to legalize gay marriage…"
    Yes, despite the fact that the majority of Canadians and possibly even a majority of MP's opposed it at the time, Martin's government rammed it through by whipping the vote. Even if you accept the notion that gay marriage is a sign of tolerance (thus implying that more than half of Canada were intolerant bigots in 2005), it does not seem that Canada as a whole qualifies.

    I love my country, and I want to see her healthy, happy and proud. That requires objectivity and willingness to confront problems, not piously cooked statistics. This jingoistic stupidity is reminiscent of the worst idiocy one sees south of the 49th.

  2. I really hate this kind of 'we're better than everyone else' nationalism. Love of country does not require thinking that one's country is superior to all others, any more than love of a parent requires thinking the parent is superior to all others.

    Furthermore, several claims in this article stink. Example: "Our infant mortality rate is lower than that of the U.S…." That would be false; we merely count infants born under 500g birthweight as stillborn even if they're born alive, since they are considered "unsalvageable". The US counts them as live births if they have a heartbeat after birth and tries to save them. Since only 10% of these babies survive the first month after birth, it skews the stats.

    Another example: "And Canada is among the planet's most diverse and tolerant societies. In 2005, we became the fourth country to legalize gay marriage…"
    Yes, despite the fact that the majority of Canadians and possibly even a majority of MP's opposed it at the time, Martin's government rammed it through by whipping the vote. Even if you accept the notion that support for gay marriage denotes tolerance (thus implying that more than half of Canadians were intolerant bigots in 2005), it does not seem that Canada as a whole qualifies.

    I love my country, and I want to see her healthy, happy and proud. That requires objectivity and willingness to confront problems, not piously cooked statistics. This jingoistic stupidity is reminiscent of the worst idiocy one sees south of the 49th.

  3. The point here is not criticism or pessimism. It is nationalism. The title of this piece "The Best place on earth" says it all. It's (a) not true, (b) not good to tout even if it were true, and (c) irrelevant to true patriotism. Should we love our country less if it is not the best place on earth? Of course not. Therefore why bring it up?

    As to the 500g redefinition, infant mortality equalizes between the US and Canada when it is taken into account. The WHO, not the CIA, has the relevant stats. Again, nationalism blinds us to facts because we are so busy putting down other countries. This is neither a good thing, nor is it particularly Canadian.

  4. I really hate this kind of 'we're better than everyone else' nationalism. Love of country does not require thinking that one's country is superior to all others, any more than love of a parent requires thinking the parent is superior to all others.

    Furthermore, several claims in this article stink. Example: "Our infant mortality rate is lower than that of the U.S…." That would be false; we merely count infants born under 500g birthweight as stillborn even if they're born alive, since they are considered "unsalvageable". The US counts them as live births if they have a heartbeat after birth and tries to save them. Since only 10% of these babies survive the first month after birth, it skews the stats.

    Another example: "And Canada is among the planet's most diverse and tolerant societies. In 2005, we became the fourth country to legalize gay marriage…"
    Yes, despite the fact that the majority of Canadians and possibly even a majority of MP's opposed it at the time, Martin's government rammed it through by whipping the vote. Even if you accept the notion that support for gay marriage denotes tolerance (thus implying that more than half of Canadians were intolerant bigots in 2005), it does not seem that Canada as a whole qualifies.

    I love my country, and I want to see her healthy, happy and proud. That requires objectivity and willingness to confront problems, not piously cooked statistics. The jingoistic stupidity of this article is reminiscent of the worst idiocy one sees south of the 49th.

    Happy Canada Day to all. May our country once again be glorious, free, and humble.

    • Infants born under 500g, just slightly more than a pound, are very rarely born alive and those that do don't account for many births overall. According to the CIA's own statistics, we're still ahead of the US by a reasonable margin.

      Anyway, I think the point of this article is to dispel, at least temporarily, the typical Canadian pessimism that we all seem to have, and that you've displayed so well in your comment. To move forward we need to recognize our weaknesses, but we need to recognize our strengths as well and as a country. Objectivity is important, yes, but objectivity doesn't mean pessimism or criticism, it means realizing exactly the scope of the problems facing the country – and all things considered, we're doing alright.

      • The point here is not criticism or pessimism. It is nationalism. The title of this piece "The Best place on earth" says it all. It's (a) not true, (b) not good to tout even if it were true, and (c) irrelevant to true patriotism. Should we love our country less if it is not the best place on earth? Of course not. Therefore why bring it up?

        As to the 500g redefinition, infant mortality equalizes between the US and Canada when it is taken into account. The WHO, not the CIA, has the relevant stats. Again, nationalism blinds us to facts because we are so busy putting down other countries. This is neither a good thing, nor is it particularly Canadian.

        • Yeah, the WHO has the relevant stats and they're largely in line with the CIA stats. Canada's still ahead, though both are still significantly behind other countries of roughly equal development.

          http://apps.who.int/whosis/database/mort/table1.c

          You accuse the author and others of being blind to the facts but your anti-nationalist stance has blinded you instead. The title of this piece is hyperbole more than anything – the author willingly admits our faults, and the strengths of other countries.

          Either way, you're missing the entire point – it's not about touting, or boasting, it's recognizing the progress we've made over the last 142 years while being aware of the work yet to come. We're not resting on our laurels, nor supporting our country because of any trivial statistic, but celebrating our accomplishments as we approach the anniversary of the nation we love and call home.

          • Well said Craig, well said! :) *clap*

          • Ditto on well said Craig. Guilinion, chill, baby, chill. Let's just appreciate and be grateful for the wonderful country we live in. Whatever the stats say (and we can debate them till the cows come home), we're all pretty lucky to be living here. Period.

          • as u all ppl have explained me abt canada!!!

            i really nw dream of coming der

            m a guy styin in mumbai nw wl b soon der bcoz da way u ppl have xplained its nxt 2 heaven 4 me

            so ppl love cnada!!!!!

    • I totally agree with you and your statements!

  5. I honestly believe Canada is the best country in the world.

    When you look around the world today, you have to admit Canada is in a pretty enviable position. Look at the post-election crisis in Iran, the severe economic downturn in the US, the anti-immigrant debates in Europe, the coup in Honduras, raging poverty and disease in Africa… I could go on and on. I was born in communist Poland, and my family left everything behind to start a new life here, and every day I am so thankful to live in such a beautiful, peaceful, prosperous, and open country as Canada.

    Do I think Canada is perfect? Not by a long shot! I think our politics are embarrassingly petty and hyper-partisan. I think as a country we're lazy and cowardly about saving our environment. I think Canada is stuck in a colonial mindset that relies on others to pioneer and act boldly (our heavily resource-based economy as an example, where we export so much of our raw wealth and happily buy back the finished products), and I could go on…

    But it's Canada Day! While I believe we have a responsibility to stand up for the values we want Canada to embody, and that we should hold all leaders and decision-makers in this country accountable, I also believe we should stop, at least once a year, to look around us, and say, "Hey! All things considered, this country is pretty fantastic!" The other 364 days we can moan, complain and generally take for granted the great country we've got. But today, let's appreciate it!

  6. Say Adam, You have to admit, there is always a balance of the good with the bad. Canada is a FANTASTIC place to live and breath. I appreciate living here very much! So many other places in the world are suffering great injustices. Ours are minor in comparison. I do hope and pray we continue to remain free….Even to complain a bit about what we don't agree with. I think we need to pay attention to what's going on with the people who have the task and privilege to serve in the government arena. I agree that they need to focus less on the petty personal grievances and more on building strength, stability, and security for us as a nation. We're Awesome!

  7. Here is a poem that I wrote for Canada Day 2009. I wanted to share it with my fellow Canadians. Happy Canada Day ! Bonne Fête Canada !

    CANADA WILL NEVER DIE

    The sun may burn the Arctic glaciers,
    And the heavens may come crashing down,
    But Canada will never die.

    “Prime ministers” may defy Parliament,
    And democracy;
    Opposition “leaders” may abet and sustain them,
    And Canadians may avert their eyes –
    For a time –
    But Canada will never die.

    The timid may cry
    That there is no hope,
    That freedom is defunct,
    And that democracy is dead –
    But Canada will never die.

    The grasping boys may shout
    That idealism is passé,
    That compassion is for fools
    And losers, like you and I –
    But Canada will never die.

    For as long as men and women
    Hold in their hearts
    The love of freedom,
    And the courage to fight
    For what is right,
    And just,
    And good;

  8. And as long as men
    And women, of good faith,
    Honour their fathers and mothers
    Who worked, and fought, and died,
    To preserve the flame of freedom,
    And to shield this bastion of good will,
    And hope,
    And promise,
    That is the Beacon on the Hill
    We call our home –

    Then Canada,
    Our Canada,
    This light.
    This candle,
    That was – and is –
    The final, fatal bulwark

    Against all that is sad,
    And hopeless,
    And joyless,
    In this hard and heavy world –

    This Canada –

    Will never, never die.

  9. I don't know how Canada ranks compared to other nations, or even how legitimate those rankings and their respective agencies are, but I do know we live in a modern paradise. At least it has felt that way to me. I am by no means wealthy, or exceptionally well off, but I am surrounded by kind and friendly people, and there is beauty, natural and man-made, wherever I go. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be reminded every once in a while how good we have it, it allows us to be grateful.

    • With this, I agree. I wish the article above had struck this tone.
      Happy Canada Day, friend.

  10. canada is the expensive place and jobs rate is not as par,so i dont think and agree,

    • Well obviously you don't think, I can understand that much after reading your comment. Other than that, it's nonsense, go back to grade three and learn some proper grammar.

    • there are way way way way way more jobs available in Canada than in the US and many other countries lol, the rate is very good right now (although I realize you posted this 3 years ago, it still wasn’t even bad then). Canada is dominating the US in terms of economics (TD Ameritrade anyone? and all the Canadians purchasing property in the US lol) the only thing giving the US a lifeline right now is the massive population and unique market and economic strength of the past (that grew in America’s “golden age,” which is now disintegrating). I can’t even explain it all properly, it’s so simple yet so complicated. the point is, the US is falling apart, and even if there is still a pretty good chance it will come back strong again there are some things that will never change and that have affected America forever. And those missing pieces are available in countries like Canada and Australia. that’s why I’m moving back

  11. Well I think Canada is a good country to live in but I had to laugh when I read this article. I mean pleaaaassseeee, who really cares if we have more TVs than Japan??? This is "spin" journalism at it's finest.

  12. Of course Canada is the best place in the world to live – if anyone has ever travelled as I have, to more than a few other places in the world the result is an extreme gratitude that I live here – absolutely no doubt about it – I have travelled throughout Asia (whew yeah team canada – don't get me started, Europe (good grief great historical buildings and food but you gotta really love Canada after that trip), the Americas (can't handle more than 3 days anywhere in the States and a week at best southwards of there) – nope the only result of travelling around now (I teach martial arts and give workshops … is to make sure I am never gone longer than a week as Canada rules way above and beyond any of the other countries and in every possible way you can measure these things by!

  13. Hey,hey.We pay high taxes,but we also reap the benefits.Also we do enjoy a very high standard of living in comparison to rest of world.People must remember what really counts,& it's not Size of home # of cars we own.We should be thanking our lucky stars we are Canadian.__

  14. hi,right on Wayne.I also have travelled world & the one of biggest compliments we get is that Canada is gateway to heaven.Hopefully no one is going to twist meaning.Truly was compliment.

    • I am also a Canadian, but I take Switzerland is actually the gateway to heaven. Because you can say that all people are equally nice and easy to approach. The air quality is exceptionally well and street are clean. I am not a Swiss and I am not looking down on my country, but sometimes you have to be more humble so people will like you even more.

  15. If this article is any indication, sounds like we may soon be a world leader in one category also: bragging.

  16. Yes, I love my country. I think we live in the greatest area of the planet there is. However, your statement about stable politics hmmm not so sure about that one….we have some way to go in taking the children of our political system out of the wilderness. There is a sense of divisiveness in the land caused by our current politics, pitting east vs west, French speaking vs English speaking vs First Nation Peoples vs ethnic community , province vs province…..Not good,

    But I will still take my homeland over any other, and thats a given

  17. the best country in the world and still cant elect a female or visible minority or a religious minority as PM…interesting.

    • pretty sure Americans are far more racist than Canadians.. at least we didn’t have groups like the KKK, and don’t forget you’re the only ones who still had slaves up until the 1860s… and Canada has elected many people from minority groups in several different offices. Look up Hazel McCallion and Kim Campbell (first female prime minister of Canada, whereas the US has yet to elect a female president ;) ). And ever heard of Jean Chretien? one of several prime ministers from Quebec, the province with French-Canadian minorities. Also, several people of Indian/Pakistani background have been elected to municipal and provincial positions currently and in the past. In addition, Canada has had Canada is the most multicultural/diverse country in the world. I should know I have European background and have been all over the world, I can tell you easily that all immigrants in the US quickly become “Americanized” whereas in Canada they keep their cultures and that’s just one of the reasons that Canada such an amazing country.

  18. To those of you who only entered a negative aspect of Canada…Are you really willing to throw the baby out with the bath water? Do you have anything positive in mind to say about Your Country? If not, your world is tilted. Especially to voice these things on our One Day of celebrating our Country's Patriotism. If you do not have a single patriotic bone in your body then you need to examine your sense of belonging…can you feel happy in any country or situation, even if it is set aside for a time to especially do so?

    • so your suggesting Canada is the PERFECT COUNTRY IN THE WORLD? I don't think so ~ it is good in air quality control and water all that, but you gotta look more around you..feel it.. not all people are EXTREMELY NICE in this country!

      • not everyone but far more than any other country! (except Australia and Norway). I’ve been to and lived in several different countries and speak many languages fluently. Thus without any bias, I can easily tell you that Canada is the best country to live in (overall), if you want to live a long and happy life and have the most opportunities available to you (yes, Canada has more jobs than in the shitty US of A – I should know, I’m living in Florida right now…) after Canada it has to be Australia, without a doubt. and then it all depends. It’s between Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, although they lack certain things that countries like Canada and Australia have. Basically Australia and Canada take the best things from the US (which isn’t much at the moment) and combine them with the best things from European nations (especially Canada). that is all. You can be patriotic and love your country, not going to berate you for that, but that is the unbiased truth. keep arguing all you like it won’t change the facts

      • no country is perfect, but some are closer than others ;) (Canada & Australia)

  19. This comment was deleted.

    • you’re an idiot. clearly jealous that Canada is ranked higher than the US in living standards, I’ve lived in Florida for the past five years, your country is shit lol. fix your government/economy and other issues before making incorrect statement on far better countries.

  20. total bs, we could revamp the entire economy within a year or two if we made things more efficient and more people got jobs

  21. After reading the comments I came to a conclusion: I really hate Canada with its all majority of small-minded people. 6,797,900,000 is the current world population and even if there are certain bad place to live on this planet the majority lives well. I mean leaving in Canada it's not like living in heaven while the rest are living in hell. All this statistics are whorthles at the individual level because are only average data. We are not much happier, healthy or smarter only because we step on this "fabulous and extraordinare" land and we have a "mega-fantastic" life.

  22. canada is great but rude at times, espieacially when driving

    • you’re an idiot. Americans are the worst drivers and the most rude people. I should know I’ve lived in Florida for the past five years, I can safely say there’s a lot of nuts down here. Not saying there aren’t in Canada but far more (in southern states especially) in the US. the mentality is just different. Australia & Canada are the best countries to live in, that’s a fact.

  23. Canada is a good country, but a lot of rude and racism people for sure and lack of respect within people. Because Canada is such a diverse community, everyone kinda forms a little corner of privacy to themselves. Talking about driving isn't different than the Americans, tailgating issues, drunken drivers, a lot of impatient and such..the worse is the road pavement (roads are unequally pave, pots, holes, and bumps can be find everywhere especially in the city even in front of the city hall.), health system given to citizens is SLOW can't compare to the best which is the European Union, education, technology all falling behind, police governing system is quite corrupt because no punishment for the policemen killed the Polish man. So is Canada a really perfect place, NO!! But is it when you are talking about the best environment with air quality, YES!! FOR SURE! I said because I live in Vancouver, and I see it everyday around me. I am waiting it all to be change for 11 years, but non has taken any change. So don't give me feed back or trying to find an excuses, because this is what I see and I feel around me for 11 years!

  24. I dont think so because the weather in Canada sucks

    • I beg to differ, I’ve lived in Florida for the past five years and I’ve enjoyed weather in the GTA (greater toronto area) much more than weather down here believe or not… first of all it rains like almost every day even when it’s not the raining season, and in the summer it’s way too hot to even do anything… in Canada (especially Toronto), the summers are perfect, and some days can be even hotter than in Florida, and others are mildly hot. also there’s always tropical rainstorms and the chance of hurricanes in august/sept. the only thing I don’t like in Canada is the cold in the winter, which has actually not been as bad as it used it to be when I come to visit. at least in Canada there’s four seasons. Also it’s usually a lot colder in states like Minnesota and New York than it is in the GTA or other areas of southern Canada…

  25. Dunno where u get ur stats from..back of breakfast cereal? Real GDP PER CAPITA 2012 Australia US$69,000-00 Canada US$51,000-00 Growth Australia 3.5% Canada 2.4% Population V Economy AUSTRALIA 20 Mil Economy 1.57 Trillion Canada 34 Mil 1.78 Trillion. Largest new homes built on EARTH , No 1 Australia No 2 USA No 3 New Zealand.  Country per capita with most personal possessions..Australia…8  In the world only 8 banks remain AAA rated, 4 of them are in Australia, sorry to dent your ego, but the info is there…..dunoooo why ur brekky cereal makers cant read!

    • You seriously comparing Australians to us, those uncultured sons of prostitutes and thieves? Are you one of them or simply stoned.

    • Australia is ranked 9 in the worst places to live or born after Afganistan and ranked no.3 in most racist countries and you are comparing that to Canada? How fucked up are you? Probably not your fault it’s your genes which make you criminal, right? Your father shouldn’t have fucked you when you were small that badly, he did damage you brains if they were there. Go fuck yourself with a bacon stick and share that fun with your mother, piece of shit.

  26. I have lived in the US and in Canada. Sorry but the US is 100% times more affordable with 100% more opportunity. Canadians defend canada like crazy because they never go anywhere outside of cuba or south of the boarder within an hr drive. My favorite is when Canadians make statements like LA has the worst traffic in the world, when they have NEVER EVEN BEEN TO CALIFORNIA.

    Greencard, here I come, enjoy Rogerisim, Harper and the police state.

    • I would rather enjoy “the police state” as you call it than having my children murdered in their school because the government has no control over their citizens and their guns. You don’t have to go to California to read statistics about the traffic or watch television (by the way, television is the real term for “TV”, in case you didn’t know), and Canadians are well traveled and more widely respected and accepted than any other people on the planet. That’s why Americans sew Canadian flags to their backpacks when traveling. So shut your mouth. You have no idea what you’re talking about…and you spelled “border” incorrectly.

  27. The only reason there is such a problem with poverty and addiction among Canada’s Aboriginal People is that we continue to treat them differently, as if they are apart from Canada. The Canadian government and Aboriginal population need to realize that they are just Canadian like the rest of us. We don’t owe Aboriginals anything, nor do they need to exist apart from the rest of us. They need to join the 21st century and be a part of our great country, and when I say “ours”, I mean it. There is not a person alive born here that is any less “native” than any Aboriginal person or any Aboriginal person who isn’t just Canadian. No, I’m not racist. I believe that your neighbors, friends and co-workers of all races and creeds who were born here have just as much right to say that they are native as any aboriginal person. It’s our country, together, all of us.

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