Canada: North of the Border, South of the Sun

BradYoung04 By BradYoung04, 16th Mar 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

A brief look at the economic prosperity of Canada when compared with that of America and Europe


Canada is a strange place. Unless you’ve lived there, you’d be forgiven if you'd overlooked its existence on the world’s political stage. Canada recently announced it was ending its campaign of air strikes against ISIS in the American led coalition, intending to focus instead on a humanitarian approach. This highly pacifist turn will be no surprise to those familiar with Canada’s traditionally non-interventionist policies, but it also highlights Canada’s role on the world stage. The reaction would have been completely different if the USA or UK had made such an announcement out of the blue, as their roles in a global context are vastly contrasting.

Despite this perception, Canada is one of the wealthiest and most advanced countries on the planet, and consistently ranks highly on the Human Development Index based on life expectancy, education and income per capita. For a country which purposefully recedes itself from international conflict and economic turmoil, how has it managed to flourish?

Much More Than Just America's Little Sister

The main comparison Canada has is its larger, louder neighbor of the USA. Despite bordering one another, the two nations have taken on very different roles on the international stage. Domestically, the two countries have also taken almost diametrically opposed approaches to a wide range of issues.

For one thing, Canadian lawmakers and governors were complicit in the rise of medicinal marijuana dispensaries, which ultimately contributed to its eventual legalisation (for medicinal purposes). This movement went on to penetrate the USA, and now 24 states allow the legal sale and distribution of cannabis.

Gun control is another major issue in which the two nations are opposed; the USA is currently in a political and social crisis over gun violence, whilst Canada has had strict laws and prevention measures in place for decades, much like in the UK.

Ultimately, people will make the Canada and USA comparison because it is easy. The countries have a closely shared history and, despite taking different paths in regards to independence, are still on the surface extremely similar. This is why when Canada continues to provide aid to Palestinians whilst America staunchly supports its Israeli allies, the world takes notice.

A True Land of Opportunity

The differing level of opportunities is also clearly evident when one visits the various landmark cities across both nations. Jobs in Canada are growing at a much faster rate than in the USA; more recently, the USA has been struggling with a lack of domestic jobs, resulting in an epidemic of homelessness that has so far gone untreated. In fact this is the crux of Democratic Party nomination-hopeful Bernie Sanders' electoral campaign. Canada on the other hand, instead of making it a political issue, has put the task of fighting homelessness in the hands of various public and private organizations, who are eligible for grants to build shelters from an independent board known as Housing First.

These opportunities also extend to students, whether international or domestic, who can enter programs of higher education for a fraction of the cost compared to American educational institutions. Canadian students are also eligible for generous grants and financial aid programs, including the Canada Grant Program which can provide up to 30% rebates of student fees. Currently in the USA, no widespread program exists. The same can be said for students on a gap year in Canada, who despite not undertaking any formal education in the country can still receive grants and credits towards their further education.

Canada Into the Future

Canada's position, much like that of Switzerland’s in Europe, is based on independent prosperity. No nation is perfect, but Canada’s humanitarian efforts, domestic social progress, and diverse world view have inspired a new kind of patriotism in its citizens. Despite never making a fuss on the world stage, Canada stands prominently as one of the finest places on the planet for students and young workers to seek opportunity.


Canada, Canadian Economy, Canadian Politics, Canadian Travel Destination, Politics

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author avatar BradYoung04
I am a MBA grad who can transform your business. Follow me for straight talking insights into running successful businesses in a fast paced world. I am always working or surfing in the Californian sun

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