Sunday, December 16, 2007

Life in Hillaryland, er, Canada


My family and I escaped the grips of Iowa's latest round of winter storms on Friday on a flight out of Kansas City for a place that was sure to be warmer than Iowa...Canada?

We went to see my sister and family in Chatham, Ontario. It is about an hour east of Detroit. They moved there from Minneapolis about 4 years ago - in fact, they moved SOUTH to get there. We flew into Detroit, rented a van, and headed out on the 401.

Now, I was prepared for some of Canada's quirks, like seeing signs in both French and English, and the profuse use of the metric system. But I was not totally ready for the culture shock.

1) GST (goods and service tax) and provincial tax. 6% and 8%, respectfully. That means you pay 14% sales tax on 'bout everything. OUCH!

2) The Beer Store - You can only buy beer from The Beer Store, which is run by the government. You tell them what you want, they go and get it and roll it out. Even crappy beer costs more than a dollar per bottle or can.

3) Cigarettes - I don't smoke, but I found that at least 50% of the outside packaging of a pack of smokes must have warning labels on them. This includes, but not limited to, pictures of cancer-ridden lips and gums.

4) Intrusive government - My niece was required to have her teeth checked by the government. My sister then received a letter in the mail saying that her daughter required urgent medical attention, and that she must respond within 90 days. The problem? A cavity was found. If my sister didn't respond, however, the Canadian version of DHS would be on her and my niece could end up in a foster home!

Now, don't get me wrong - I like Chatham and I like visiting my sister's family. The land is very flat and fertile, and the people are friendly. I suppose I could get used to things if I had to. It is almost like America, but not's almost like a Twilight Zone episode.

But, my dear reader, I fear that the United States under a Hillary presidency would transform our fair country into a Canada-like workers' paradise. Taxes, government intrusion, and nannyism would go up, individual rights, freedom, and business would go down.

Their beer OK, by the way, but I'll stick with Budweiser.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention this: The Canadian version of Mountain Dew does not have caffeine! Sacrilegious!


Blogger Appalachian Gun Trash said...

Nothing makes you appreciate the good ol' US of A more than seeing how it's done in other countries. I did close to 30 years travelling the world for Uncle Sam and it sure did make me appreciate this country.

7:48 PM, December 16, 2007  
Anonymous Lucky Canuck said...

However, when I get sick or injured, I simply go to the nearest hospital, day or night, and receive prompt and appropriate medical attention - without a huge bill afterward! No big brother HMO telling me what I could receive in terms of treatment and what I could not.

7:15 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Free From U.S. Guns said...

I live in Ontario and there are no dental FBI. The only reason anyone would force your sister to have her teeth fixed is that she is on welfare and subject to Children's Aid rules or she is rich and her daughter is going to a Private School for the rich and they require it. And if being forced to take care of your chiders teeth is the worse you could find well that is not to bad at all. And I don't miss all the guns and killings and poverty of Detroit etc. So give me good teeth and not being shot any day.

7:32 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Dorf said...

Socialized health care is a joke. You need the free market to drive innovation. That's the way it is. Plus why should I have to pay super huge amounts of taxes for healthcare that I may never use?

Every year many, many new medicines reach the market to battle all kinds of ailments. The vast majority come from the United States.

The cost of developing these drugs is VERY high, and if you don't have a means to profit from this, you won't get all that $$$ spent on R&D and you won't get good medicines.

So yeah, Canada can have socialized medicine, but it doesn't mean squat if there are no good drugs to get... and those good drugs come from here.

Is it perfect? Heck no. Is it better then waiting 3 years for a hernia operation, or 4 months for radiation treatment for brest cancer? Hell yeah.

8:58 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

OK, so maybe I was a bit harsh the dental issue. Yes, the kids do go to private school (not the daughter in question, at least not yet), but they are not rich.

And, I was misinformed about the Beer Store - it is privately owned by three breweries, and they hold the monopoly on beer distribution in the province. I'm surprised they offer such a wide selection of beers they do not produce, however.

Imagine if Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors controlled what you could drink in the USA? Oh yeah, they kinda do anyway...whoever came up with Milwaukee's Best should be fired.

But hey, there are benefits to living in Canada - Tim Bits, Hockey Night in Canada, Canadian Tire, and friendly, polite folks. So, not all is bad in the land up north (or east). Eh?

3:17 PM, December 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better hurry home, the ice is melting off the corn stalks with more bad weather arriving on Saturday!!!

6:15 PM, December 18, 2007  
Anonymous Lightnin said...

I just wondered if the people of Iowa know how much Frted Thompson is AGAINST FARMERS? I went on and waded through the hog poop to find out that he almost never voted for a farm subsidy the whole time he was in the U.S.Senate. He was also dead set against ethanol. I know Huckabee is above the fray but there is a certain thing as letting the other side know the truth about a candidate. Now I don't think Uncle Fred the world's most evangelistic lobbiest and the father of all lobbiests has a ghost of a chance in Iowa whether Iowans know this or not but wouldn't it be a shame if he took enough votes from Huck to keep him out of First place?

let me know what a REAL Iowan thinks about this...has there been enough light on this subject or not?

1:34 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Lightnin - Farm subsidies are an interesting thing, especially among Iowans. Yes, farmers get them. Do we like it? Yes and no. We'd rather get it from the market place (in most cases), but if the government is doling it out, why not take a scoop?

So, Fred might be sticking by his principles in voting against subsidies, but Huckabee, IMHO, has a real good counter cyclical proposal that helps farmers when they need it but doesn't waste money.

6:34 AM, December 20, 2007  
Anonymous Lightnin said...

Thanks bgunzy, It suonds like Huckabee has the best plan...again. I did a further google search and found out that Uncle Fred has switched his position and now favors subsidies for ethanol. He like Romney will say whatever is convienient to garner votes regardless of how incongruent it is with his record.

I have always had mixed feelings about etanol anyway. I do see the obvious energy and (supposed) cleaner air impact but I have been opposed to having machines compete with people and animals(including hogs)over the same food. It gets into why I support Huckabee...he allows his Christianity to be real when he looks at the human impact of a decision.

1:27 PM, December 20, 2007  
Anonymous no.billary said...

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12:58 AM, December 21, 2007  
Anonymous stop hillary! said...


Huckabee cannot win the election. Everyone should know this. What good is his Evangelical background going to do for us Evangelicals when he loses to Hillary in November?


3:20 PM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Stop Hillary! - Your argument is as weak as Mitt's explanation that his father really DIDN'T march with Martin Luther King Jr, but rather a figure of speech.

8:30 PM, December 21, 2007  

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