Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Illegal Immigrants

[received by email with my response below]

Let me see if I understand all this ~ ~ ~ ~

  • If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labour.
  • If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.
  • If you cross the Afghan border illegally you get shot.
  • If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again
  • If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.
  • If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political prison to rot
If you cross the Canadian border illegally you get a job, a driver's license, social security number, welfare, food stamps, credit cards, subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house, free education, free health care, a lobbyist in Ottawa and in many instances you can vote. !!!!!!

----

First and foremost, anyone entering Canada illegally can and does result in several severe penalties including deportation. Even those caught living illegally in Canada for several years and being rather productive without contributing to the tax base other than through sales tax have been deported with the most recent case an elderly woman. While the above is making the email rounds it clearly was not written by a Canadian. We do not have Social Security Numbers we have Social Insurance Numbers (SIN). In order to legally work in Canada you need a SIN. To get a SIN you need to have proof of Canadian citizenship or eligibility to obtain a temporary SIN that begins with the three numerals 905. If you do not qualify for a temporary SIN then you can apply for a work permit jointly applied for by you and your employer. You will require a legal passport in order to apply for a work permit. Now you can technically work illegally under the table without a SIN but you wouldn't want to get caught doing so. Illegal workers in Canada can be found working as seasonal farm labour as well as the sex, adult entertainment and drug sector so while it is possible it definitely is not going to be very appealing. To obtain a driver's license you need to present a valid driver's license from your previous residence. Those within Canada have no problem obtaining a driver's license from their new province or town of residence. Those presenting a driver's license other than Canadian will need to show they have gone through the hoop of getting all the necessary permits such as SIN or work permit. Health care is free (to some degree) in Canada for Canadian citizens. Non-residents must apply to the appropriate provincial health care with appropriate documentation to prove they are Canadian citizens and wait for the require time (usually 3 months). Illegal immigrants are technically out of luck with respect to Canadian health care. Social Assistance (welfare) is administered at the county levels. You must be a Canadian with proof of citizenship residing in that county for at least 3 months to be eligible for social assistance. Food stamps are non-existent! That is a US concept not a Canadian one. In extreme emergency situations a Canadian citizen could qualify for a food voucher that could be taken to the grocery store but it is not the norm. Illegal immigrants are not going to get subsidized for housing or loans for buying a home. Just to buy a house you need proof of citizenship! You will not get a lobbyist in Ottawa and illegal immigrants do not get a chance to vote. If you're lucky you might get a human activist to act on your behalf but again that is usually in extreme cases.

Sorry as convincing as the actual email sounded any Canadian would recognize it for the ignorance and bigotry it displays.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day 2009

[Note: This is a repost from my personal blog, My Journey. It was originally posted on November 11, 2009. The video is well worth watching several times. Please take a moment to watch the video and ponder the price so many have paid to make Canada the great nation that it is.]

I come from a strong military family with ancestors that were instrumental in shaping the history of Canada. I grew up surrounded by relatives who had fought for this country. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice and while they are no longer here they live forever in our memories. If this video does not bring tears to your eyes, nothing will. On the 11
th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we honour our fallen with 2 minutes silence from shore to shore of our great nation, Canada. Please join our nation in showing our respect and how thankful we are for enjoying the freedom they fought so hard for.



Remembrance Day Tribute
courtesy of
Global TV Edmonton


Monday, November 9, 2009

The Issue of Local Television in Canada

Television reception in Canada is received through antennas, satellite dishes and cable. Telecommunications is controlled by the CRTC. Many Canadians do not think fondly of the CRTC because they basically dictate what can be shown on television or listened to on the radio with a mandatory percentage of Canadian content.. In addition to that the CRTC has recently made a very unpopular decision for those using satellite internet by allowing the satellite internet providers to continue throttling bandwidths under FAP (fair access policy). What this means to users of satellite internet is if you reach a certain bandwidth threshold which is not disclosed the satellite internet provider will slow your speed to about 40% for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours depending on the provider. In essence you pay 100% for the service but at times only get 40% of the service. No other service or retailer would be able to get away with giving you 40% while charging you 100%. In addition to the CRTC's problems they will now have to decide on the issue of local television. They don't have a good track record for deciding in favour of the Canadian consumer either.

Local television programming has always been free for Canadians guaranteeing all Canadians equal access. However, with recent network changes going to digital there are fewer free channels available. Canadians have been turning to satellite and cable providers for their television programming consisting of both premium and local stations. These providers are charging for local television but they are not giving any of the money they charge to local television. Essentially the satellite and cable providers are profiting by selling something they get for free while local television loses. As if Canadians were not paying enough for television programming and it is expensive the Big Local Networks (CTV, Global) want to apply a $10 tax that would help local television. The CRTC will begin reviewing this proposal on November 16, 2009.

As in all debates there are two sides to consider. I recommend reading through both Stop the TV Tax and Save Local TV for more information on the local television issue from both sides. The bottom line is no one wants an additional charge on their television. Canadian should not have to bail out local television when they are already paying for it through their satellite or cable providers who are profiting from it! They should be the ones paying the local television stations.