Friday, January 30, 2009

Why Canada is Doing OK So Far

  1. Conservative Banks (didn’t get into all the “funny paper schemes” of Wall Street)
  2. No ARMs (that’s right, there’s no such thing as an adjustable-rate mortgage up here!)
  3. Tonnes of Raw Materials and Manufacturing (which will suffer, but be okay in the long run)
  4. Balanced Budgets (this part is about to change on the federal level, but at least we’re starting from a good spot)
  5. No Predatory Lenders (result of government regulation of banks)
  6. Universal Health Care (which, surprise surprise, means that almost nobody ever files personal bankruptcy)
  7. Minimal amounts of money/troop involvement in foreign, pointless wars

This doesn’t mean Canada doesn’t have problems, or that we won’t be affected by the United States’ crisis (they are, after all, our #1 business partner) -- but it means that we don’t have those problems, and we’re somewhat insulated from the worst of whatever happens to the US. And all this from a government most Americans would consider far to the left of even the Democrats.

Needless to say, we are pleased to hear that President Obama is coming to visit Ottawa in about three weeks, his first foreign trip. We hope that PM Harper can forge a good relationship, and pick up some charisma pointers, from the president.

In return, we hope Obama in turn will see how well a country very like (but not quite the same as) America can run when there’s not 1000 fires to put out all the time. Maybe the vision of a largely peaceful, prosperous and harmonious country will give him the strength he needs to work through the US’s daunting issues. :)