Re Frank Wirth letter April 1, “Canadians have their own political problems”:
Mr. Wirth has the right, as does Canadian Guy Camerlain, to express opinions about the political systems of Canada and the United States. Unfortunately, neither one has sufficient knowledge of the government practices and laws of each other’s country to be correct in their assumptions. As a result, both letters turn opinion into facts.
As Canadians, my wife and I have very much enjoyed spending the last 11 winters in this wonderful community. We recognize the differences from our Canadian experiences, and often we disagree with the politics here. However, is it not our business to publicly criticize our hosts.
Mr. Wirth’s letter, on the other hand, makes many wrong assumptions about Canadians and Canada to which I feel obligated to respond.
Canada is not a socialist country. It may be called a social democracy because its population supports giving more responsibility to its government, but we Canadians cherish our government programs and services and willingly pay taxes to support these services. This support was tested in the October 2015 election when almost 70 percent of the electorate voted for center or left of center parties. The ruling Conservative Party received barely 30 percent.
We have a strong capitalist country where businesses flourish, and the economy continues to grow. Our business taxes are much lower than those in the U.S. Our freedoms are best exemplified in our health care system which allows us to change employment without any impact on our basic health care services. We can go to any doctor we choose, approval for medical procedures is standardized, and patients do not need the approval of a third party insurance company.
I would suggests that our health care system provides for more freedom than the one here in the U.S. Like many health systems across the world, one needs to buy travel insurance when you are outside the country of residence. I would suggest that this is true for most U.S. plans.
The founding of Canada was based on a two language-two culture system. It was written into the British North America Constitution in 1867 and again into our constitution in the early 1980s. Many countries have official languages other than English. Being bilingual is necessary for federal civil servants in order to serve Canadians in their language of preference.
Canadians love their country as much as citizens in other western democracies. We are ranked among the top countries to live and among the happiest of peoples on the planet. We do hold a great deal of respect for people from other countries as they also have a strong affinity for their own country.
The problems Mr. Wirth associates with Canada are his differing opinions with the Canadian democracy, not problems of Canadians. As for his comments about Canadian doctors and dentists in his area, these are simply personal opinions. I could find many other Canadian doctors and dentists as well as the majority of the population of Canada who would disagree with that perspective.
At a time when disrespect is out of favor, I suggest that Americans and Canadians appreciate the uniqueness of their countries and celebrate being the best neighbors on the planet.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach and Mississauga, Ontario.