We’re Number One!

I am a proud Canadian. I think I live in the best country in the world. I suspect many people feel that way about their homeland.

That doesn’t mean I think Canada is perfect. There’s a lot of room for improvement. Too often, it seems, our leaders have no idea how to make things better. Sometimes it seems they can’t even identify the problems.

Now they don’t have to. A recent newspaper article has listed a number of different areas where Canada falls short of global standards.

Most of these I already knew. But I hadn’t seen them added up this way. It is a sobering list if you are a Canadian. The “”best country” needs a lot of work. Not that anyone is proud of these achievements. For obvious reasons, the government is trying not to draw attention to the fact that in Canada:

We have the most unaffordable housing in the OECD – and it is only going to get worse as government attempts to fix the problem seem to just drive prices higher.

We have the world’s most expensive wireless costs – I pay three times what I did in Germany for less service. And I have a budget plan.

We have the lowest rate of acute care beds among peer countries – which explains why politicans were so alarmed by COVID-19. The system was already at the breaking point, and no-one wants to spend the money to improve it because the public doesn’t want higher taxes.

Two of the planet’s “bubbliest” real estate markets are in Canada – with Toronto holding down the second spot and Vancouver the eigth spot in the workwide rankings. Only the rich can afford to buy what used to be a modest home. Homeowners can make a profit selling their residences – but then can’t afford to buy someplace new.

We racked up COVID debt faster than anyone else – which explains why as government spending ballooned, average income went up, even if fewer people were working. For many people it was more profitable to stay at home .

The Port of Vancouver is (almost) the most inefficient in the world – according to the World Bank, which ramked it at number 368 out of 370 ports. I guess this means that we have problems getting our products to market – and importing the things we need.

Toronto Pearson is the world’s most-delayed airport – just last week Pearson Airport’s spokeperson trumpted that things had inproved and 44 per cent of flights departed on time. Of course that means 56 per cent were late or canceled. I was looking at booking a flight and noted on Air Canada’s website that flying through Toronto is cheaper than flying through other airports. I guess they are charging a premium for people like me who want to avoid Pearson if at all possible.

We’re one of the world’s worst economies for foreign investment – battling with Brazil, Mexico and Australia for the bottom spot. Yet we are told that Canda is open for business and encourages foreign investment. So what is the problem?

We drive the most fuel-inefficient vehicles in the world – according to the International Energy Agency. That will improve as older vehicles are junked, I think.

None of those problems can be solved overnight. Some of them have been around for a while though. Which has me wondering if there is really any political will to make things better.

What is it like where you live?


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