Canada has for the longest time been regularly placed as one of, if not the greatest country on earth in which to live. These polls take into account factors such as poverty, crime, standard of living and so on, but what they seem to completely ignore is just how EXPENSIVE this huge country really is, or more specifically, southern Ontario.
Now this is not just an anti-Canada rant - indeed Canada has been good to me (I re-educated myself and worked there for a number of years), however, during my time in Canada, Windsor, Ontario specifically, some important aspects of Canadian life have come to my attention, the most important of which is, and I repeat, how EXPENSIVE this country is.
I was born in raised in England - this is the same England that a lot of my Canadian friends seem to think is incredibly expensive following their trips to the center of London, living in hotels and eating out every night. No surprises their. My view of how expensive Canada is, is based on 7 years of living there, of buying groceries and alcohol at stores, paying taxes and living the way the natives do. EVERYTHING is expensive here. Not just luxury items or imported goods, things bought every day by people to pass the time, satisfy a vice or even to put food on the family table. Why on God's green earth does a bag of shredded cheese cost 7 dollars??!?!?!?! In 'expensive' England this same item can be bought for a third of the price. Why on earth is a large bottle of vodka OVER FIFTY DOLLARS, when the same bottle in the good old U S of A is less than 15 and sometimes not much more than 10. Oh yes, I'm sorry I forgot about the whole monopoly (illegal) thing that the government has on alcohol sales through the Beer and Liquor Stores. Although to be fair they are doing that to ensure fair competition for the smaller breweries and wine producers. The same breweries and wine producers that cannot sell their wares in the government stores because they aren't large enough to provide enough of their product. Yes, it doesn't make any sense to me either, but why should it when you are raping your citizens for outrageous amounts of tax and screwing over the companies you are claiming to be protecting. As long as the Quebec friendly companies (Bombardier) can be bailed out with hundreds of millions of tax-payers money eh?
Of course, tax payers money. My final case in point. Windsor, Ontario has for the longest time served as a hub of engineering and mechanical industry for the American-owned auto companies in the Detroit area. Ford, GM and Chrysler directly or indirectly through multi-tier suppliers employing many workers, all earning outrageous salaries bargained for by their criminal representatives, or as they like to call themselves, 'Unions'. For years, these successful companies have pumped what must be billions (ten's? hundreds?) of dollars into the system via income taxes alone. What I would like to know, for this region specifically, is where on EARTH did all that money go?? Ever been to Windsor? Infrastructure? Public transport? I can't even buy a bottle of wine after 9pm and don't even think about Sunday evenings and holidays. It's as bad as trying to get to an open bank past 5pm on a weekday which is apparently when the country shuts down. Still, if this doesn't appeal to you, there is always Toronto just 4 hours up the 401. If Windsor doesn't float your boat, there is always a city full of teenage Chinese girls wearing 4 pounds of make-up drinking 4 dollar coffees thinking they are living the high life just one 70 dollar train ride away.
What are you waiting for?