O Canada!

Bob Hatcher

September 21, 2010


When the Olympics are center stage I love to hear the national anthems of the gold medal winners.  After our own national anthem my favorite by far is the Canadian national anthem, O Canada.

Maybe it is because I have loved my trips to Canada so much. To Victoria  3 times, to Vancouver  2 times, to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper 2 times and to Nova Scotia once.

Canada is pretty cool.


I have heard people on both sides of the aisle politically say, if “x” is elected I am moving to Canada.  You have heard it too, haven’t you!


Well, I have never ever been so inclined.  Since about 10 years after coming to Georgia for my residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, I have never wanted to leave Georgia.  And since moving to Tiger in Rabun County 15 years ago, I have never had the slightest inclination to move anywhere else.


Paul Krugman, the Princeton University professor, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner (economics) wrote recently of the anger of the extremely well-to-do in our country over taxes.  One of the thousands of responses to this article came from Bob in Calgary, Canada. Several excerpts:


“My household makes just over $250,000 here in Canada. One of the best bargains I get for my money is living in a place where I and everyone I know sends their kids to public schools because they are really good. We end up with few criminals, because students learn how to be productive good citizens in schools.

“A second bargain I get is universal health care. Great care (rated well above the American system in most measures) whenever you need it without worry about not being approved. It all comes at a bargain price of about 50% of the cost of the US health system.

“A third bargain is the modernizing of infrastructure. Cities in Canada are building new commuter train systems, rebuilding old overpasses and other roadways, building new schools, new recreation centres, etc. We are not quite like a new city in China, but we are not the decrepit cities of the USA where governments are shutting the lights out at night because they have no money. 

“A fourth bargain is the right of Canadian mothers (or fathers) to spend a decent period of time with their children when they are born. With one year maternity leave, we can ensure that parents and kids bond and families have some time to look after one another. I personally think it preserves a lot of marriages. (The pay is about 60% your full pay for the year so it is still a financial sacrifice).

“The next bargain is public universities – a place where my children and the children from all types of households can go to and graduate with a big debt, but not a devastating one.

“With all of that said, I have to say that along with this, I enjoy one of the free-est countries on earth. Our business freedoms are as extensive as the USA. We are free to hunt and own guns (aside from assault weapons and who needs those anyways). IN fact, I have lived in the USA and I have to say, I can’t see any freedoms there that we don’t have here.

“Oh yeah, and my total tax bill is about 2% higher than it would be in the USA. To me, it’s a bargain!”