Sunday, August 14, 2005

Back in the USA

I’m back in Ohio for an overnight before heading home. I love going to Canada — the people are friendly, the theatre was fantastic (see below), and they don’t have this megalomanic complex about being the greatest force for democracy in the quadrant. They know who they are, they like who they are, and were it not for their unfortunate habit of having winter, I’d take a serious look at living there.

Well, they do have high gas prices. We paid 99.9 cents a litre to fill up in Stratford before leaving town. Allowing for the metric conversion and the exchange rate, that puts the price at $3.14 a gallon. Whoa. And anyone who thinks we pay too much tax here in the States should spend a weekend in Canada. They have a national sales tax and a provinicial sales tax that on some stuff added over 15% to the total bill. So if you think a national sales tax is the answer to all our tax problems, check out what they’re doing in Canada and Ontario and get back to me. The upside is that in Canada you get what you pay for. Their cities and towns are neat and attractive, the roads are in better shape than they are here — I almost had my fillings jarred out driving on I-75 from Detroit to Toledo — and they spend their money on important things like the arts as well as the essentials like health care and defense (or “defence”).

No country is perfect, and Canada has its share of problems, not to mention their fair share of wingnuts — the hotel delivered daily copies of the National Post, which is slightly to the right of the Wall Street Journal. But it’s a wonderful place to visit and be in a place where they’re not obsessed with being better than everyone else; they know the only people they have to impress is themselves, and they do a fine job of that.

Now if we could only get them to annex a tropical island… On second thought, they allow their citizens to travel unhindered to Cuba. Do you think we could get Fidel to learn to like poutine?