7 Things You Canít Say in Canada


B00Mer
#1


Every culture has its unacknowledged taboosóthe things you are forbidden to say or do in polite company, the accepted truths you are not allowed to doubt. You might think that a liberal, open-minded country like Canada would be free of such taboos, but youíd be wrong. In spite of our belief in our own enlightened tolerance, some things are simply not open to debate. If you try, youíre bound to shock the neighbors.

Itís risky to question the wisdom of the tribe. You might get stoned. On the other hand, some people might sneak up to you afterwards and confess that they secretly agree.

So hereís a challenge to a few of our nationís most widely held beliefs. You say these things in public at your own peril. I will be elaborating on these points over the months to come. Feel free to stone me or secretly agreeóor, even better, add to the list. At the very least, theyíre sure to start a good dinner-party fight.

1. Margaret Atwood Writes Some Awful Books

The queen of CanLit bestrides the literary world like a colossus. Nobody has won more awards than she has, and nobody is more feared. There is no such thing as a bad review of a Margaret Atwood book in Canada. Thatís too bad, because many of her books are tedious and unreadable, full of tortuous plots and unpleasant characters. Why will no one say so? Because weíre grateful that sheís put us on the global map. And because if they do, theyíll never work in this country again.

2. Recycling is a Waste of Time and Money

Once upon a time it was easy to put out the trash. Today, the Garbage Gestapo rule our lives. Every household has become a mini version of the village dump, and every one of us has become a garbage picker, carefully separating our organics from our bottles and papers, and worrying about where our dryer lint is supposed to go.

Donít try to sneak a wine bottle into the wrong bag! The trash police will punish you. The truth about recycling is that itís a giant waste of dollars and doesnít help the environment. But donít tell your kids. They wonít believe you. Theyíve been brainwashed.

3. Only Private Enterprise Can Save Health Care

Tommy Douglas, the CBCís Greatest Canadian, brought us universal health care. But even his plan didnít originally pay for everybodyís ingrown toenails. His primary goal was to make sure nobody faced financial ruin if they got sick.

Today we have a system where controlling costs is more important than treating patients, and where ideology is crippling us. In some places, including Toronto, people go blind waiting for cataract surgery. The government could restore their sight tomorrow simply by sending them to a private clinic instead of to a hospital. The cost to the government would be exactly the same. But in Canada, private is a dirty word, and so the government would rather you go blind. Poor Tommy would be spinning in his grave.

4. David Suzuki is Bad for the Environment

From global warming to farmed salmon and genetically modified crops, David Suzuki has just one message: The End is Nigh.

He is our homegrown prophet of doom who preaches the essential wickedness of the human race. Like a modern Savonarola, he warns that unless we cast our material possessions into the bonfire, weíre all going to hell.

The trouble with this apocalyptic vision is that people are starting to tune out. And our hugely expensive investment in the unworkable Kyoto treaty, which Mr. Suzuki tells us doesnít go nearly far enough, will crowd out more practical measures to cut smog and clean up our waste sites.

5. A National Daycare Program Won't Do a Thing To Help Poor Kids

Cheap national daycare! Who could be against it? Itís supposed to give kids a better start in life, and nobody can object to that. But in Quebec, where the program started, universal daycare has turned out to be nothing more than a giant (and extremely costly) subsidy for relatively well-heeled middle-class parents. Few poor parents use the system.

No doubt convenient daycare is a godsend for many. But so far there is no definitive evidence that kids who go to daycare go on to do better in school or in life. So if we want to invest billions in helping kids, why are we spending it on the kids who need help the least?

6. Group of Seven are Overexposed Genre Painters

I like A.Y. Jackson as much as you do. His paintings remind me of when I went to summer camp. I grew up with a reproduction of The West Wind hanging in our living room. (That was by Tom Thomson, who wasnít really a member of Group of Seven, but never mind.) Group of Seven were the first artists to depict the wild Canadian landscape, and they were bold young rebels in their time.

But that time was 80 years ago. Today their work is the quintessence of bourgeois picture-postcard artóthe kind of art itís safe to take your mother to see. Enough, already. Maybe itís time we moved on.

7. The United States is the World's Greatest Force for Good

Of all the shocking things you can say around the dinner table, this is the most shocking one. After all, America-bashing is part of our national identity.

At best, we see our neighbour as a well-intentioned but arrogant and blundering bully that throws its weight around too much. At worst, we see our neighbour as one of the most evil nations in the world. And yet, right now, hundreds of millions of people in India and China and other desperately poor parts of the world are being liberated from millennia of suffering and serfdom. Why? Because of the United States, which has spread its idea of economic freedomóand its purchasing poweróaround the world.

source: 7 Things You Can?t Say in Canada | Reader's Digest (external - login to view)
 
earth_as_one
+1
#2
All Canadians have freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms says so.

I think you mean these are 7 statements you can't make in Canada without most Canadians thinking you are an idiotic ignoramus.
 
Bar Sinister
+2
#3  Top Rated Post
Can't really comment on number 1. I've never read any Atwood books. Most of the topics just don't appeal to me.
As for 2 - Living in Edmonton and noting that the city's waste disposal costs have dropped due to one of the the best recycling plans in the world I would have to agree that recycling works
And for 3 - I've observed that after a steady 15 years of privatization of health care in Alberta that health care costs keep going up. Somehow I don't think that a for-profit service can offer anything cheaper than a public service.
4. Can't say I really disagree with much Suzuki has to say. If nothing else he stirs up those who think that wholesale exploitation and destruction of the environment is the only way to run an economy.
5. Rather than use Quebec's model for daycare I would use that of France or Sweden. Two systems that seem to work just fine.
6. Not really into art so I am not qualified to comment.
7. I believe that the blurb accompanying the comment is giving the US a bit too much credit. Just how much influence does the US have in India or China? Very little I would think. Keep in mind that India's government is based on the British model. Of course, if you think Walmart is a positve force for change then I would have to agree; at least in China's case.
 
JLM
#4
3. Only Private Enterprise Can Save Health Care

"Tommy Douglas, the CBCís Greatest Canadian, brought us universal health care. But even his plan didnít originally pay for everybodyís ingrown toenails. His primary goal was to make sure nobody faced financial ruin if they got sick.

Today we have a system where controlling costs is more important than treating patients, and where ideology is crippling us. In some places, including Toronto, people go blind waiting for cataract surgery. The government could restore their sight tomorrow simply by sending them to a private clinic instead of to a hospital. The cost to the government would be exactly the same. But in Canada, private is a dirty word, and so the government would rather you go blind. Poor Tommy would be spinning in his grave."

There is a bit of truth in that all right! The destitute should have their health costs covered. The rest of us should contribute toward the most precious asset we have. The big bills should be covered, but it wouldn't hurt most of to chip in $20 for visits to the doc., E.R. etc.
 
Colpy
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post

All Canadians have freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms says so.

I think you mean these are 7 statements you can't make in Canada without most Canadians thinking you are an idiotic ignoramus.

Three out of seven are absolute truths.

Three are reasonable conclusions.

Only one I disagree with.
 
Chev
#6
"Bar Sinister (external - login to view) As for 2 - Living in Edmonton and noting that the city's waste disposal costs have dropped due to one of the the best recycling plans in the world I would have to agree that recycling works"
I also live in Edmonton, and I agree with you. There has been some news articles stating that some other cities around the world that are interested and learning about Edmonton's waste management/recycle practices(?)

Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post



Every culture has its unacknowledged taboosóthe things you are forbidden to say or do in polite company, the accepted truths you are not allowed to doubt. You might think that a liberal, open-minded country like Canada would be free of such taboos, but youíd be wrong. In spite of our belief in our own enlightened tolerance, some things are simply not open to debate. If you try, youíre bound to shock the neighbors.

Itís risky to question the wisdom of the tribe. You might get stoned. On the other hand, some people might sneak up to you afterwards and confess that they secretly agree.

So hereís a challenge to a few of our nationís most widely held beliefs. You say these things in public at your own peril. I will be elaborating on these points over the months to come. Feel free to stone me or secretly agreeóor, even better, add to the list. At the very least, theyíre sure to start a good dinner-party fight.

1. Margaret Atwood Writes Some Awful Books

The queen of CanLit bestrides the literary world like a colossus. Nobody has won more awards than she has, and nobody is more feared. There is no such thing as a bad review of a Margaret Atwood book in Canada. Thatís too bad, because many of her books are tedious and unreadable, full of tortuous plots and unpleasant characters. Why will no one say so? Because weíre grateful that sheís put us on the global map. And because if they do, theyíll never work in this country again.

2. Recycling is a Waste of Time and Money

Once upon a time it was easy to put out the trash. Today, the Garbage Gestapo rule our lives. Every household has become a mini version of the village dump, and every one of us has become a garbage picker, carefully separating our organics from our bottles and papers, and worrying about where our dryer lint is supposed to go.

Donít try to sneak a wine bottle into the wrong bag! The trash police will punish you. The truth about recycling is that itís a giant waste of dollars and doesnít help the environment. But donít tell your kids. They wonít believe you. Theyíve been brainwashed.

3. Only Private Enterprise Can Save Health Care

Tommy Douglas, the CBCís Greatest Canadian, brought us universal health care. But even his plan didnít originally pay for everybodyís ingrown toenails. His primary goal was to make sure nobody faced financial ruin if they got sick.

Today we have a system where controlling costs is more important than treating patients, and where ideology is crippling us. In some places, including Toronto, people go blind waiting for cataract surgery. The government could restore their sight tomorrow simply by sending them to a private clinic instead of to a hospital. The cost to the government would be exactly the same. But in Canada, private is a dirty word, and so the government would rather you go blind. Poor Tommy would be spinning in his grave.

4. David Suzuki is Bad for the Environment

From global warming to farmed salmon and genetically modified crops, David Suzuki has just one message: The End is Nigh.

He is our homegrown prophet of doom who preaches the essential wickedness of the human race. Like a modern Savonarola, he warns that unless we cast our material possessions into the bonfire, weíre all going to hell.

The trouble with this apocalyptic vision is that people are starting to tune out. And our hugely expensive investment in the unworkable Kyoto treaty, which Mr. Suzuki tells us doesnít go nearly far enough, will crowd out more practical measures to cut smog and clean up our waste sites.

5. A National Daycare Program Won't Do a Thing To Help Poor Kids

Cheap national daycare! Who could be against it? Itís supposed to give kids a better start in life, and nobody can object to that. But in Quebec, where the program started, universal daycare has turned out to be nothing more than a giant (and extremely costly) subsidy for relatively well-heeled middle-class parents. Few poor parents use the system.

No doubt convenient daycare is a godsend for many. But so far there is no definitive evidence that kids who go to daycare go on to do better in school or in life. So if we want to invest billions in helping kids, why are we spending it on the kids who need help the least?

6. Group of Seven are Overexposed Genre Painters

I like A.Y. Jackson as much as you do. His paintings remind me of when I went to summer camp. I grew up with a reproduction of The West Wind hanging in our living room. (That was by Tom Thomson, who wasnít really a member of Group of Seven, but never mind.) Group of Seven were the first artists to depict the wild Canadian landscape, and they were bold young rebels in their time.

But that time was 80 years ago. Today their work is the quintessence of bourgeois picture-postcard artóthe kind of art itís safe to take your mother to see. Enough, already. Maybe itís time we moved on.

7. The United States is the World's Greatest Force for Good

Of all the shocking things you can say around the dinner table, this is the most shocking one. After all, America-bashing is part of our national identity.

At best, we see our neighbour as a well-intentioned but arrogant and blundering bully that throws its weight around too much. At worst, we see our neighbour as one of the most evil nations in the world. And yet, right now, hundreds of millions of people in India and China and other desperately poor parts of the world are being liberated from millennia of suffering and serfdom. Why? Because of the United States, which has spread its idea of economic freedomóand its purchasing poweróaround the world.

source: 7 Things You Can?t Say in Canada | Reader's Digest (external - login to view)

"B00Mer 3. Only Private Enterprise Can Save Health Care”
I admit I don’t know if you pay anything into health care in B.C. But in Alberta, (at least) anyone who got a paycheque used to pay an Alberta Health Care premium. When Stelmach was premier, he put a stop to the payments. The ‘destitute’ do seem to have all their health care needs met by the government, including eyes, dental, ‘Complete Nutritional Drinks’ (such as ‘Ensure’) etc…. So I have A.H.C. and also pay over $150.00 a month for Alberta Blue Cross. All I get from Blue Cross… ‘half’ an ambulance ride and 80% of a few prescriptions, but not all prescriptions.. My son, who is a student, gets better health coverage through his university students association.
Last edited by Chev; Oct 11th, 2012 at 03:23 AM..Reason: missed a sentence
 
55Mercury
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

Three out of seven are absolute truths.

Three are reasonable conclusions.

Only one I disagree with.

I love games!

Three out of seven are absolute truths. 1, 3, and 7?

Three are reasonable conclusions. 4, 5, and 6?

Only one I disagree with. 2?

:?)
 
Johnnny
#8
Theres nothing benificial from managing peoples waste and trash, nothing at all because we have an infinite amount of everything!!!!!
 
tay
+2
#9
Readers Digest you say. Who knew they were still around....?


Atwood; Never read one of her books so no comment

Recycling; Well I guess the privatly owned Beer Industry has had it all wrong for 50 plus years. I also remember tying newspapers together when I was old enough to do so 50 years ago.

Health Care; Something is wrong with 'where the moneies are going' but an American solution is stunningly not an option.

Suzuki; Someone has to keep us in check

Group of 7; Yes we were just discussing their works the other day between sets at the 'ballet' club


USA Greatest Force; Well of course they are. They have brought joy to every country they have invaded either militarily or financially..............
 
B00Mer
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post

All Canadians have freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms says so.

I think you mean these are 7 statements you can't make in Canada without most Canadians thinking you are an idiotic ignoramus.

Dude pull your head out of your ***.. this is a Parody. Read the link.. if you go to point nine, then you have 13+ Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You (external - login to view), 13 Things a Movie Theatre Employee Won't Tell You (external - login to view), and so on...

Readers Digest.

7 Things You Can?t Say in Canada | Reader's Digest (external - login to view)

Life is to short to take everything so serious in life, loosen up a little, you'll live longer.
 
taxslave
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by ChevView Post

"Bar Sinister As for 2 - Living in Edmonton and noting that the city's waste disposal costs have dropped due to one of the the best recycling plans in the world I would have to agree that recycling works"
I also live in Edmonton, and I agree with you. There has been some news articles stating that some other cities around the world that are interested and learning about Edmonton's waste management/recycle practices(?)
"B00Mer 3. Only Private Enterprise Can Save Health CareĒ
I admit I donít know if you pay anything into health care in B.C. But in Alberta, (at least) anyone who got a paycheque used to pay an Alberta Health Care premium. When Stelmach was premier, he put a stop to the payments. The Ďdestituteí do seem to have all their health care needs met by the government, including eyes, dental, ĎComplete Nutritional Drinksí (such as ĎEnsureí) etcÖ. So I have A.H.C. and also pay over $150.00 a month for Alberta Blue Cross. All I get from Blue CrossÖ Ďhalfí an ambulance ride and 80% of a few prescriptions, but not all prescriptions.. My son, who is a student, gets better health coverage through his university students association.

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
We pay over $100/month for our free health care and most services I require are not covered.
 
karrie
+1
#12
It's a parody? Yeah no, I really don't think so.
 
spaminator
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by boomer

Things You Can’t Say in Canada

caucus

 
B00Mer
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

It's a parody? Yeah no, I really don't think so.

The write to readers digest.. don't shoot the messenger.

I posted a source link as you would for a new article.

source: 7 Things You Can?t Say in Canada | Reader's Digest (external - login to view)

You and earth_as_one.. get a room
 
Cannuck
+2
#15
There is one other thing you can't say. ****ysis
 
Nuggler
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

There is one other thing you can't say. ****ysis


One can say it, just not type it here...............

Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

Three out of seven are absolute truths.

Three are reasonable conclusions.

Only one I disagree with.



That's like saying my house is protected three nights a week with a shotgun. You guess which ones.............
 
karrie
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

The write to readers digest.. don't shoot the messenger.

I posted a source link as you would for a new article.

source: 7 Things You Can?t Say in Canada | Reader's Digest (external - login to view)

You and earth_as_one.. get a room


Post all the links you want, it's an op/ed (a dumb one), not a parody.
 
B00Mer
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

Post all the links you want, it's an op/ed (a dumb one), not a parody.

well I thought it was funny, obviously you're taking offense with some of the points.. LOL oh well
 
karrie
#19
why would I 'obviously' be taking offense at the points?

I just found it a stupid premise... these things get talked about plenty and aren't the sacred cows that the author thinks they are.
 
gerryh
#20
Just to point out what should be the obvious, if it was a parody/joke, it should have been posted in the joke sub forum.
 
B00Mer
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

why would I 'obviously' be taking offense at the points?

I just found it a stupid premise... these things get talked about plenty and aren't the sacred cows that the author thinks they are.

Well after reading the authors points, then reading the one article on Airline Attended, I had to laugh..

Health care is a sacred cow in Canada.. there is doubt about it..it's about the best in the world.

www.mackinac.org/5864 (external - login to view)
 
karrie
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

Well after reading the authors points, then reading the one article on Airline Attended, I had to laugh..

Health care is a sacred cow in Canada.. there is doubt about it..it's about the best in the world.

Number One: Canada has the best health care system in the world [Mackinac Center] (external - login to view)

What kind of people do you hang out with that they don't gripe about healthcare?
 
B00Mer
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

What kind of people do you hang out with that they don't gripe about healthcare?

I guess folks that have lived in other countries around the world and have experienced other health systems in other countries..

It's interesting, I hear griping about Quebec Health care, my father just went to a hospital last week in Montreal to have a skin cancer removed.. the staff was friendly and very helpful.. no waiting.

I had 3 misdiagnoses for a tumor in the USA, I returned to Canada where they found the cancer and removed it.. within 2 weeks a full operation..

So personally I have no issues with the Canadian Health Care system.. no one bit.

If folks feel they can get better health care in another country.. feel free to move their or go seek medical care there.

The only place where I may have had better service was in Mexico, but my cousin owns the city hospital and he is a surgeon there, so I got better service..
Last edited by B00Mer; Oct 15th, 2012 at 05:06 PM..
 
Cliffy
#24
One thing westerners can't say is Canada would fall apart if Quebec separated.
 
B00Mer
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

One thing westerners can't say is Canada would fall apart if Quebec separated.

I just wonder how much toll YOU would have to pay when you visit the rest of Canada.

I think Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfie Land with all it's oil and gas would be the first to join the USA.. 4 new states.

Alberta would be next..

HWY 2 here in Alberta.. geeez, you see so many US plates from the states all going to Alaska.. it's funny, you would think your state side at times.
 
wulfie68
+2
#26
Well, as an Albertan I call BS that anyone would consider saying any of these statements any kind of taboo violation. Personally I don't agree with much of it:

1. I've never felt the urge to read Margaret Atwood, thus I can't comment if she is a decent writer or not.

2. In the absence of proof to back up this claim, I'll disagree. Intuitively, reusing and recycling resources = conservation = good thing.

3. Partially disagree. I think the private sector has a place in health care but it is not a be-all and end-all. I think that the Canadian system delivers better protection to the populace as a whole than the American one. 2 stats support this view: first is the leading source of bankruptcy in the US is medical bills, second is the sheer number of people (the working poor) who cannot afford health care but make too much money to be eligible for government subsidized healthcare.

4. I think David Suzuki is a blowhard and an alarmist, but he serves a purpose in that he forces us to examine our actions. I don't agree with many of his conclusions and supposed solutions but the discussions are often worthy exercises.

5. I agree: I don't think a national daycare plan would solve much of anything.

6. Not a big art person, so not qualified to comment.

7. I agree to an extent. The US is a more benevolent force than China. For all its warts, the US has proven that it is willing to help other peoples and nations across the globe. India may evolve this way but I'm not sure, given some of the cultural and religious baggage. China has been expansionist and xenophobic and its current dictatorships view human rights as optional.
 

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