The other person’s grass is always greener goes an old saying. Okay, the actual saying was, “The other man’s grass is always greener,” but readers of this blog know that yours truly adheres to the strictest standards of political correctness. Starkman Approved judiciously avoids biased patriarchal references, particularly when citing aphorisms to impart wisdom.
Polls show that Donald Trump is poised to move back into the White House and that Americans have serious doubts about Joe Biden’s mental acuity, a fear no doubt heightened by a special prosecutor’s report saying the president’s memory isn’t all that good. The legacy media assures us that having difficulty remembering the names of acquaintances or critical dates from the past doesn’t affect decision-making or judgement, but unfortunately for Biden most Americans don’t put much stock in what the legacy media says or reports. Biden was incensed by the special prosecutor’s report, and when asked about it yesterday he raged, “Leon Jaworski is a political hack. The greatest gift is the ability to forget – to forget the bad things and focus on the good.”
If Trump’s re-election continues to become a real possibility, rest assured we will again be hearing from celebrities and others about their plans to emigrate to Canada, the democracy of choice for Trump haters who invariably will again vow to move north of the border if he regains the White House. Most Americans know diddly-squat about Canada, which is why they romanticize the country so. They figure how bad a place could Canada be where one of the most beloved institutions is a donut chain founded by a former hockey player named Tim Horton?
This likely comes as a surprise to most Trump haters who mistakenly believe that Canada is a political democratic utopia with elections free of foreign interference, integrous government leaders, and an affable national police as depicted in “Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties,” but the real Canada is much different. In fact, many Canadians will gladly trade their citizenships with anti-Trumpers.
A 27-year-old Canadian using the handle MA96 last week posted this comment on the social media site Reddit explaining his plans to relocate to the U.S. so he could freeload off his uncle, who lives in suburban Baltimore. The post sparked thousands of responses, most of them overwhelmingly positive and supportive.
Canadians moving to the U.S. has long been a “dog bites man” story. There are Canadian ex-pat cells operating in all walks of American life, particularly entertainment, journalism, and Silicon Valley. Although he was born in South Africa, Elon Musk grew up in Canada where he attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. Typically, when Canadians moved to the U.S., they did it quietly and without fanfare. When I moved to Detroit from Montreal, I didn’t diss Canada as I made my way across the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway.
What struck me as newsworthy about MA96’s post was the thousands of overwhelmingly positive responses it generated. I would have expected legions of snarky retorts such as, “Canada won’t miss you,” and “Good luck in crime ridden Baltimore,” but instead most of the respondents expressed envy and wholeheartedly endorsed MA96’s relocation plans.
Especially alarming was that many of those expressing envy for MA96 were clearly millennials. In a possible nod to the despair of young Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new communications director is Max Valiquette, founder of Youthography, a Toronto-based market research firm focused on understanding millennials and Generation Z.
Some representative responses to MA96’s post:
Canada and the U.S. share much in common, including egregiously inept fiscal management.
The U.S. government is running a cumulative deficit of $531 billion in fiscal 2024, up $80 billion from the comparable period a year ago when adjusted for timing shifts. Bloomberg reported last week that interest payments on the U.S. debt have doubled to more than $2 billion per day in the past three years. By next year, U.S. taxpayers will spend more on interest than on defense and nearly all other national priorities, according to Michael Peterson, head of the Peter. G. Peterson Foundation.
Canada’s budget deficit rose to C$19.14 billion ($14.23 billion in U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, while public debt interest charges rose 38% because of higher interest costs. By 2025, Canada’s debt servicing payments are expected to top $50 billion per year, putting them roughly on par with the amount of money Canada’s federal government spends each year on health-care transfers to the country’s provinces.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister who is also deputy prime minister, likes to boast that Canada’s crushing deficit isn’t as bad as other G7 countries, which is akin to the city of San Francisco boasting its growing lawlessness isn’t as bad as neighboring Oakland’s. As you might expect from a former journalist turned politician, Freeland’s claim is dishonest. Canada’s federal deficit doesn’t account for the collective debt of Canada’s ten provinces, which when combined with the country’s federal debt makes Canada one of the most indebted nations in the developed world.
Regarding household debt, Canadians have the biggest individual burdens of the G7 countries and the total amount they owe is greater than Canada’s entire GDP. Alarmingly, Canadians will soon be suffering even heavier debt burdens.
The amount Canadians paid to cover their personal borrowing costs rose to a record 15.2% debt service-to-income ratio in the third quarter, up from 15.1 percent in the second quarter, according to Canada’s Financial Post. Most of the increase was attributed to a record rise in interest payments over the past six quarters, up from 5.9 per cent of disposable income to 9.3 per cent – the highest level in nearly 30 years. Borrowing costs could go higher still as many homeowners are set to renew their mortgages over the next two years at higher rates, according to Daren King, an economist for National Bank of Canada.
“This means that the interest payment shock is not over and represents a headwind for the economy over the coming year,” King said.
Even Freeland, who pockets C$279,000 in annual compensation, acknowledged feeling the pain of rising costs. In November 2022, Freeland disclosed she cut her family’s Disney+ subscription for a $13.99 a month saving, a comment that many outraged Canadians said betrayed her cluelessness and elitism.
Home prices differ greatly depending on locations and property types. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price for an existing home that wasn’t new construction was $387,600 in the U.S as of November 2023. In Toronto, where the Yankee Doodle-loving Redditor said he lives, the median sale price for single detached homes in last year’s fourth quarter was C$1,225,000 (US$910,609), according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The average home value in Maryland, where the Redditor plans to move, is US$400,707 (C$539,411.77), according to Blog TO, citing Zillow’s statistics. However, the Redditor will take a pounding when he converts his loonies to U.S. dollars, as Canada’s currency is worth about three quarters less than the U.S. greenback and could fall even lower if the Bank of Canada is forced to cut interest rates because of the country’s weakening economy.
When it comes to rent costs, Canadians are especially hurting. Forbes said the national average rent in the US as of August 2023 was US$1,372 (C$1,846.92). The average rent for all residential property types across Canada was C$2,178 as of December 2023.
As for wages, the average salary of Americans is $56,690 and about $43,867 (C$59,000) in Canada, according to Spring Financial, a Vancouver-based lending firm.
Of course, Canadians have universal subsidized health care, which some argue is substandard because of a shortage of physicians and long waiting times even for life-saving treatments. That said, the life expectancy of Canadians is 83.07 years, compared to 79.74 years for Americans.
A motivating factor for Trump haters to move to Canada is they insist he’s a threat to democracy. The Canadian media has widely reported that China interfered in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections, lending financial and other support to political candidates in the Toronto area mostly belonging to Trudeau’s Liberal party. Hearings are underway to investigate an extraordinary series of leaked intelligence reports alleging that China’s Canadian Consulate funneled money to 11 campaigns through intermediaries, and that some campaign staffers had consulate ties.
Meanwhile, a Canadian court recently ruled that Trudeau’s use of the country’s Emergencies Act to end a truck convoy protest two years ago was an unjustified infringement of civil rights, including the protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and in some instances, the freedom of expression as well.
One of the most alarming details about Canada was recently reported by columnist Chris George in a publication called The Niagara Independent. According to George, members of the Trudeau government play key roles in the World Economic Forum, where Freeland is a Trustee on the WEF Board and responsible for advancing WEF objectives, which the Trudeau government has embraced.
Mark Carney, who George says is touted as the next Liberal leader, is a former Trustee and an active participant, often leading WEF discussions about global banking. Trudeau is regularly celebrated by the WEF as a vanguard global leader of progressive initiatives. And the Trudeau government is a darling of WEF founder Klaus Schwab, who boasted in a 2017 Harvard interview that he had “penetrated” many of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers.
As for the Canadian government being free of corruption, Canada’s auditor general just published a scathing report on a border customs app that was rushed through development during the pandemic and alleged that the government’s “documentation, financial records and controls were so poor” the cost couldn’t be precisely determined. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating allegations of misuse involving persons linked to the contract.
The border customs app was prone to chronic malfunctioning and after one disastrous update, around 10,000 travelers were wrongly instructed to quarantine.
The Trump haters no doubt will continue to blindly lionize Canada but they would be wise to heed another saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”