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Old 05-27-2012, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post

Just to give the op another perspective; I don't think parts of this post are realistic. I lived in Toronto most of my life and I think the pace is fast. I now live in the US in an area with MUCH less crime, a MUCH slower pace and the lifestyle is WAY different.
To be fair, in terms of pace, you have to compare Toronto with similar sized cities in the US. You can't compare Toronto with an American town with 200K population. Of course life in small towns is slower. Judging from your statement that you live in a very safe city, I guess that city/town is no where close to Toronto's size.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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and also add to the topic: healthcare in Canada is NOT free. You pay for it, either directly from a healthcare premium or through high income/sales taxes on everything. So unless you are unemployed most of your life in the US with no healthcare coverage at all, don't consider "free healthcare" a factor in your decision and don't consider it as an advantage for living in Canada.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:13 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,258,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
I can point out some differences in the legal systems between the U.S. and Canada. This will be a very "watered down" discussion intended for non-lawyers.

In the U.S., both criminal law and civil law are the jurisdiction of the individual states, and there is also a separate federal judiciary that operates simultaneously. There are certain matters that fall exclusively under federal jurisdiction (like admiralty law), and certain matters that fall under state jurisdiction (like a landlord/tenant action to collect rent). Some matters could be litigated in both state or federal court. For example, some drug crimes are against both state and federal law. You could be prosecuted in either court, or even in both courts in some cases. The state governments and the federal government operate their own prison systems, and which system you serve your time in depends on which court system you were prosecuted in. There is a huge variance between state and federal laws, and the penalties for the same crime meted out by state and federal courts.

In Canada, civil law is controlled by the individual provincial legislatures, and the common law of each province (common law is the law created by prior precedential court decisions). Criminal law is federal law, uniform throughout the entire country. So while one act may cause you to be liable civilly in Ontario, it may not in Alberta... however if one act is criminal in Ontario, it will be criminal anywhere in Canada. The courts are operated by the provinces. While there is a federal court, there is only one, and there is very limited jurisdiction. If there is a civil matter or criminal matter, it will be heard in the provincial courts. There are also two prison systems - provincial and federal - however ANY prisoner sentenced to two years or more is held in the federal prisons. Provincial jails only hold offenders with sentences under two years.

In the U.S., jury trials are more widely available, even in civil trials. Anyone charged with a crime punishable by incarceration for more than six months has the right to a jury trial.

In Canada, jury trials are only available in criminal matters and even then, the right only exists when the crime is punishable by five years of imprisonment or more.

However, even though U.S. provides a wider right to jury trial, this does not translate into more fairness in convictions and sentencing. The vast majority of cases in the U.S. are concluded through plea bargains and the U.S. has the world's highest incarceration rate. Canada incarcerates 117 people per 100,000. The U.S. incarcerates 730 per 100,000. The U.S. also has extremely brutal prisons that liberally use cruel punishment methods like isolation/solitary confinement, "cell extractions" (sending attack dogs into cells to terrorize inmates), use of restraint chairs, limited visitation with family, terrible food for prisoners. This even when a huge contingent of U.S. inmates are being held for non-violent drug offenses. In Canada, by contrast, the death penalty is banned, inmates are entitled to private family visitations, they still provide furloughs (prisoners on good behaviour get to spend a few days outside of prison walls with family), and they have overall higher standards for the treatment of prisoners than the U.S. does. There is also no such thing as "life in prison without the possibility of parole." This translates into fewer hopeless inmates who are hardened and bitter, serving life sentences and being locked in isolation cells to rot.

There are many other differences in the legal systems of the two countries. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in Nelles v. Ontario that prosecutors no longer have absolute immunity - that they can be sued for misconduct. In the U.S., misconduct must be intentional and malicious and even then, most judges will not allow a prosecutorial misconduct claim to proceed. The reality is that in Canada, police and prosecutors are aware that they can get in trouble for misconduct, so they watch their steps more carefully.

You will also find that unlike the alphabet soup of U.S. police agencies with overlapping jurisdiction, Canada is much more streamlined. For example, in one given area you may be subject to the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania State Police, the Philadelphia County Sheriff's Office, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Temple University Police Department, not to mention the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the DEA, etc. In Canada, there is generally one police force responsible in a given area. The RCMP does have national jurisdiction to some degree, like the U.S. FBI does, but in an urban area there will be one police force for the entire region. In some parts of the U.S., each little town has its own two-bit police force with 3 officers. In Canada, it's a regional police force covering a wide swath of land. It lends itself to more professionalism.

Overall, Canada tends to be heavy on regional government. It saves money and creates more equality. An example would be in the Niagara region which encompasses a wide swath of land all the way from Grimsby in the North/West down to Fort Erie in the southeast bordering Buffalo, NY. The region includes St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland and many other smaller towns. They have one police force, one school district, one solid waste department, one housing agency, etc. In the U.S., each city or town would duplicate these services individually, resulting in higher costs and taxes and more inequality. If a city like Welland, with 50,000 residents and a smaller tax base, had its own school district it is likely they would have fewer resources than St. Catharines, with 120,000 residents and a larger tax base. But since the school district is regional, the schools are equal in quality. School funding comes from the province and school quality is relatively equal everywhere in Ontario, unlike the U.S. where there is huge variance from city to city.
Your last paragraph has a few errors in it. Technically, the US can create regional governmental units that are agreed upon between local governments and states. This is called a special purpose district, and such examples include a sewer and waste management system agreed upon by all local governments in an area, a port authority such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, etc. This also works with local law enforcement as well, as different local governments can coordinate and consolidate their police forces and create a regional police department. Co, City A Police Department and City B Police Department become The Cities Police Department. Basically, the only difference is in Canada this seems to be decided on a federal level (if I'm interpreting your post correctly), whereas here, it's done on the local and state level, as well as federal

Also, some states, such as Florida, have county-wide school districts, so a whole school district encompasses the whole county, not different sections of a county.

Although, TBH, in everyday life, I don't think the OP needs this information anyway it's not really going to affect him/her
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:14 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,258,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
and also add to the topic: healthcare in Canada is NOT free. You pay for it, either directly from a healthcare premium or through high income/sales taxes on everything. So unless you are unemployed most of your life in the US with no healthcare coverage at all, don't consider "free healthcare" a factor in your decision and don't consider it as an advantage for living in Canada.
This I agree with. One way or another, money is going to fly out of your wallet. There is no free lunch
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,523,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
and also add to the topic: healthcare in Canada is NOT free. You pay for it, either directly from a healthcare premium or through high income/sales taxes on everything. So unless you are unemployed most of your life in the US with no healthcare coverage at all, don't consider "free healthcare" a factor in your decision and don't consider it as an advantage for living in Canada.
I consider it an advantage. You post this same post whenever someone talks about coming to Canada, and I don't see why as everyone understands that healthcare is paid for through our taxes, this isn't something that people don't understand. Fact is, it's a good deal compared to the US. With single payer, we pay WAY less for healthcare as a percentage of the economy's GDP, it's efficient and the economies of scale mean real savings. Also, the price controls on things like pharmaceuticals mean lower prices here. You only need so much to live comfortably, I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means living in a just society and having a safety net if things go unexpectedly wrong for me or the someone in my family or community. I like living in a country where people aren't going bankrupt from healthcare costs and becoming a worse burden through the crime and poverty this creates. I do have issues with the system as compared to other countries which execute this idea more efficiently, we're really only a good deal next to the USA which is bankrupting itself through the massive inefficiencies of its health system.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,064 posts, read 9,151,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
and also add to the topic: healthcare in Canada is NOT free. You pay for it, either directly from a healthcare premium or through high income/sales taxes on everything. So unless you are unemployed most of your life in the US with no healthcare coverage at all, don't consider "free healthcare" a factor in your decision and don't consider it as an advantage for living in Canada.
I consider it an advantage, the same coverage costs me over $12,000 in the US (with a high deductable) and as a self employed person, way less than that (in taxes and otherwise) when I was in Canada.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,064 posts, read 9,151,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
and also add to the topic: healthcare in Canada is NOT free. You pay for it, either directly from a healthcare premium or through high income/sales taxes on everything. So unless you are unemployed most of your life in the US with no healthcare coverage at all, don't consider "free healthcare" a factor in your decision and don't consider it as an advantage for living in Canada.
Just to give you a perspetitve botticelli, a well-to-do couple in my city had health care (very expensive health care) and the wife got breast cancer. She was treated and the insurance paid (less her deductibel) and she went into remission. A while later it came back and the insurance refused to pay as it was a pre-existing condition (this is common) so they had to use their savings to pay for it. She got sicker and evertually they went through their very substantial savings and had to draw against their house (which was paid off). Eventually she died and he lost the house. This was a rather wealthy couple with lots of investments, a beautiful house and he is now living in a 1 bedroom apartment. THAT is not the same as what anyone in Canada would ever go through.

A friend of mind had breast cancer in Nov. and had to have surgery right away. She had insurance and they refused to pay as they said it was pre-existing (it wasn't!). She had to pay the surgeon so he would operate, while they fought the insurance together. They appealed and the insurance said no, and then they appealed again and the insurance agreed that it wasn't pre-existing but they have still not paid, and now they say it was pre-existing again. She has been fighting non stop since Nov. and has better things to do. She told me today that she feels like giving up. There is still tons of money owed to the hospital and many others but for some reason they've only paid the oncologist who she visited after the surgery. THAT would not happen in Canada, ever!
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
THAT would not happen in Canada, ever!
Or just about any other country in the world..
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:28 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,399,765 times
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Default A bit of minor adjustments to dah troot!...

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
except for Quebec, you won't find much difference in terms of lifestyle. A few include

1) the rich are not that rich and the poor are not that poor
2) not so much racial issues or crime, almost incredibly safe
3) life pace is slow, even in cities like Toronto.
4) hard to find a job, lower pay, everything more expensive
5) public transit is not that great. traffic jams in big cities as bad as LA
6) less money-consume culture, and there is far less stuff to buy
7) there is little local content (except news) on TV
8) Seattle-like weather is considered "warm" and Chicago-like winter is considered "mild". Basically there is only two choice: cold and colder

Of course there are affordable small towns to live in. But usually Canadian cities have more expensive real estate than similar sized American ones. sometimes 50% more.
Not wanting to start an argument, but you present some inaccuracies. I now live in rural WA State, USA, but also lived in Orange County, CA, South Bend, IN and now central WA ST. after moving from Vancouver, and also having lived in Calgary & Edmonton and a very small BC town of Tumbler Ridge (coal mine), plus Port Moody, BC.

√ Vancouver is rife with racial issues, including some extremely violent (automatic firearms fire, etc.) Asian gang activity in Vancouver. Ditto for Winnipeg as I have read, with some fundamentalist Islamic gangs and neighborhoods.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...3-79a1ddc84689

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Gan...990/story.html

√ Asian gangs and East Indian gangs thrive in many other towns & cities as well. To deny this is to be an ostrich!

√ In YVR and other big cities, the salary ranges are in fact, higher, but so are the taxes, being about 15 - 20% higher to cover the high med insurance costs. In 1984 when I left, I was making >> $120k in YVR, but paid about 60% of my income over $60k to taxes! Yikes. Later when I made similar $$ in SoCal, I only paid about 34% on my higher income levels.

√ I now pay about $450/mo in medical insurance, but I am also on permanent disability. If I were not disabled, I wold be paying about $275/mo. Far lower, when you role in the differences in tax rate at my income level (now < $50k/yr). But still, I do not pay any deductible or co=pays at lal, ever even for Emergency Room visits, and I am free to go to any doctor I want. As well, the quality & technical level of coverage is far superior. I've witnessed the demises of my brother @ age 56, my mother @ 92 and my dad @ 98, in Canada, and while both my parents made it to old old age, their levels of care in their final nursing home lives was really inferior and frankly, uncaring, with sorta-worker-nurse type attendees who spoke very little English in attendance, and who routinely mistreated them both. My brother with regular health care, did not find out about his heart issues until it was too late, and he died, mysteriously, 5 days after quad-bypass surgery, and after they'd sent him home only two days after that procedure.

As well, it took >> 6 mo for my mother to get a scheduled MRI in Vancouver, while down here, even in rural WA, I can get one tomorrow, and on a very new machine, a flat-bed open-sided Hitachi the likes of which they probably have only one or two of in all of Canada!

(Just FYI & for conversation: "There are more MRI machines in northern Vermont than in all of Canada!" Factual statistic from 2002.)

√ Public transit is often FAR better in Canada. (Exception: New York City) YVR for instance, is excellent, which is good, since their traffic does, yep, suck. Growth was far too fast. I understand gthat Toronto has an equally excellent system. THe other towns, you just catch a passing dog sled... ()

√ The vast Over-Consumerist culture is exactly the same, if not worse, in Canada than it is, especially now, in the US. When Canadians eventually have their own recession due to over-consumption, perhaps they too will learn.

(See: N. Edmonton Mall, the largest consumer oriented mall in rthe world!)

√ Canadians are indeed, very outspokenly anti-American and political, and they still tend to trust their Federal and Provincial governments more than we do here. We distrust them all for good reason. In Canada, you have had Harper and that toadie PM from the past, Cretién, as well as the deep voiced (but lying...) PM Brian Mulroney; all shining examples of "the untrustables". No better than Bush or Obama. Some day perhaps we'll see the likes of Kennedy or Reagan again. Who knows, eh?

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
Your question is like saying what is the US like? It's like MANY different things depending on where you go. We don't have as many choices in weather as the US has but we have varied terrain, people, topography, public transportation options, and income levels, depending on where you live. The same goes for cost of living. Yes there are inexpensive small towns but would you want to live in them? I'm not sure, only you can answer that after you've visited.

Just to give the op another perspective; I don't think parts of this post are realistic. I lived in Toronto most of my life and I think the pace is fast. I now live in the US in an area with MUCH less crime, a MUCH slower pace and the lifestyle is WAY different. The weather on our side of the PNW (I know for us it's not officially termed PNW) is considered temperate, just as Seattle is. Toronto's public transit isn't that bad, IMHO.

I think it really depends on where the OP lives now and where he or she would be considering in Canada.

PS there are some other big differences, Canada has healthcare for it's citizens (maybe not as great as what the rich in the uS have but sufficient in most cases), mortgage interest is not tax deductable, alcohol is controlled by the goverment and only sold in their special stores (for the most part), tax rates are higher and most things cost more (however, I am paying more car insurance in the US than I did in BC).
All true. There is no homogenous US nor Canada. I also lived briefly in northern Canada, and it's nothing like anything, anywhere else on the planet!

Canadian healthcare, technically speaking, is a few decades behind that available to anyone in the US! Just visit any Mayo Clinic, which, incidentally, is exactly where a past Canadian Federal Minister of Health flew to to have his heart surgery. Hmmm... telling, huh? The Mayo I went to in Scottsdale, Z went way out of their way to help me, for over a week of tests and procedures, all of which saved my life.

No such excellent technical help or perspective as this, nor like that at The Swedish Hospital, or Minor & James, both in Seattle, is available in Canada, since a lot of the in and out-patients I met in the Scottsdale Mayo waiting rooms had come down from Canada to get that level of care.

BTW, the St Joseph hospital in Bellingham, WA, has a constant flow of patients from B.C. for their excellent cardiac department. Those Canadian folks prefer to pay as they go than to endure the lesser care in YVR. Fact, measured & documented! Even written up in the Vancouver Sun! Wow!

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
and also add to the topic: healthcare in Canada is NOT free. You pay for it, either directly from a healthcare premium or through high income/sales taxes on everything. So unless you are unemployed most of your life in the US with no healthcare coverage at all, don't consider "free healthcare" a factor in your decision and don't consider it as an advantage for living in Canada.
Very true, and you indeed pay for it, but the result, administered to a common but lower level of care, is not as effective as that which pretty much everyone can get to in the US! The favored myth is that they will turn you away, but in fact, the various state constitutions, like California's, will not allow a hospital to turn anyone away. Just look at all the illegal Hispanic immigrants who get free birthing @ Californian hospitals!!

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
I consider it an advantage. You post this same post whenever someone talks about coming to Canada, and I don't see why as everyone understands that healthcare is paid for through our taxes, this isn't something that people don't understand. Fact is, it's a good deal compared to the US. With single payer, we pay WAY less for healthcare as a percentage of the economy's GDP, it's efficient and the economies of scale mean real savings. Also, the price controls on things like pharmaceuticals mean lower prices here. You only need so much to live comfortably, I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means living in a just society and having a safety net if things go unexpectedly wrong for me or the someone in my family or community. I like living in a country where people aren't going bankrupt from healthcare costs and becoming a worse burden through the crime and poverty this creates. I do have issues with the system as compared to other countries which execute this idea more efficiently, we're really only a good deal next to the USA which is bankrupting itself through the massive inefficiencies of its health system.
I"\'m curious, BIMBAM: have you lived in both places and can therefore actually compare the systems, both in effectiveness and in overall cost? Or are you going from media comparisons or the general anti=american gossip that is so often heard in Canadian circles? I know that happens, because I visit my family up there all the time! And in particular, you absolutely do not get as good technical-medical help in Canada. so over time, what are the consequences and costs for that?

We also have various safety nets here as well, but I will say, yes, there is a much wider gap between the wealthy here (most of whom made it by their own desire to be successful, not because of some nefarious evil and greedy plans), and the not so wealthy (who, in the US, are, in fact, and provably, often there because the various Dem governments have created a Ghetto Entitlement Parasite mentality, (starting with The Great Society) and those folks think they deserve to be taken care of but do not want to work for it. In Canada, you just don't have that big a cohort of that type. But also, you don't have two other things:

1) our far FAR bigger population, and

2) the hugely different climate, geography and number of really big, and often old and decrepit cities.

You can't compare apples and chainsaws!

Enjoy, and peace to all of you, wherever you live! YrHmblEx-CanuckSrvnt: rifleman.

Last edited by rifleman; 05-28-2012 at 02:42 AM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,025,957 times
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My main contention with these posts is that we are entering a new period in US healthcare.

Did people just ignore all the legislation passed and signed over the past few years? No matter how much the GOP threatens to repeal the law, the fact remains that as we sit here now, the PPACA is the law of the land. So stop dealing with past problems that this law has set out to correct.

How many years did it take for the Canada Health Act to hit on all its goals? Overnight? So why can't the same courtesy be extended to the US when speaking about its "New" Healthcare system.

So I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the new legislation (and similar systems such as the Massachusetts,Swiss and Dutch reforms) Before adding commentary to a subject you do not understand.
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