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ChingusKhan
QUOTE(koffeewitch @ Oct 1 2009, 05:55 AM) *
The generations that made the US great are dead and gone.


My last bit of pedantry: Koffeewitch, you and yours are the next generation that will make the US great. The tremendous thing - the glorious thing - about the last US election was how engaged young people were. You and yours got out and made your voices heard and made sure your opinions counted. You voted and participated in the process. Keep voting and stay engaged. Fight the fight. The baton is in your hand and it's your turn. Go.
koffeewitch
Khan, I think your post gave me part of the answer in the question of our cultural differences...when immigrants came to the US they were quickly forced to assimilate and conform. As you mentioned, Canada is made up of diverse populations that have held on to their separate identidies. I wonder if this is the source of the "live and let live" attitude of many Canadians.

Whatever it is that gives Canadian culture it's comparative sanity, I'm deeply envious. It's probably obvious I've given some serious thought to becoming an ex-pat and jumping the border.

Again, I appreciate you guys letting me jump into your forum (it's been a slow day with my kids in bed with the flu; our "homeschool" has been down all week).

I was going back and reading old posts; was a bit surprised you haven't been infiltrated by more curious southerners.
doodlebug
Ross Rebagliati is running for the federal Liberal nomination in the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding (not mine, but next door to it). For those who don't know, that is Stockwell Day's riding. You remember him - he belongs to a church that still believes the Earth is 6000 years old. Yeah, I've enjoyed having such a worldly and intelligent person in charge of important decision-making in this nation. rolleyes.gif I'm not a Liberal (though I've voted strategically that way on occasion), but.....roll on, Rebagliati!
angie_21
QUOTE(koffeewitch @ Oct 1 2009, 10:40 AM) *
Your reply just made my jaw drop wide open. I've spent my entire adult life fighting for the things you mentioned that Canadians take for granted. This has always been my perception of Canada, granted. But to "hear" people causually talk about these things...I'm speechless. It's like talking to Swedes about their government. I ask them over and over "tell me about universal health coverage, tell me about parental leave, tell me about free education".
Wow...still sitting here speechless.


OK, I realize this conversation is a month old, but I just need to point out. You are exactly right, Canadians DO take this stuff for granted, and they absolutely shouldn't. These are things that have been slowly slipping from our grasp over the last decade as more conservative mindsets have set in in our country. When people vote for conservative economics, thanks to the political parties we have to choose between, they are out of lack of options also voting in social conservatives. It's terrifying the kind of socially conservative legislation Harper's has been so very competently sneaking through parliament while the conservatives are in power. They are taking away women's rights, aboriginal rights, funding for the arts, and funding to the media and the CBC, while increasing the powers and rights of the government, and by association, the private businesses that fund the conservative PR machine. And no, they are not more left wing than the Democrats, maybe in actions thus far, but not in spirit, not in their campaigns, and not in their desire to prevent the recent economic troubles from really hurting "the working man." It's thanks to decades of previously existing legislation of our banking system that Canada pulled through the recession so well, not thanks to recent actions by Harper. He basically sat on his ass, gave some corporations some money, and waited it out. Meanwhile, a lot of people lot their jobs and their homes, and nothing was done to help them until the NDP and liberals forced harper to extend EI for those hurt by the recession (he wanted to cut it back to save money...)

Haper competent.. may I remind everyone that he prorogued parliament at the last minute, removing the government from action at the height of the economic crisis, just so he could hold on to power? I'm not saying that the Liberals and NDP are doing a f*%$ of a lot right now, frankly they suck, but that doesn't make Harper or the conservatives a trustworthy government.
pepper
I just got this emailed to me this morning. Don't know if you're aware or care about this kind of thing but anyone who drinks medicinal tea or takes supplements or follows any sort of alternative health sure should care a LOT! Please call write or fax and pass this info along.


Make the Canadian Charter of Health Freedom a law in Canada. Save our Wellness products! Bulletin
Posted by Jas Bangar

Today at 6:15am
SEE SHAWN BUCKLEY. HEAR THE PEOPLE.

Here's the issue: Bill C-6 is now being reviewed by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs. Their job is to review Bill C-6 in detail, hear from witnesses and make recommendations to the rest of Senators before the 3rd and final reading and vote. This Committee will give the rest of the Senate a final analysis of Bill C-6 based on what they have heard. But they will not have heard from Shawn Buckley.

And by extension, us.

Shawn Buckley, constitutional lawyer and author of the Charter of Health Freedom, has been invited as 1 of the key 14 national witnesses to appear before this Committee. That’s the great news.
To have him admitted to this chamber is an honour. And now, for the bad news. It’s on a day, when he will be in Federal Court. He is in a lock down at this trial for 3 weeks. He has been hired to challenge the validity of a section in the Food and Drug act, and show how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is being violated. It is an unprecedented case and the Social Affairs Committee apparently, won’t wait.

As of Friday October 30th, the Committee has not given him another option to appear.

NO SUBSTITUTES

It is imperative that he be allowed to give his testimony before this Committee. We all know his perspective is absolutely essential and irreplaceable. There is no alternative. No one has spoken for us, for the Constitution.

We have only tomorrow, Monday November 2 and Tuesday November 3 to let this Committee know that the public wants Shawn Buckley
to represent us in Ottawa.

The first phase of the Stop Bill C-6 Emailing and Letter Writing Campaign was successful. Many veteran and emerging Health Freedom groups, collectively, created a division in the Senate to force a review in Committee.
We made an impact and had emails quoted in the Senate, so they are hearing us.

THE BIG ASK

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT TO TALK TO THE SENATORS, THAT’S WHAT SHAWN IS FOR!

All we have to do is make our voice heard. And that we want Shawn Buckley to have the opportunity to truly represent our interests in detail.

Please take a few minutes to PHONE, EMAIL AND FAX your concerns.

It’s really easy to do and can make a big difference.

There are 12 senators and 1 committee clerk. We must reach them all so please contact as many people from the list below as you can! Our CNHC group is very active. Please GET YOUR ACTIVIST ON today and again tomorrow.

It’s best to send short, strong and constructive written communication by email or fax. This time we have to call because we can’t risk not being heard. Here is a sample letter you can send as is, modify, or simply take some ideas from for your telephone call. You have lots of information on the subject. We know you can make this count.

Dear Senator ____________________ ,

Your Committee is now considering the approval of Bill C-6 which is a bill that I have very serious concerns about.

I am disturbed to learn that the Committee has not re-scheduled to hear from Shawn Buckley. I understand that he was offered a slot during a period of time which he was previously scheduled to be in Federal Court and that he has been denied the opportunity to be heard at a time when it is actually possible for him to attend.

I feel very strongly that Mr. Buckley is a uniquely qualified individual who truly speaks for the interest of Canadians. He is not only a Constitutional lawyer but also the author of the Canadian Charter of Health Freedom, which is a proposed legislation that nearly 40,000 Canadians have signed a petition supporting, with hundreds more signing on every single week.

I strongly believe that to proceed with your final analysis of Bill C-6 without hearing from Mr. Buckley would be a grave omission. One that would have not have heard from the voice of the Canadian public.

I urge you to hear from Shawn Buckley on November 25th, 2009.

Sincerely,

Your Name, City & Province Here


48 HRS TO PHONE, EMAIL & FAX

You can call the toll free line and ask for the Senator 1-800-2... but
if you can afford long distance then call the direct line to each Senator’s office. Call all 13. Email all 13. Fax all 13.

THEN let CNHC know that you did.

Please help get Shawn Buckley to in front of the Senate Committee for the Senators and the Canadian public.

Banks, Tommy L (AB)
gautht@sen.parl.gc.ca T: 613... F: 613-995-1938

Callbeck, Catherine L (PE) callbc@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613... F: 613-943-0693

Cordy, Jane L (NS) cordyj@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613... F: 613-995-8432

Dyck, Lillian Eva L (SK) dyckli@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-995-4318 F: 613-995-4331

Eaton, Nicole C (ON) eatonn@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-947-4047 F: 613-947-4044

Eggleton, Art L (ON) egglea@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-995-4230 F: 613-995-4237

Fairbairn, Joyce L (AB) fairbj@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-996-4382 F: 613-995-3223

Martin, Yonah C (BC) martin@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-947-4078 F: 613-947-4082

Ogilvie, Kenneth C (NS) ogilvk@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-992-0331 F: 613-992-0334

Pépin, Lucie L (QC) pepinl@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-996-1726 F: 613-996-8392

Segal, Hugh C (ON) kfl@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-995-4059 F: 613-995-5259

Keon, Wilbert Joseph C (ON)
hogank@sen.parl.gc.ca
T: 613-943-1415 F: 613-943-1796

Keli Hogan Committee Clerk! T: 613-993-9021
koffeewitch
Hey again, guys. I have another question I can't stop thinking about. From reading your posts it sounds like in Canada if enough people are dissasisfied with an elected official they can call another election and vote again. Is this a correct perception? Making elected officials accountable for their campaign promises (or voting them out) sounds like a very novel, exciting concept.

Pepper- we have this type of ugly legislation rearing it's head down here, too. There's nothing going on at the moment, but it rears up every few years like a case of the pox.
culturehandy
Koffee, the people don't have that power. What happens in parliament, is the official opposition gets an opposition day to question the government and there is the political scrum. In the case of a minority government (which is exactly that, a government which forms, not a majority, but a minority. The government still has more elected seats than the other parties). Anyways, the opposition can call a vote of non confidence, where the opposition parties vote in their confidence of the current government. If there are enough votes in favour of non confidence, then parliament is disolved and an election ensues.
koffeewitch
Thank you, Culture...I know I ask so many ignorant questions on this forum. I guess it's hard to think outside of the government that you grew up in. I remember reading Rogue's comments about Harper and the "possibility of another election" and this idea has really intrigued/confused me.

(BTW Culture, every time my kid sees your atavar he wants to know what the "dancing banana's" sign says). biggrin.gif
candycane_girl
What is all this fuckery about abolishing the gun registry for shotguns and rifles?!
pepper
Koffeewitch, I'll pm you some links from an American buddy who is all up on the ugly down your way...

Oh, I loathe that Fucker in office but even still, another election any time soon and I'm gonna shoot somebody myself. What with the abolished gun registry it should be easy, right?
koffeewitch
Could anyone tell me about animal laws in Canada? What is the basic penalty for dog fighting or abusing/torturing companion animals? How much of a problem do you feel there is with dog fighting and animal abuse in your area?
AbleDanger
QUOTE(culturehandy @ Nov 4 2009, 10:59 AM) *
Koffee, the people don't have that power. What happens in parliament, is the official opposition gets an opposition day to question the government and there is the political scrum. In the case of a minority government (which is exactly that, a government which forms, not a majority, but a minority. The government still has more elected seats than the other parties). Anyways, the opposition can call a vote of non confidence, where the opposition parties vote in their confidence of the current government. If there are enough votes in favour of non confidence, then parliament is disolved and an election ensues.


Koffee, I'm super late to the game I know, but just to add because this is one of the things that makes budget time so much fun around here, any finance bill is automatically a confidence vote, so if the budget doesn't pass then we go into an election.

No idea about our animal fighting laws, but I can add something about the long gun registry. If you live in one of the major centres scrapping the long gun registry seems crazy, but considering that most of Canada is rural, there are a lot of people here who hunt for their meat instead of eating the extremely poorly treated animals that are found in the mainstream grocery stores (watch Food Inc., it depicted this really well) so long guns are very important to us. We also use them for bear defense (an actual, every day problem in the summer for many of us). So why wouldn't we want our guns registered? For one, the gun registry has been a big cluster****, with huge cost overruns that our sucking our tax dollars in economically hard times, there were big security issues with the electronic databases, and lots of people have guns they inherited from family members that would be considered illegal, despite the fact that they are never used and often don't even work anymore, and people don't want to give them up due to sentimental value. There's also a healthy dose of why does the government need to know what guns I own when I'm using them intelligently, and when stolen guns are the guns that the vast majority of crimes are committed with.

We also have pretty good regulations around what you need to purchase a long gun including taking a mandatory Firearms Acquisitions course or challenging the exam, getting a criminal records check done, and this takes a long time to do so because the government is slow so it's not like you can take the test and go out and buy a gun right away. Most of the people I know it took a couple months to have all their documents clear. and it's harder to purchase a handgun. That's just a few of my belated thoughts anyways.

ChingusKhan
QUOTE
but considering that most of Canada is rural


I have to correct this point. Most of the land mass of Canada is - obviously - rural but, in terms of population density, we're a very urban country. Percentage wise, as compared to the population of the US, more Canadians live in urban or large metropolitan areas.

And, I'm sorry, but to suggest that the long gun registry be scrapped because rural Canadians have to hunt for their food is beyond ridiculous. Unless you're living in Rankin Inlet or Coppermine or some other Arctic hamlet, there's a grocery store nearby. Heck, there's a Walmart in Yellowknife!

doodlebug
QUOTE(ChingusKhan @ Dec 3 2009, 01:27 PM) *
Unless you're living in Rankin Inlet or Coppermine or some other Arctic hamlet, there's a grocery store nearby. Heck, there's a Walmart in Yellowknife!


I dunno. Have you ever seen the price of groceries in a small town and/or a northern town? It's ridiculously outrageous - the further north you get (I'm not even talking about the territories, but towns right here in B.C.) the more expensive it is, and the harder it is to find places to shop....and not everyone has the means to travel to the next big town (if there's one around) to buy "cheaper" food. Hunting for food is so common in places like the Yukon that the welfare department will deduct the cost of the moose meat (or whatever) from your welfare cheque, if they know you've bagged one.

That being said, my point isn't about scrapping the gun registry, which I no longer hold an opinion on, because (IMHO only) it's nothing more than a big pile of political spin any which way you portray it.
ChingusKhan
QUOTE(doodlebug @ Dec 3 2009, 12:53 PM) *
I dunno. Have you ever seen the price of groceries in a small town and/or a northern town? It's ridiculously outrageous - the further north you get (I'm not even talking about the territories, but towns right here in B.C.) the more expensive it is, and the harder it is to find places to shop....


My experience with groceries in the North and small towns is that it's so much that the price rises but the quality decreases. And, the further north you go, the more dramatic the decline. Apples in YK, this time of year, are horrific.

I've been way North, into the Arctic Islands, and there, costs and quality are equally rancid. Paid $8.00 once, for 4 oranges, in Iqaluit, and they were so dry, I couldn't eat them.

With you on the long gun registry. The best intentions, sadly gone wrong. The money spent on it is truly, truly bizarre. You have to make a real special effort to spend that much to get that little.
AbleDanger
QUOTE(ChingusKhan @ Dec 3 2009, 03:27 PM) *
I have to correct this point. Most of the land mass of Canada is - obviously - rural but, in terms of population density, we're a very urban country. Percentage wise, as compared to the population of the US, more Canadians live in urban or large metropolitan areas.


Sorry, totally should have clarified. I love that most of Canada's population is urban 'cause it keeps things quiet for us northerners.

And food prices are ridiculous! Plus, lots of low income people and those on welfare use game meat as a necessary means of feeding themselves, because it's basically impossible to have any semblance of a healthy diet on welfare. Not to mention other barriers around nutrition levels and it's relationship to education levels, but that's a whole other topic for another day.

And now this is totally just a rant, but I hate going to the grocery store and because the food truck hasn't been in all week that most of the fruits and vegetables are gone and what is left is in terrible shape. It really makes you aware of how reliant we are on importing and transporting food.

culturehandy
It's all in the transportation costs.

Being up north is like living in the inner city with grocery stores, the stores just hawk off all the crap that won't sell in an urban (ie rich) neighbourhood.

I had no idea about the Yukon deducting costs!!! that's insane. I know here in Manitoba, they don't do that. that is if you hunt for yourself, if you sell the game then you have to declare it, but that's insane. Who decides what a moose or elk or whatever costs?
koffeewitch
AbelDanger (et al.) I grew up in a rural area, too with rifles in the house for protection, etc. so I've never been as "anti'gun" as most people of my left-wing political persuasion. I am by no means a hunter, nor do I think like one so maybe you can enlighten me a little bit in terms of my assumptions. I would think that the gun registry would not interfere with hunters unless the hunter is constantly buying guns. I mean, once you've bought the gun and registered it, you can keep the gun for 15 or however many years. Most hunters already own their equipment. ANd if they do collect a lot of guns, they attract thieves. You correctly pointed out that crimes are committed with stolen guns. Wouldn't knowing the original source of the stolen gun be helpful for returning it to it's owner and for solving the crime of theft? I can sympathize with the cost and the unnecessary red tape. But I even wonder (without the gun registry) if criminals in Canada would end up selling guns across the border and bringing even more guns into the states. Mostly, I would hate to see Canada seeing an increase in the violent crimes we see down here. The harsh economy predicts a rise in crime most everywhere.
doodlebug
I think the whole thing missing about the debate on the gun registry is.....people who are using guns to commit crimes are probably, um, not registering their guns.

Also, I hate the political spin where the gov't uses the existence of the gun registry to show how wonderful they are in trying to end violence against women. What a load of crap. Crap, crap, crap. In the huge sea of violence against women, guns are a tiny drop of water. How 'bout mandatory sentencing for guys who use their FISTS as weapons? Huh? How 'bout putting a tiny bit of the money they've taken out of prevention programs? How 'bout restoring funding to women's centres and sexual assault centres? How 'bout restoring the CAP legislation, which guaranteed the universal right to income when in need (i.e.: when you are fleeing your fucking abuser)? How 'bout putting some money into social housing and childcare so that women have options besides staying with the prick who uses "his" money as a weapon?
koffeewitch
In my state (Ohio) I have talked with many women personally who had their children taken from them by Children's Services AFTER they had left an abusive partner. Children's Services demands that these women take classes in "domestic violence awareness" in order to get their kids back. Because, I guess, it's THEIR FAULT for getting into the relationship in the first place. How does that make sense? What it does is make sure that battered women in Ohio keep their condition a secret for fear of losing their children. This situation is so crazy I would not have believed it had I not interned for the Ohio DV Network and witnessed it first hand.

This CAP legislation you speak of intrigues me...
doodlebug
I think this should provide a good basic summary of the CAP program.

We've seen a lot of threats against domestic violence victims here in Canada. I'm not sure I disagree with the move towards apprehending children of women who are still stubbornly and actively engaged in relationships with abusers.....honestly, something needs to snap them awake to what their kids are witnessing and experiencing, and I'm speaking as someone who watched her dad beat the crap out of her mom. But after a woman leaves? Seriously? What incentive is that to even leave?

It's funny, too, that parents are penalized by the child welfare program for things like not being able to provide their kids with adequate food, shelter, or clothing, but the minute those kids are snapped up by the state, the kids (not the parents) have access to whatever they need, plus it costs the state three times as much to support them in the foster care system than it would to provide adequate social assistance to families......
koffeewitch
QUOTE(doodlebug @ Dec 4 2009, 04:03 PM) *
It's funny, too, that parents are penalized by the child welfare program for things like not being able to provide their kids with adequate food, shelter, or clothing, but the minute those kids are snapped up by the state, the kids (not the parents) have access to whatever they need, plus it costs the state three times as much to support them in the foster care system than it would to provide adequate social assistance to families......


ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!! Can you even imagine how our foremothers would react to something like this? It used to be common for families to use all hand-me-down clothes or make all the children share a room or share beds. NOW this is practically seen as neglect. I can think of so many situations that were the norm 50 years ago, but are signs to accuse parents of criminal neglect nowadays. I recently had a social worker tell me that because I have children I "need" a land line phone. (We have 2 cell phones, mind you, because it is cheaper). Gee, how did our ancestors survive before phones and electricity? I really think if anyone bought some rural land and lived in a tent while they were building their own shelter that children's services might really come after them regardless how healthy and functional the family unit. I don't know about Canada, but here in the states we have some crazy social workers...
candycane_girl
Okay, even though I said I didn't feel like posting in the lounge I cannot stay silent on the issue of gun control.

Able, you are right in saying that most long gun owners are people who live in rural areas and use the guns for hunting. That is true. However, it is also true that in cases of domestic violence in rural areas when a weapon is involved, the weapon of choice was a long gun. Thanks to the gun registry, the number of Canadian women murdered with firearms dropped from 85 in 1991 to 32 in 2005. You should also know that one in three women who are killed by their husbands are shot.

"You correctly pointed out that crimes are committed with stolen guns. Wouldn't knowing the original source of the stolen gun be helpful for returning it to it's owner and for solving the crime of theft?"

koffee is totally correct here. You may be a responsible gun owner but that doesn't mean that your gun can't get stolen and used to commit a crime. I do not understand why people have such a difficult time understanding that the point of the gun registry is to know who owns the 7 million firearms in this country. The registry is not there to punish responsible gun owners. It is their to make sure that all gun owners are accountable and to keep track of the millions of guns in Canada. On average, police officers access the gun registry about 10 000 times a day. If owners view themselves as being responsible then I don't see any reason why they would have an issue with registering their gun(s). In the past few months I have met a lot of people who have family members that use long guns to hunt. All of these people have registered guns and don't see any problem with it.
koffeewitch
HURRAY for Canada...I just read on one of my animal rights forums that Canada just officially passed an act acknowledging that animals are sentient beings...I wonder if this can be used to keep factory farming out of Canada in favor of traditional, healthier farm practices.

However, I don't want to derail the on-going conversation about gun registry. Another way gun registration helps is in the very fact that criminals DON"T participate. If an officer catches a person with an unregistered gun it brings up an immediate red flag. If no one has to register their guns there is no litmus test for identifying potential problems. I know I brought this up in another thread, but I'll say it again. Down here we have insane crime problems. I live in Ohio. Not NYC or Detroit. Last month, the building right next door to me had a few homicides including the mother of young children being shot at close range in the face. We have so much gun violence that reports about it barely phase us. I would not wish this situation on any country in the world. While I believe our problem is not the guns so much as ignorance, poverty and the desensitization to violence, it's the GUNS that make me afraid to walk around at night.
ChingusKhan
QUOTE(koffeewitch @ Dec 5 2009, 08:42 AM) *
Another way gun registration helps is in the very fact that criminals DON"T participate. If an officer catches a person with an unregistered gun it brings up an immediate red flag.


Here in Canada, you can't carry without a license. If you are carrying a weapon, you must have the license with you, too. You could be carrying or transporting a registered weapon but, if you didn't have your license with you, you'd still be breaking the law.
koffeewitch
QUOTE(ChingusKhan @ Dec 6 2009, 09:43 PM) *
Here in Canada, you can't carry without a license. If you are carrying a weapon, you must have the license with you, too. You could be carrying or transporting a registered weapon but, if you didn't have your license with you, you'd still be breaking the law.


What about bringing your weapon home from the place of purchase; how does that work? I'm GUESSING that if you have a receipt with the current date to prove you are transporting your newly-bought gun to your home and you are carrying the weapon unloaded and in the trunk, it is okay?? Just curious.
ChingusKhan
QUOTE(koffeewitch @ Dec 7 2009, 06:09 AM) *
What about bringing your weapon home from the place of purchase; how does that work? I'm GUESSING that if you have a receipt with the current date to prove you are transporting your newly-bought gun to your home and you are carrying the weapon unloaded and in the trunk, it is okay?? Just curious.



You need the license to purchase the weapon. The procedure here: is 1.) Apply for the license. And there are different licenses and procedures, depending on the weapon. It's a different license and a different procedure for a long gun versus a hand gun. 2.) Once - and if - your license is approved, you get the license and then you can purchase the weapon. 3.) You have to produce the license when you purchase the weapon. And you have to have the license on you when you're transporting the weapon home.

You can't buy a weapon - legally - without a license and you can't - legally - transport a weapon without the license on your person.
koffeewitch
Hmmm. Here everyone has to go through a background check and register, but a license to carry is a separate issue. Are there laws that say the license is for unconcealed guns only or is the concealed vs. unconcealed issue more about the U.S. (and our enormous homicide rates)?
ChingusKhan
QUOTE(koffeewitch @ Dec 7 2009, 08:35 AM) *
Hmmm. Here everyone has to go through a background check and register, but a license to carry is a separate issue. Are there laws that say the license is for unconcealed guns only or is the concealed vs. unconcealed issue more about the U.S. (and our enormous homicide rates)?


No idea how - or even if - you can get a license for a concealed weapon here. I think you'd have to be in law enforcement or some such.

Our firearms licensing procedures are pretty stringent and the culture here around firearms is very different than that down south. Just not part of the mythology. In fact, the myth here is quite the opposite of the "Wild West": During the Yukon Gold Rush of the 1880's, the story goes, American prospectors were meant at the border by Colonel Sam Steele, of the Northwest Mounted Police, and told to turn their guns in. (Google Sam Steele. He was pretty amazing figure.)

Not to say there isn't a problem, in a relative sense, with gun violence and illegal firearms here. There is. My understanding is that is fairly easy to purchase illegal weapons on the "black market". That being said, I've also been told that the weapons in question are far more expensive here than they are in the States.

I suppose the difference is that there are far, far less guns here in Canada than in the US and - this may be more important - firearms don't have the same place in the culture here as they do in the United States.
koffeewitch
Thanks Chingus, you are, as always, a wealth of great info.

Another one for the Canadians:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel about your health insurance/health care. Let's say that a "1" would mean, "I can't afford any treatment at all and I don't buy meds even when I desperately need them," and a "10" would be "I have no problems getting the excellent health care and meds I need AND I can even chose alternative treatments or take part in preventative practices without any unreasonable cost out of pocket."

In the U.S. we are always arguing about Canada's health care system and since we are not Canadians we are pretty much talking out of our asses. I would like to hear what actual Canadians have to say.
girl_logic
It's tricky koffeewitch, because most of us likewise don't have anything to compare it to if we've never lived anywhere else.

I'm always inclined to defend our health care system though. Just looking at the number of mothers who die in childbirth in the states versus here is a good barometer for me. There are still treatments I wouldn't be able to afford without the health insurance I pay for through my work, but I don't take for granted my ability to see a my choice of GP and get particular tests done whenever I want or need them.
ketto
Chingus, as a type 1 diabetic and someone who has invested thousands in my healthcare, it's a very important issue to me. I would say I'm somewhere around a 7, but that has a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in a household where one parent worked for the government and nearly all my meds were covered. I take part in Pharmacare, a provincial drug benefit program:

QUOTE
Pharmacare is a drug benefit program for any Manitoban, regardless of age, whose income is seriously affected by high prescription drug costs.

Pharmacare coverage is based on both your total family income and the amount you pay for eligible prescription drugs. Each year you are required to pay a portion of the cost of your eligible prescription drugs. This amount will be your annual Pharmacare deductible. Pharmacare sets your deductible based on your annual family income.

You qualify if you meet all of the following criteria:

* You are eligible for Manitoba Health coverage.
* Your prescriptions are not paid through other provincial or federal programs.
* Your prescription costs are not covered by a private drug insurance program.
* Your eligible prescription drug costs exceed your Pharmacare deductible.


Since was a student the last couple of years, my deductible was only $100. Diabetes is a very expensive disease but without insulin I would die. When I was 13 I had a really hard time controlling my overnight bloodsugars and was getting pretty sick. I switched to an insulin pump and it has been a saviour. My dad's insurance covered 80% of my pump, but the total cost is a whopping $7000, plus monthly supplies. I've moved out of my parents, but so I can get a new pump in October, I haven't changed my address officially because I need to be covered under my dad's insurance to pay for it.

I'm so thankful I have access to all the medications I currently need at pretty much zero cost, but there's also a big gap in our healthcare. I support the idea of a National Catastrophic Drug Plan that would ensure no Canadian would pay more than 3% of their income. I have it pretty good, I'm really privileged in regards to my healthcare but I know folks in the East Coast who pay $3000 a month just to survive. That's completely unacceptable to me.

On the other hand, I grew up not even realizing that in other countries you have to PAY to see a doctor. I never have to wonder if I can afford a doctor or hospital visit. When I was diagnosed with diabetes and stayed in the hospital for a week, my parents didn't have to worry about paying any hospital bills. My parents had 3 kids and they didn't have to pay to give birth in a hospital. Things like these are easily taken for granted in Canada and I don't think enough people realize how lucky we really are.
coffeebean
As a Canadian who has also lived in the US - I stand behind our universal healthcare system - even though it has its flaws as well. As Ketto said, if I need a doctor I see one, so long as the doctor is accepting patients I can see whomever I want in whatever city I want, I don't have to worry about using the emergency room and receiving a bill afterward, hospital visits are paid by taxes, having a baby does not mean you or your employer pay thousands to a hospital etc. There is a basic level of care provided in Canada that I believe no one should be denied.

While in the US, although I had insurance through an HMO, I was always afraid of getting sick, got tired of calling my insurance company before I visited a doctor to see if what I wanted to check out was covered, dropping 20 bucks on a copay just to walk into the doctor's office or to get a prescription renewed. Honestly, the stress regarding the health care system was part of the reason I wanted to move back to Canada....and I am not even a sickly person! Also, while in the US I worked with many students who after not having appropriate health care coverage and getting sick had their lives change - I mean medical bills that cut into their tuition payments, living expenses, food allowances, and sometimes even their ability to finish school. To me that was just scary stuff!

I think the myth that permeates the US about the Canadian system is that we 'don't have control' and 'don't have a say' but in fact, in this system in Canada I feel as though I have more of a say about which doctors I see and when and for what purpose....at least for basic services which is primarily what I use.
ChingusKhan
QUOTE(koffeewitch @ Dec 8 2009, 08:52 AM) *
On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel about your health insurance/health care. Let's say that a "1" would mean, "I can't afford any treatment at all and I don't buy meds even when I desperately need them," and a "10" would be "I have no problems getting the excellent health care and meds I need AND I can even chose alternative treatments or take part in preventative practices without any unreasonable cost out of pocket."

In the U.S. we are always arguing about Canada's health care system and since we are not Canadians we are pretty much talking out of our asses. I would like to hear what actual Canadians have to say.


I'm pretty much at 9 or 10. My wife and I see the same Dr. we've seen for years and our kids have a doc in our community. Never had a real problem getting in to see either of them and, aside for $20.00 per year for my 'flu shot, never had to pull out the chequebook for a visit.

We occasionally see a chiropractor, a massage therapist and, every once and while, a physiotherapist. (A bit of a week-end warrior, I am, and have paid, physically, for my follies.) Physio and chiro are both covered so my out of pocket is around $25.00 per visit.

We're all pretty healthy, with no chronic health issues. That said, my son is 10. And any of you with 10 year old boys know that emergency room visits are a fact of life. He's crashed his bike, fell off his skateboard, out of a tree, jumped off the roof of our house (Don't ask.) and all manner of other 10 year-old boy bang-ups. Never had to pay a dime to see the emergency room doc, never had to worry about what hospital to take him to.

My wife has great pharma coverage at her work and we don't pay for any meds. I had a health crisis about 4 years ago - my midlife meltdown - and my therapy and meds were completely covered by my wife's plan and by Health Canada.

Healthcare is something our neighbors to the south really need to fix. It's a real, real problem down there. Costs are astronomic - the highest per capita in the OECD - and half the population has no coverage.

Listen, this place is no utopia. Our politics are a horrid mish-mash of conflicting Federal and Provincial rights, our banking system - while safe - is staid and extremely risk averse and we, as a people, look too often to Government to solve our problems. The two things I would not trade - ever - with the US, though, are gun control and our health care. Not ever. Never.
koffeewitch
This is one of my all time fave threads here, I always learn so many things. I thought that most Canadians would have a positive opinion of their healthcare, but honestly your satisfaction levels are even higher than I had anticipated. See, I have campaigned for years for a system similar to yours...again and again I hear all kinds of craziness "about Canadians having no choices" and having to go untreated. In my research there has been no indication of Canadians going untreated for major illnesses. I think that too many folks in the U.S. hear things from right-wing pundits and go around talking through their arses. To be specific, I have heard that if a young person in Canada gets a disease that is generally only seen in older people (something rare, i.e.) they go untreated.

Even if that WERE true, it would be better than what we have here. My partner had Blue Cross and SHield (supposedly a good plan) and we had to pay $50 for most doctor visits, and we have thousands of dollars in debt right now for tests ordered by his primary doctor that were "supposed" to be covered. SO many of us go bankrupt because of medical bills. And so many of us have nothing (about 1 in 5 people have no health insurance here. The option for them is just not to get sick.

And girl logic, don't even get me STARTED on the childbirth stats for the U.S. or the way it is done here in general. While maternity wards have improved drastically over the last decades, they still have a long , long way to go. Our hospitals are forced to take contributions from the big formula companies in trade for shoving free formula down the throats of every new born babe no matter how determined the mother is to breastfeed. Everybody goes home with free cases of SImilac...no wonder our breastfeeding rates are so low here.

In all honesty, your health care sounds far, far, better than anything I will see in my lifetime. I have a hard time even imagining what it would be like not to have to wait to schedule med. appointments until I have money, etc. or to just go to the doctor when I'm sick and not worry about what will be covered and how many thousands of dollars I might owe. The fact that alternative treatments are affordable for you is really the icing on the cake. So much for everyone's theory that I would learn ":the horrible truth" about Canada if I spoke to real Canadians, huh? smile.gif
ketto
Koffee, I neglected to mention things like physio as well. I had a long term sports injury and just went to the walk-in sports injury clinic to get a referral to a physio. The walk-in appt is free and the physio was covered up to $500 a year through my dad's insurance. I could choose whatever physio to go to.

And in terms of choice, I think we have a lot. I saw 5 doctors over the last 8 years trying to find someone I considered good. Now I see a woman that I love and who is by far the best doctor I have ever had. So long as a doctor is accepting patients, you have the option to see them. And two years ago when I had a severe ear infection, I got a referral to see a ear, throat, and nose specialist. I have never had to pay to see any of these people. I have an endocrinologist for my diabetes who I see every 4 months. Blood tests and visits, no pay. So maybe I'm creeping closer to an 8 or so, but I still think more basics should be more widely covered.
koffeewitch
http://www.humanesociety.org/seriouslycanada/

For animal lovers: this is to petition the Canadian government to stop the baby seal hunt. (The video at this site is not at all graphic/violent, so don't fear to watch it).
pepper
I heard on CBC this morning that the gov't here spent 7 mil on supporting the hunt which after all that only brought in 1 mil in revenue. WTF. Coulda saved us 6 million dollars and some ugly world publicity while giving those who use the hunt for profit a little something more to go on. So stupid.

angie_21
I am kinda late to the healthcare discussion, but planning on moving to the US for up to 3 years I have learned a lot already, and I can't believe how ridiculous it is down there. When I was a grad student here in Alberta, my student comprehensive coverage cost me $350 a year, and included prescriptions, dental and up to $150 every 2 years for eye care. Alberta healthcare coverage was $44 per month but as of a couple years ago, is now FREE. As in, I can walk into any clinic, any hospital, go to almost any GP in the province, and not pay a cent.

To get student healthcare at the school I've applied to, it's $950 per year with up to $200 deductible on actually using the coverage. And it's kind of limited, in that you get the deductible waived if you go to the campus clinic, so less choice there. I am probably going to purchase travel insurance from my Blue Cross back home instead, but because I am on my partner's benfits, I am covered for any major emergency while in the US anyways, it's only comprehensive I wouldn't be covered for. BUT all this fuss about how healthcare is now going to be mandatory, well, I can't even go to the university without providing proof of comprehensive coverage, so what kind of freedom is that? Did I mention this school is in freakin' Texas?

Anyways, I don't see how anyone can argue with those numbers. Private healthcare seems to me to be much cheaper in Canada simply because the private insurer doesn't have to pay for the majority of my healthcare, the province does, so their costs are much lower. And if my taxes are saving people with less means from dying because they can't afford insurance, I would have to be really selfish to complain about that, wouldn't I?

koffeewitch
Yep, welcome to paying near $1000 for health insurance that won't cover jackshit. My BF was on a program like that and we HATED it and ended up with $$$$$$ of medical bills that the insurance was supposed to pay, but didn't. Now we're both on Molina (medicaid) and it's by far the best insurance coverage we've ever had. Give me some more of that socialized medicine. Medicine for profit seems to be a "pay the insurance, but don't dare file a claim" plan. Good Luck angie21; and keep praying you just don't get sick. That's pretty much everybody's plan down here. (You guys really should here US citizens bitching about the terrible things they've "heard" about Canada's health care system)!
coffeebean
Just a note to Angie - I too lived and studied in the states for a while. Prior to leaving to study, it was important to let my province know that I was leaving for an extended period of time (longer than they permit without canceling provincial coverage - I think it was more than 165 days consecutively) so that they did not cancel my provinicial coverage. They were more than willing to not let it lapse so long as I provided them with a letter from my school letting them know that I was a student and the period of time I would be gone. They were sure to let me know that if they find out that you are out of country for more than the permitted time and you have not let them know, they can cancel your provincial coverage and you must wait three months after returning to the country before you get it back. That means that when you come back for visits, even with your partner's coverage, you cannot easily visit your own doctor here.

It may be different from province to province but probably worth looking into.
koffeewitch
Does anyone happen to remember the scuttlebutt in Canada around 1991 or so, when select scientists and officials decided to take a stand against the usual trend of following the FDA that resulted in Canada's ban on BGH?? (I know I'm really showing my age here with this question). We (in the US) STILL have bovine growth hormones and for the longest time our organic companies could not advertise being BGH-free. (It's still illegal in Ohio to libel Ohio produce, BTW). Anyway, can anyone who remembers this sort of tell me about the public reaction during this time? I've found all the old news clips and interviews, I guess I'm looking for this story from the POV of the average citizen... Did it get a decent amount of press? Was there a lot of citizen advocacy that led to this ban?
angie_21
Thanks coffeebean! Another thing to add to my long long list of paperwork. I can't believe how hard it is to just spend 2 years in a different place. I can't imagine the hassle of trying to move to another country permanently. The things we take for granted when it comes to citizenship.

KW, I think I was too young for this. I do remember it happening despite the fact that I was only 8, so there was some publicity I guess. But there most certainly are hormones of some kind in our beef today. Not in pork and I don't think in chicken either, but definitely in beef. And antibiotics up the wazoo. (My dad thought he was allergic to pork for most of his adult life... turns out his penicillin sensitivity reacts to the stuff they feed pigs!) I think we are lucky in Alberta to have fairly clean meat compared to other places in North America, but other things here like canola and wheat are insanely genetically modified and sprayed within an inch of their life.

I didn't know you could libel a product lol.. although maybe it's the producers who you can't libel? And not being allowed to advertise that you're BGH-free? My mind is boggled. Sorry I can't help you out. but if anyone else knows the answers to you questions I am really interested to know too. I've started being much more careful about the products I buy and I've noticed there seems to be a lot more antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and organic stuff on the shelves recently.
koffeewitch
Yeah, our veggie libel laws (aka the veggie hate bill) is something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel. Our food lobbyists literally have infinite power, as far as I can see. The sad thing? I worked for the Ohio Senate when the bill was passed I was actually on the Senate floor. The same day that we passed the veggie libel law, we passed a law that would forever prevent the families of workers killed from an employler's negligence from gaining any kind of legal or financial compensation. You can imagine the headlines; "Senate votes vegetable more rights than Ohio workers", etc. But they still got away with it, and it felt like the public hardly even blinked an eye. dry.gif
sukouyant
Bumping this thread to ask if anyone else felt that earthquake in Ontario today? They're saying people felt it in parts of New York and Ohio too.
ketto
Crazy, I've been at work all day and didn't even hear about it. Plus I'm in MB.
coffeebean
Yep I felt it. Although I had so much coffee yesterday that I wasn't sure if it was a real earthquake or just caffeine symptoms. Perhaps I should cut back smile.gif That is the first earthquake I really remember feeling.
pepper
We're in southern O so no but we did get smacked with that tornado a couple of weeks ago. Some fun weather we're having round the place, eh? This is what comes of draining the world's blood and fekking with the environment so much. It's a delicate balance and we are out there with sledgehammers.

In other news, Health (I use that word humourously) Canada and the RCMP have started raiding natural stores, pulling product off the shelves and forcing closures. You say you like to use mint tea for an upset tummy, valerian to help you relax, the humble rosehip for Vit C? Not any more you don't. If it ain't drugs, you ain't allowed to use it.
We're in trouble here sisters, Granny's folk remedies are facing the inquisition and just like the witch hunts some mighty fine folk are scheduled for the bonfires.
http://marigoldnatural.blogspot.com/2010/0...macy-draws.html
koffeewitch
Holy, holy shit, pepper!!! Arnica? Grapefruit seed extract? Fucking lavender oil? This is not going on in the states right now, but needless to say the very idea that a generally more rational nation like Canada would pull this crap is terrifying.
pepper
It all falls into place, doesn't it? The recent studies "debunking" homeopathy as utterly ineffective (they can't prove it's harmful so this is the next best thing), the rigorous testing that natural products get put through (of course injecting an enormous amount of ANYTHING into rats is going to cause some sort of issue, duh!) that is far beyond what pharmaceuticals must be screened for, etc etc etc. It just pulls all credibility out from under alternative health practitioners who might object to the mass confiscation and demonization of natural substances being used for health.

It's really bad here right now, we can't get MSM, things like cholorphyll are no longer allowed for use as a colouring agent, etc etc. And people just don't want to hear it, it's maddening! Giving a shit is an illness now, there's a pill for it.

There's a current attack attitude about all things healthy that is symptomatic of a larger overall cultural sickness that frightens me no end. Pursuing a healthy diet is now considered a mental illness, orthorexia nervosa. Here's what Wiki has to say about it...

"Bratman coined the term in 1997 from the Greek orthos, "correct or right", and orexis for "appetite".[6] Literally "correct appetite", the word is modeled on anorexia, "without appetite", as used in definition of the condition anorexia nervosa. Bratman describes orthorexia as an unhealthy obsession with what the health-conscious sufferer considers to be healthy eating. The subject may avoid certain unhealthy foods, such as those containing fats, preservatives,man-made food-additives, animal products, or other ingredients considered by the subject to be unhealthy; if the sufferer does not eat healthily enough, malnutrition can result. Orthorexic sufferers have specific preferences about the foods they are eating and avoiding. Products that are preserved with additives can be considered dangerous. Industrial products can be seen as artificial, whereas biological fruits and vegetables can be seen as healthy"

How do they justify saying that NOT eating that list of junky non-foods may result in malnutrition? That is some kind of spin, my head is still reeling...

It's all part and parcel of this movement away from health that big pharma is pushing and the government is astonishingly supporting. It's ok if a few of us do it but not if it catches on, no no, that's not allowed to happen. Contaminating veggies with animal based food bourne illnesses, illagalizing natural health products, marginalizing the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle... I don't know why more people can't see it for what it is.
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