Sunday, October 16, 2011

Canadian travels

Traveling is fun and educational, especially to another county.  I know Canada is another county, but it is very similar to the US, unless you are traveling to Quebec Province, especially the cities of Montreal and Quebec City.  This area has one of the largest French speaking population outside of France.  There is a national loyalty to France.  Everything is written in French, though in the cities of Montreal and Quebec City, English is understood and spoken.
We lived for 5 years just an hour south of Winnipeg, in Northern Minnesota, but with a strong Canadian influence (Canadian television). Canadian major cities have a strong commitment to outdoor spaces.  They all have large, wonderful, cities parks that are beautifully maintained, with lots of flowers, walking trails, bike paths, picnic areas, and open spaces for all types of games.  I know in Winnipeg, cricket was popular, which was interesting to watch, but I never really was able to pick it up. Canadians seem to embrace the outdoors no matter what the season.

There is another element Canada embraces and that is health insurance for all its citizens.  Everyone is covered, which from a public health standpoint makes a great deal of sense.  Everyone can get flu shot not just those who can afford it.  I know flu shots are not expensive and are covered by insurance, if you have health insurance.  This isn't a problem for me, but it is nice to know that the person standing next to me at the grocery store, or market or sitting next to my grandchild at school has had a flu shot too.  Universal health insurance gives the message that all people are important and the government supports that approach.  I know taxes are high in Canada, something some Americans would not embrace, but what is the price of peace of mind. It illustrates that your government actually cares for individuals.  Priceless.

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