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Canadian Identity

Satisfactory Essays
The Canadian identity has always been difficult to define. We, as

Canadians, have continued to define ourselves by reference to what we are not -

American - rather than in terms of our own national history and tradition. This

is ironic since the United States is continuing to be allowed by Canadians to

take over our economy and literally buy our country. Culturally Canada has its

own distinct government and institutions which differ and are better from those

in the United States, but economically the country has been all but sold out to

America. The major cultural differences to be examined are that of Canada's

strong government, institutions such as welfare and universal healthcare, and

our profound respect for law and authority. These establishments make Canada a

separate nation from the USA. Economically, it will be examined how Canada has

become a victim to Americanization through the purchase of Canada with our own

money, the shocking statistics of Canada's foreign ownership, and the final

payment for our country, free trade. All in all we have our own government, our

own flag, our own anthem; but are we really Canadian or a not quite United State

of America?

In Canada, strong government involvement plays an immense role in

determining the destiny of its people for the good of the society.

In Canada you are reminded of the government every day. It parades before you.

It is not content to be the servant, but will be the master...

Henry David Thoreau, 18861

Although slightly outdated, as of 1982 47.3 percent of Canada's GNP was

in government hands, compared with 38% in the United States. Government

spending in Canada was 24.4% greater than in the U.S. and if you subtract the

U.S.'s excessive national defense spending, the gap between the two countries

considerable widens.2 The United States has adopted a more Freudian "survival

of the fittest" concept towards government where the rights of the individual

are predominant and industry is publicly owned and run with little help from the

government. Although there is some government control and ownership of industry

in both countries it is much more common in Canada where "the state has always

dominated and shaped the ... economy."3

Of 400 top industrial firms, 25 were controlled by federal or provincial

governments. Of the top 50 industrialists, all ranked by sales, 7 were either

wholly owned or controlled by the federal or provincial governments. For

financial institutions, 9 of the top 25 were federally or provincially owned or
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