Truth about Canada : Some Important, Some Astonishing, and Some Truly Appalling Things All Canadians Should Know about Our Country

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-02-03
  • Publisher: Emblem Editions
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Renowned as a passionate Canadian, bestselling author Mel Hurtig has combed through world statistics to see how Canada really measures up and the results are astonishing, and often shocking. This book is about how Canada has changed, very much for the worse, in the last twenty years. As a result of these profound (often hidden) changes, we are no longer the people we think we are. To take one example, the Canadian media usually leaves us with the impression that Canadians are really heavily taxed. Yes, compared to the U.S.A., the usual point of comparison. No, compared to other countries with our standard of living, other OECD countries, for example; there we come in 23rd on the high-tax scale. The shocks in this book build up, chapter by chapter. How do we rank in the world in voter turnout? Try 109th. Number of physicians per 100,000 population? Try 54th. Our rank in reducing pollution? 126th out of 146 countries. Some of the statistics are internal, comparing Canada then and now. They back up two of the book's most powerful themes: the failure of Canadian big business to turn record profits into ongoing investment in our country, and (no coincidence) the sellout of our assets at a rate that no other country would allow. This statistics-based book ranges across all areas of our lives including health, wages, productivity, culture, the media ("the most concentrated in the world"), and much else. Mel Hurtig's message is that we can't do anything to fix the direction we're drifting in unless we recognize it and recognizeThe Truth About Canada. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Mel Hurtig is the legendary Edmonton bookseller, publisher, and creator of The Canadian Encyclopedia who became a political activist, then an author in 1991 with his huge bestseller The Betrayal of Canada. He is also the author of Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids, The Vanishing Country, and Rushing to Armageddon. He is a member of the Order of Canada, and has received many honorary degrees and honours. He lives in Vancouver.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. viii
Prefacep. ix
Health Care in Canada and Our Tragic, Inexcusable Shortage of Doctorsp. 2
Poverty in Canadap. 22
Aboriginal Peoples in Canadap. 36
Canadian Social Policyp. 40
Employment and Unemployment in Canadap. 46
Ottawa's UI/EI Cash Cowp. 51
Welfare in Canadap. 54
Immigration and Emigrationp. 63
Wages in Canadap. 72
The Distribution of Income in Canadap. 79
The Distribution of Wealth in Canadap. 84
Big-Business Bellyaching and Actual Corporate Profits in Canadap. 86
Big-Business Investment in Canadap. 90
Research and Developmentp. 96
Productivity in Canadap. 100
Manufacturing in Canadap. 107
Cars, Trucks, and Auto Partsp. 109
Corporate Taxes in Canadap. 114
Personal Taxesp. 126
How Competitive Is Canada?p. 136
Education in Canadap. 140
Culture in Canadap. 150
The Media in Canadap. 163
Foreign Investment, Foreign Ownership, Foreign Controlp. 178
Foreign Takeoversp. 200
Canadian Investment Abroadp. 209
The Free Trade Agreementp. 213
NAFTAp. 221
Trade in Goods and Servicesp. 233
Globalizationp. 242
Foreign Aidp. 250
Defence, the Military, the Arms Trade, Peacekeeping, and the Arcticp. 260
Government in Canadap. 274
Decentralizationp. 283
Energy Policy in Canadap. 289
Waterp. 307
Gross Domestic Productp. 313
Standard of Living and the Quality of Lifep. 315
Reforming Our Dysfunctional Electoral Systemp. 324
Women in Canadap. 342
Conclusionp. 349
Glossaryp. 358
Health Carep. 364
Category Breakdown of Total Health-Care Expenditures in Canadap. 364
Provincial and Territorial Health-Care Spendingp. 365
Public and Private Health-Care Costsp. 365
Health Care in the United Statesp. 366
Some Sample American Surgical Costs in U.S. Dollarsp. 370
Povertyp. 371
Measuring Povertyp. 371
Some Notes About Poverty in the United Statesp. 372
Notesp. 375
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.



This book is about how Canada has changed, and changed very much for the worse, under the governments of Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin, and Stephen Harper. It is also about how, as a result of the profound changes that have occurred, we are no longer the country we think we are, and no longer the people we think we are.

In chapter after chapter, you will discover just how very different we’ve become from our long-time self-image and from what has been our international image. You’ll see how far we’ve departed from the principles and the ideas that helped Canada become one of the most admired countries in the world and the country the overwhelming majority of Canadians have so cherished for so long.

An important feature ofThe Truth About Canadais the fascinating international comparisons it contains that show how we stack up against other countries around the world, but principally against the other OECD developed countries. It’s no exaggeration to say that you will find a great many of these comparisons disappointing, shocking, and even appalling.

Another main theme in the pages that follow is the dismal failure of our powerful corporate leaders to use their gigantic, record-breaking profits and reduced taxes to adequately invest in our country and to conduct reasonable levels of research and development that would help make Canada more innovative, more productive, and more competitive so we can raise our overall standard of living. You will find many of the facts that follow relating to big business in Canada both disturbing and dismaying.

A further theme is the unparalleled sellout of our country in a manner no other developed country would ever dream of allowing. While this has been taking place at an accelerating rate, the purposeful dissemination in the print media of false information about rapidly growing foreign ownership and control of Canada goes a long way towards explaining why our myopic politicians have failed to take action on this and other related problems that are very quickly robbing us of our ability to plan and manage our own future.

The chapter on the Free Trade Agreement is subtitled “The Most Colossal Con Job in Canadian History.” When you read it, I hope you will ask yourself why you have never read any of this information in our newspapers or magazines, or have never seen anything remotely similar on television. God knows, you’ve been inundated with an abundance of right-wing, continentalist propaganda to the contrary. The chapter on the media in Canada should help explain why this important information has never before been available to you.

When you read the economic chapters in this book, on foreign ownership, trade, investment, productivity, competitiveness, and taxation, I hope you will be aware of the fact that exactly the same people who have left us in these weakened positions have for some time been very secretly planning more of the same in private, high-level meetings designed to integrate Canada further into the United States.

Big business, in the form of the Business Council on National Issues and its well-financed successor, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (the very same people who helped put Canada, as you will see, into two terrible so-called “trade” agreements), are now covertly planning “deep integration” with the United States, a process that will rob us of our ability to maintain our independence, protect our sovereignty, and preserve the important values so many of us cherish.

I hope you will be angry after readingThe Truth About Canada,very angry. Angry at greedy, hypocritical, intentionally misleading corporate executives, and angry at the remarkably inept politicians who have allowed a small and wealthy plutocracy to sell out our country and our destiny for their own selfish motives.


Excerpted from The Truth about Canada: Some Important, Some Astonishing, and Some Truly Appalling Things All Canadians Should Know about Our Country by Mel Hurtig
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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