Is Canada A Monarchy?

Canadian political system may seem confusing.

It used to be a colony or a dominion? What is a dominion? Who is the president of Canada (nobody)? What is the difference between provinces and territories, why they don’t have just states?

And finally – is Canada a Monarchy?

MapleDude.Ca will answer this question today.

Is Canada A Monarchy? / Image, Picture, Drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Right off the bat the answer is yes, Canada is a Monarchy, but what kind of a Monarchy though?

Yes, there is more than just one kind.

Monarchy is a form of government with, well, a monarch, king or queen. That’s why you see a lot of those “King” and “Queen” street in all ex-British colonies. The key point of a monarchy is that a Queen or a King has all the power, they can do whatever they want without anybody’s approval. This is what most people think of a Monarchy and they are right, they are right when it comes to the oldest type of it – Absolute Monarchy. With such kind of government a Monarch rules until his death and he passes power to his children. This is called a dynasty.

Current examples of such monarchy are countries like Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Vatican City and the United Arab Emirates.

In good old days (not that good…) this was the only type of monarchy, so now all countries with different types of monarchy had an absolute monarchy in the past before they went thru reforms.

The other type of monarchy is more developed and modern, it is called a Constitutional Monarchy, this is the one Canada has, as well as many other developed countries.

Countries with constitutional monarchy are: Australia, Belgium, Japan, Denmark, Jamaica, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom and many others.

There is also an Elective Monarchy, but today we won’t cover that.

In Constitutional Monarchy there is a King or a Queen, but they have no real power. In this system all real political power belongs to the elected parliament and the leader of a country called “Prime Minister”. King or Queen is still there and they are symbolic, for example recent royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was all over the news, but the royal family does not rule the country.

The most important thing in Constitutional Monarchy is the constitution. This is the main law, not a will of a King or a Queen.

Canada is still a Monarchy, but it is a democratic and sovereign country where Canadian people elect representatives, who act on their behalf in the parliament. The ruling party picks a Prime Minister, he assigns members of the Senate, Judges and Ministers, but power comes from people.

To honor historical system Canada still has some symbolic roles, like Governor-general, who acts on Queen’s behalf.

Canadian House Divided

Angus Reid Institute just publish a report they called “Fractured Federation” with some interesting findings.

In this poll they asked people from all Canadian provinces about their views regarding other parts of Canada.

MapleDude.Ca will give a short recap of its key points.

Canadian House Divided / Image, Picture, Drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

The Institute found that Atlantic provinces have issues with Quebec and Ontario, Quebec has issues with everybody and British Columbia feels isolated.

3 out of 10 people in BC said that they have a close relationships with Alberta, but 43% in BC don’t think that they have any friends at all.

People in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba feel a kinship with each other, but 40% of the population there don’t think they treated warmly by Ontario. 75% say the same of Quebec, this demonstrates a problematic disconnect.

People in Quebec feel almost no connection to any Canadian provinces, the best connection is with Ontario, but only 12% of the Quebec population said that they have it. Attitude towards other Canadian provinces in Quebec is very cold. Although 42% of Ontarians have a positive and friendly attitude towards Quebec.

People in Ontario and Quebec have unfriendly attitude towards other provinces while other smaller Canadian provinces don’t show that at all. In Ontario 25 – 42% of the people have a bad views of the other provinces, and in Quebec this is 41 – 81%.

All Atlantic Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) show a strong connection with each other, also they feel a good connection to Alberta.

Some interesting opinions were found in Quebec among men (67%), who feel hostility from Alberta. This number is much lower (36%) among women of Quebec.

People in all Canadian provinces were asked an important question: are there provinces or regions (perhaps including your own) that give more than they get being part of Canada?

Here is how people answered:

  • Alberta – 32%;
  • Saskatchewan – 16%;
  • Atlantic Canada – 16%;
  • Ontario – 16%;
  • British Columbia – 10%;
  • Quebec – 9%;
  • Manitoba – 9%.

What Are The Main Imports And Exports Of Canada?

Canada is very active when it comes to trade, its total export was $390 billion in 2016 and total import $416 billion (According to WTO). The main Canadian trade partners are The United States, European Union, China, Japan and Mexico.

The United States is the most important Canadian trade partner, Canada buys 75%+ of all goods from the U.S. and sell 52% of Canadian products and services to its southern big brother.

The question today is: what exactly are the main imports and exports of Canada? To put it simply: what Canada produces and what it buys from other countries? Let’s figure this out.

Today such data is quite easy to find, all trade statistics is published by many organizations, but probably the best source is the atlas.media.mit.edu. This is a project of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with open and transparent data.

What Are The Main Imports And Exports Of Canada / Infographic / MapleDude.Ca
Infographic by MapleDude.Ca

Canadian top imports are:

  • Cars ($26.4B);
  • Vehicle Parts ($20.4B);
  • Delivery Trucks ($12.9B);
  • Refined Petroleum ($10.8B);
  • Crude Petroleum ($10.3B).

Those are products Canada buys the most, the majority of them comes from The United States.

The biggest import categories are:

Machines (99B), Transportation (76.3B), Chemical Products (34.4B), Mineral Products (28B) and Metals (24.3B).

Canadian imports are quite diversified.

Canadian top exports:

  • Cars ($48.9B);
  • Crude Petroleum ($39.6B);
  • Vehicle Parts ($10.5B);
  • Refined Petroleum ($8.34B);
  • Sawn Wood ($7.79B).

This is what Canada produces and sells abroad. For Canada export of its natural resources (wood, oil) remains very important.

Main Canadian export categories are:

Mineral Products (70B), Transportation (75.9B), Machines (41.1B), Metals (28.3B) and Chemical Products (27.2B).

Canada, The United States and Mexico had a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which made trade between those countries easier. In 2018 it was replaced by Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) by Donald Trump’s administration.

Quebec’s Flag Day

In January 21, 1948 a new flag of Quebec was officially adopted in Canada by Maurice Duplessis, 16th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec. Today its floating over the main tower and many other government buildings representing French Canadian heritage.

Quebec's Flag Day / Drawing, image, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

The official name of the flag is “Fleurdelisé”. Cross on flags is very common in Europe (England, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Malta, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, Sweden and many other examples), this is the main symbol of Christianity. “fleurs-de-lis“, a small white French symbol on blue background means purity and royalty, and the blue background represents heaven.

It was an earlier version that showed gilt fleurs de lis all pointing inward to the intersection of the arms of the cross. The final version, with white fleurs de lis pointing upward, apparently had not yet been available.

montrealgazette.com

You can watch a video by J.J. McCullough with a short yet informative history of Canadian flags, including the flag of Quebec (4:40):

All about Canada’s provincial flags

Is It Safe In Canada?

What are your chances of being robbed on dark Canadian snowy streets? What are major life ricks in Canada? To address the safety issue let’s take a look at some numbers and statistics.

Is It Safe In Canada / Image, picture, drawing, art / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Canada is on 158th place in the world by murder rates (UNODC statistics) with 1.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants (611 cases in 2016). A big brother just across the border, The U.S., has 5.35 murders per 100,000 citizens (17,250 cases in 2016). Compared to some South American countries (El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela with 55+ murders per 100k people) Canada is super safe. Most of the western Europe and Asia (South Korea, Japan) is safer when it comes to killings and assaults, but Canada almost the best place in North and South America in terms of the violent crime.

Traffic-related death is another big cause of death in many countries, these numbers are calculated by WHO (World Health Organization).

By road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year Canadians are standing well with just 6 (10.9 in the United States). Western Europe is a bit better, but Canadian roads can be called safe.

Many major causes of death are health related (stroke, heart disease, infections, etc.). Canadian healthcare has its problems, but it is one of the best in the world (because all countries have problems with their healthcare too). Canada takes 12-th place in the world by life expectancy with both sexes life expectancy equal to 82.2 years old.

There are very few countries with better life expectancy (Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Italy and few others). Every new Canadian immigrant has to go thru detailed medical exam and in case of a major health issue like an infection he or she can’t enter the country.

Robbery rate by country is not easy to find, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2015 Canada rate was equal to 61 per 100,000 people. This is not the best number, it is even higher than Lebanon, Russia, Senegal, Thailand and Kenya. Although we can assume that in many countries robbery is just not often reported due to many reasons; maybe there are no chances to catch a criminal, maybe it is reported often in Canada because people have insurance, so they can get a compensation, or maybe Canadian police is just very transparent as other Canadian government organizations, so they don’t hide numbers and publish everything as it is. In any case robbery seems to be a problem in Canada, but as in The United States chances of being robbed depend on the city and neighborhood.

There is no perfect country in the world.

Despite some local issues overall Canada is a quite safe country, numbers show that Canada is safer than The United States, not to mention troubling South American countries.

Is It Expensive To Live In Canada?

For anybody who wants to move to Canada cost of living there is an important question. How much money do you need every month to be able to live in Canada? MapleDude.Ca will try to answer this question.

Is It Expensive To Live In Canada? / Image, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

First of all we have to say that for different people comfortable life might mean very different things depending on the place they are coming from and their standard of living.

Canada is one of the world’s developed countries, income, costs, prices and expenses there are somewhat similar to western Europe, Australia and The United States, people who are coming from those places wouldn’t feel much of a difference.

What are basic necessary expenses for anyone?

  • Food;
  • Rent;
  • Clothes;
  • Miscellaneous (phone, internet, transportation, etc.);

In Canada, however, car is very important as in the U.S. Most of the Canadian cities and infrastructure designed in a way that without a car, especially during long and cold winter, live is quite hard.

Let’s start with food. It is actually quite hard to compare countries by cost of living because numbers are very different from city to city. For example according to numbeo.com (great website to compare prices) grocery prices in Toronto are 9.32% lower than in New City.

To be more accurate go to numbeo.com and compare your city with a Canadian city you want to move to.

These are examples of average food prices in Toronto:

  • Milk (regular), (1 liter): $2.08;
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g): $2.45;
  • Rice (white), (1kg): $3.3;
  • Eggs (regular) (12): $2.75;
  • Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg): $13.48;

Many researches give a number around $200 per month per person as average food costs (source). It can be lower if you can find good deals and shop at Walmart, if you cook food by yourself and don’t go to restaurants.

You will struggle in Canada if you have a bad habit of smoking as one pack of cigarettes would cost you $11+. Smoking will add additional $150 – 300 dollars to your monthly expenses.

That is if you buy cigarettes in convenience stores. Today even marijuana (legal in Canada) might be cheaper than cigarettes.

When it comes to rent prices it is very different depending on the location. In Toronto basement for one month can cost you $500, one room in a house would be from $500 to $1000 (kijiji.ca) and if you want to rent one room apartment it starts with $1500. Rent is much cheaper in smaller cities and if a location far from downtown. If you have money to buy a house, you can check this article to see average house prices in different cities and provinces. Getting a mortgage is not going to be cheaper than renting for a new immigrant because of the lack of Canadian credit history.

To roughly round it up let’s say that rent would be $750 per month.

As i said, it can be a bit lower, but it also can be much higher.

Clothes costs are hard to calculate. If you shop at H&M and such places it is not going to be much, $1200 per year should be more than enough ($100 per month), although many people would live comfortable with $600 annual spending ($50 per month).

Minimum phone bill would be $35 per month, internet cost is similar, but it is often included in the rent.

Transportation in Toronto would cost something like $150 per month (A regular adult Metropass).

To sum this up our minimum cost of living in Canada (Toronto) would be from $1185, that is if you don’t smoke. If you find a cheap place to rent, total monthly expenses might go down by $250. Maybe you can save on food too, then total number would be $100 less. If you are lucky to have workplace at walking distance, subtract another $150 from total expenses. So the perfect case would be around $900 per month, but it is hardly possible to go much lower than that in big cities in Ontario.

With $11+/hours minimum wage ($14 in Ontario) and 40 hours per week you can make $2240 before taxes.

Everything falls apart if we consider car expenses and/or girlfriend expenses. Median monthly cost to insure in Ontario is around $125 (but in places like Mississauga it can be $300+), plus gas, plus a lot of things for the car.

All of this is, of course, very rough numbers, MapleDude.Ca estimates. For a single person you can live on $1k quite easily if you are willing to look for good deals, sales and if you are ok with walking. Numbers can be much lower for other Canadian cities, Toronto is one the most expensive ones (but salaries are higher too). In smaller cities rent is much lower, as well as other expenses, but it is safe to say that it is close to impossible to live on less than $500 per month in Canada.

Some people would say that it is very hard to live on $1000 too, if you live an active live, sometimes visit restaurants, go to movies or clubs, this would add $150-500+ more every month.

Proudly Canadian – Canada Goose

Canada Goose company is known not only in Canada, but in many countries around the globe. It is not an easy task to make and sell clothing produced in America because of strong foreign competition, but Canada Goose company does it successfully for many years.

Proudly Canadian - Canada Goose / Image, picture, drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

According to statista.com data now Canada Goose’s revenue is growing rapidly, wholesale revenue grew from 288 mil. CAD in 2017 to 336 in 2018 and direct sales increased from 115 million Canadian dollars to 225.

Why people are lining up to buy those fancy jackets, parkas and other products? We’ll try to answer this question.

Company’s history started in 1950s, when an entrepreneur Sam Tick immigrates to Canada. He created Metro Sportswear Ltd. in Toronto, which specializes in woolen vests, raincoats and snowmobile suits. After 20 years his son establishes the label Snow Goose, which later becomes Canada Goose. They wanted to make jackets for coldest places on earth. After that Reiss family continue company’s development.

Over the last 21 years, Canada Goose has grown from one small factory in Toronto to seven facilities across Canada with products shipped to 38 countries around the world.

winnipegsun.com

In 2018 they opened 7th factory in Winnipeg which created more that 700 new jobs, for over 55 years all production facilities were located in Canada.

Huge European and American brands moved their production to China and other countries long time ago, but Canada Goose proudly makes everything in Canada. It is not an easy decision, minimum wage in Ontario is $14/hour, for such high labor demanding production those are major expenses. Of course if would be much cheaper to open factories elsewhere, this would reduce prime cost and make products more competitive, but the company believes that “Made In Canada” on mark on any product wins against the opportunity of cost reduction.

Canada Goose is not cheap, their parkas cost $900 and more, but this doesn’t scare customers. Canadian winter is long and tough, in some places temperature drops to -30 and below, you need to be sure you well protected against such hard conditions. The thing about winter jackets is that people usually wear one for a long time, 3-5 years is a minimum, often people wear one jacket for 10 and more years, so when you choosing one, you might as well spend good money on it, winter jacket is an expensive product.

Sure you can get a nice looking jacket for $100 or even cheaper during the sale, this jacket might be quite warm and of a decent quality, but here we come to another reason why people would pay 10 times that for Canada Goose brand. Brand is the answer.

In a grocery store you see a lineup to Canadians apples and vegetables, close to it you can see much cheaper apples from The U.S. or Mexico, but people still go for “Made In Canada”. Canadian products are popular not only among Canadians, but among new immigrants as well.

When it comes to food this behavior can be explained easily, if something grows close, probably it is fresh and “natural”, so what’s up with the jacket? Germans make cars, Russians make vodka, French and Italians make wine, Ukraine makes grain and Americans make iPhones in China 🙂

Canada has a problem when it comes to international fame and stereotypes. Canada is just not very well knows in the world. Many people in different countries know nothing about Canada and they don’t read much about Canada in news. I know that because in MapleDude.Ca i am having hard time to find new content about Canada and its culture. With that in mind people know one thing about Canada for sure – it is cold out there! So Canadians must have a good winter clothing, there you go.

When people hear about winter jackets made in Canada they want to buy one, because Canadians must know what they are doing.

Another thing about Canada Goose is that those jackets are just cool to some people only because they are expensive. They are expensive in Canada, you can guess how much they cost in Europe and Asia with additional delivery costs (although Asians with their weather don’t really need warm parkas).

Why Canada Goose Jackets are so expensive? Reducing its price might have a negative effect on sales because demand for fancy and luxury goods is inelastic.

You can see that those jackets are very popular in Korean, Chinese and Arabic Canadian communities, you see a lot of people wearing them. Sometimes it is even funny because you know that some of those people are not very rich, yet they willing to spend a lot of money on it. Partly this is because of the feeling of belonging, they are in Canada now, they want to be Canadians and buying Canadian is a good way to show it.

Surly if company decided to move production to an Asian country those new Canadian immigrants wouldn’t be that interested in buying.

One more thing which makes Canada Goose popular is its quality.

Canada Goose products are good, it is hard to say if it worth the price, but by watching one of many videos from their production facility you can see how Canadians making those jackets and be sure that quality is high.

Canada Goose is not alone, there are other Canadian products, companies and brands, for example: A&W, Tim Hortons, Second Cup, Minute Maid juices, Cascade, Liberté yogurt. Competition is tough because no country in G7 trades like Canada, but Canadians managed to save some production and industries at home, some of which are not only surviving, they are growing. Canada Goose is a great example of such company with proud “Made in Canada” mark.