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%.

Proudly Canadian – No Name

“No Name” is a Canadian food brand under Loblaw umbrella. It is well known in Canada, and it is one of those things which can be found only in Canadian stores (No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer, Super-Valu, Maxi, Atlantic Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and others). Proudly Canadian “No Name” became an internet meme because of its simplistic design and affordable low price.

Proudly Canadian - No Name / Image, Drawing, Picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Those are products that get straight to the point as BuzzFeed called them. For example there is a No Name wine, which doesn’t even says “wine” on its bottle, just “White Blank”. They have an “apple beverage”, which doesn’t try to pretend it is a high quality juice. They are not trying to increase brand value by writing lies on a package as other companies do, their only selling point is the price.

All Canadian products required by law to write everything in two official Canadian languages (English and French), but because of No Name’s minimalist design, it is also a thing. You can learn basic french in Canadian provinces with less than 5% of French speaking population by walking around stores and checking big No Name labels.

The brand was launched on March 21, 1978 by Loblaw company with 16 generic products. This company has a very strong positions on Canadian retail market and they cover all groups of buyers, from rich and middle class to less financially fortunate individuals. To compete with Walmart’s cheap goods Lablaw developed a strategy which concentrates only on low prices. They don’t invest in branding and packaging much, it is all the same for all products with yellow label.

Their website has a fun design too.

Of course No Name’s products have not the best quality, but food is food. Many people who want to save on their groceries need simple things like bread, milk and other stuff, there are many people who don’t want to overpay for fancy products and No Name fits their needs. Whet it comes to products which are very hard to fake, for example beans or peanuts, even middle class sometimes choose this brand.

The font they use called “Helvetica”, it was created by a Swiss designer (Helvetia is an old Latin name of Switzerland when it was a Roman province). This is not very popular font, but No Name uses it anyway.

also they never use capital letters…

Now they have more than 2900 different products and famous not only in Canada, but in the U.S. and other countries.

Should I Use A .CA Domain For My Website?

When a business or an individual in Canada thinking of establishing a new website sometimes it is unclear that a .CA domain is the right choice, maybe it is better to go with more common .COM?

Should I Use A .CA Domain For My Website? / Picture, Drawing, Image / MapleDude.Ca
Original drawing by MapleDude.Ca

Today MapleDude.Ca will explain benefits of .CA domains for Canadians and why you might consider to use it.

Show that you are a Canadian

The main advantage of a .CA domain name is that it clearly shows that the owner of a website located in Canada.

It is possible to register this domain if you are not a Canadian citizen, for example for temporary residents, but most of the Canadian domains belong to Canadians.

If your blog or a website is about Canada, it is nice to show everybody this by using a .CA domain, it would give you more trust. Wouldn’t it be suspicious if you went on a local Canadian website which has a domain of an unknown country? For a local business and media using .CA zone is particularity important.

Imagine a firm which provides immigration help in Canada, what would be your impression of such firm if they couldn’t even get a .CA domain? Maybe there are not physically in Canada? Why wouldn’t they create a .CA domain if they sell Canadian immigration services? This is just one example of how Canadian domain can give you more trust.

Think about this, somebody writes an article about something Canadian, what if it is someone not from Canada and he is actually making everything up? How would you know that someone wrote an article about Canada not only to get clicks and ads revenue, but because he cares and knows about a particular Canadian topic?

.CA domain at least can tell you that the website’s owner is located in Canada, this is a good start for the first impression.

I realize that not all internet users are educated, many people wouldn’t see a big difference between .COM and .CA, they might not even notice website’s URL, but more people every year learn about how internet works, so the trust in .CA will only grow with time.

SEO benefits of a .CA domain

Now let’s talk about SEO (search engine optimization).

As you might know Google search engine has local and international search results. For example if someone searches “good restaurant near me” this is definitely a local request, so google would prefer to show something Canadian, if the person who searched for it is in Canada.

With Canadian domain you will stay stronger in local search results and with queries about Canada.

.CA domain does not automatically guarantee you more Canadian traffic right away, creating your website with a .CA domain doesn’t mean that you will get a million Canadian visitors the next day, but in a long run your growing website will benefit more and more by wining .COM websites in local Canadian competitive searches.

Protected by Canada

.CA domains are managed by Canadian Internet Registration Authority (cira.ca), they operate under Canadian legal framework. If something bad happens with your .NET or .COM domain, there are ways to fix it, but those mostly are international domains managed by an
organization in The United States (verisign.com).

Canadians domains are protected by the Canadians law.

For example with a Canadian domain you don’t have to pay for WHOIS service, which protects your privacy. Canadian domains have this feature for free from the beginning.

Get any name you want

There are millions and millions .COM domains. When you came us with a great name for your website or brand, a big chance is that this name is already captured in .COM zone. You would have to buy it out from somebody, which can be a challenging and expensive task, or you would need to add some unattractive things to your name.

There are only 2.5 million .CA domains (2016) compared with 250+ million
.COM websites (2013, techcrunch.com)

It is much more likely to find a great short free domain name in Canadian zone that in the .COM.

Be unique

Even for pages which are not about Canada it can be beneficial to have your website on a .CA domain. Imagine that a person from Europe opens up your article from search results, imagine that there are two identical articles on two websites, one of with is yours on .CA and another one is on .COM (let’s say someone stole your article).

.COM websites are everywhere, .CA looks fresh.

Anybody in the world knows .COM websites because they are present in all countries, but when you see a .CA website in search results, this tells a little bit more about the website than another “.COM whatever”. So owing a Canadian domain can be a minor competitive advantage online even for international visitors.

When it is better to go with .COM?

As more your website targeted to international audience, as more beneficial it is to get a .COM or .NET domain name. If you want to sell your product or a service online, and the Canadian location doesn’t matter for most of the people (nobody cares where you and your website is located), you may choose to use a .COM domain name.

This might be the case for an online game, or for an international media in English, which works for all English speaking countries. If you are a Youtuber who wants to make a text blog as well, you can go with .COM if your YouTube blog has nothing to do with Canada.

Although lately more and more people consider to open an additional version of their website with .CA domain to make a redirect to .COM or for some other reasons.

When it comes to international search results .COM often will perform better than .CA, but it is not always the case. Surely old and trusted Canadian website will beat unknown .COM blog even on international searches, but if websites are similar in terms of the age and trust, .COM will most likely be higher in search results on international English queries, therefore it’ll get more traffic. So if your website has nothing to do with Canada, you don’t have to register a .CA domain.

Patriotism

The last reason to create a website with .CA domain name is Canadian patriotism. When you pay $15-20 every year for your domain with .CA it will go to the Canadian economy and to Canadian government one way or another. This creates jobs and it is good for the country. Sure, it is a very small contribution, but it is something.

2.5 million+ domains $20 every year for each is equal to $50,000,000, not that small number as it turns out. If those domains weren’t .CA, all this money would go somewhere else.

Two Main Canadian Political Parties Explained

Politics can hard to understand for an ordinary person, many people don’t even know what is the difference between main political parties in Canada. There are numerous articles and videos on this topic, but here MapleDude.Ca will try to explain everything in simple words.

There are 15 officially registered federal political parties in Canada as of 2019 (source – elections.ca), this list even includes Marijuana Party, but two
major Canadian parties are: Liberal Party of Canada and Conservative Party of Canada.

Those two hold the most of the seats in local and federal government.

New Democratic Party, Bloc Québécois and Green Party of Canada are important parties as well, but in this article we going to cover only Liberals and Conservatives because Canadian political system is mostly a two-party system, same as in The United States and The United Kingdom. One confusing thing though, in The U.S. red color represents Republican Party, which has mostly conservative views, and the blue color represents Democratic Party with liberal views. Hard to say who got it backwards, but in Canada red associated with liberals and socialists, and blue is the color of the conservative party.

Where the parties stand on key issues?

Here is a picture which describes main differences between liberals and conservatives regarding some political questions and issues.

Two Main Canadians Political Parties Explained / Picture, Drawing, Image, Infographic / MapleDude.Ca
Infographic by MapleDude.Ca

This is a simplified overview of a Canadian columnist and media commentator J.J. McCullough, but it gives a good overall picture.

Generally speaking views of Canadian Conservative party are close to American Republicans in many ways, and Canadian Liberals are similar to American Democrats, although there are some important differences. All Canadian parties are more left sided then parties with similar names in Europe and America. For instance in Canada both major parties support multiculturalism and immigration, both of them don’t want to change much current Canadian healthcare system.

It is important to note that any generalization is not 100% accurate, there are people in any party with different views and a party today is different from the same party 10, 20 and 50 years ago. Also there are people with farther right or farther left views in both parties and there are some party members with “flexible positions”.

Conservative Party Of Canada

Canadian conservatives (also knows as Tories) founded their organization not long ago in 2003, it is a merger of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives. They don’t support high taxes and regulations for business and individuals, but because they oppose budget deficit and government debt, often they would cut expenses, which causes a negative reaction. As their American colleges they oppose climate change to support basic economic industries such as manufacturing and oil companies, although they wouldn’t deny it completely.

They are tough on crime and on Islamic radicalism, but it doesn’t mean they would behave like Trump with his bans and immigration restrictions.

Conservatives protect gun rights, however in Canada law is very different from The U.S. when it comes to gun control, it is already quite strict (which makes Canada much safer than the U.S.).

Conservatives respect Canadians history, but many of them count history from the time Europeans came to America, so events like the First and second World War and veterans are highly honored by them.

Usually their voters are from rural areas and small towns. They are more likely to be older than those who vote for liberals.

Conservatives either very poor, or very rich, middle class often chose liberals, but it is not always the case.

Historically immigrants weren’t their fans, but in recent years it changed due to many newcomers from countries like Poland, Ukraine, China, Iran, Syria where people have somewhat conservative mentality. It is even ironic, but these days many new immigrants vote for Conservatives because of their support of traditional values.

Liberal Party Of Canada

Some people might think that Liberals are just the opposite of Conservatives and when it comes to certain issues it is true.

Liberal views are close to socialists. They increase government spending and they are not afraid of a budget deficit. With Liberal government minimum wages go up, welfare is rising as well as the salaries of government and public workers. They claim to support those in need, especially when it comes to visible minorities.

Liberals see the climate change as a big and important issue, so they take a strong stand on the international and domestic on this topic.

They see current crime and punishment system as something which might need a reform, because they point out that many criminals are not becalming better in any way after a hard and long prison time, especially if they committed a minor violation.

Internationally Canadian liberals are very famous for their LGBT support and for the recent marijuana legalization. It was their government when Canada passed those laws which changed country a lot. Liberals believe in equality for all ethic and religious groups. Gender rights and the question of Native American people are important problems for them.

Their voters are usually young, well educated and from middle class. Also their policies attract minorities and immigrants, but as we mentioned before immigrants are not always vote for them, although it is the Liberals who make immigration to Canada easier and faster process.

Who should i vote for?

There is a fun website called isidewith.com, they have many political quizzes where you going to be asked a few questions online and after that you’ll see a recommended party which suits you.

Here is the quiz for Canadian politics for 2019, give it a try, it might surprise you. I thought of myself as a conservative, but after answering all questions i found out that i am actually for NDP:

Canadian political views / MapleDude.Ca
canada.isidewith.com

That’s it for today.

MapleDude.Ca is not a professional political website, it is more like a college paper, that is why we covered everything very briefly and not very deeply. You can find a more detailed explanation of Canadian parties with their views in this guide by ottawacitizen.com. It would take a long time to review other Canadian political parties or to do a better overview of Liberals and Democrats, so we might do it some other time.

Proudly Canadian – Harvey’s

Canadian cuisine has many streams with First Nations, English, Scottish and French roots, but one kind is close to The United States and their modern burgers. Harvey’s is a Canadian fast food restaurant chain famous for its great meat.

It is very hard to compete with huge multinational corporations such as McDonald’s and Burger King, but Harvey’s does it well. They rely on local branding and high quality products.

Proudly Canadian - Harvey's / Image, Picture, Drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Just like Canada Goose this company is also 100% Canadian, for over 50 years their restaurants are own by Canadians and serving in all Canadian provinces.

At Harvey’s you’d get a great 600 Fahrenheit degrees grilled meat and you can choose its fresh topping like in Subway.

Company invested a lot in furniture in their restaurants so it feels like a Canadian place, something between a fancy pub and a sport bar, but without crazy drunks.

Harvey’s experience is nice for people who are looking for a bit more in a burger’s place, for a reasonable price you’d get a nice restaurant experience with private seats. Prices are ok, you can get a combo for $10, it is a bit higher than in other places, but when you try their burgers (original recipe from 1959) a big chance that you’d realize it’s totally worth it.

For those who watched American TV series “Suits” (which was shot in Toronto) and remember a cool guy named Harvey there, it feels like if Harvey was a Canadian, he’d definitely eat at Harvey’s.

MapleDude.Ca recommends you to try their food at least ones when you visit Canada, and for those who are Canadians, but never went there – you are missing out. Check out this Harvey’s review from KBDProductionsTV:

Harvey’s 2 Can Dine for $11.99 Challenge and Review – 2600 CALORIES

 

 

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.