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Authors: Mel Hurtig

Tags: #General, #Political Science

The Truth About Canada

BOOK: The Truth About Canada
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The Betrayal of Canada
A New and Better Canada
At Twilight in the Country
Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids
The Vanishing Country
Rushing to Armageddon

Copyright © 2008 by Mel Hurtig

Cloth edition published 2008
Emblem edition published 2009

Emblem is an imprint of McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Emblem and colophon are registered trademarks of McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the publisher — or, in case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency — is an infringement of the copyright law.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Hurtig, Mel

The truth about Canada : some important, some astonishing, some truly appalling things all Canadians should know about our country / Mel Hurtig.

eISBN: 978-1-55199269-3

1. Canada — Politics and government — 2006-. 2. Canada — Economic conditions — 1991-. 3. Canada — Social conditions — 1991-. 4. Health status indicators — Canada. 5. Canada — History — 21st century. I. Title.

FC640.H87 2009 971.07’3 C2008-904242-5

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for our publishing program

McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
75 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 2P9


The Truth About Canada
is dedicated
to the wonderful people at Unicef,
the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Ultimately, this book is about social justice, the quality of life, and about democracy. The following quote is from Unicef’s 2007
Innocenti Report Card 7
, originating at the Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy. It sums up some of the key chapters that follow.
The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children — their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born.



Other Books by This Author

Title Page






1. Health Care in Canada and Our Tragic, Inexcusable Shortage of Doctors
2. Poverty in Canada


3. Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
4. Canadian Social Policy
5. Employment and Unemployment in Canada
6. Ottawa’s UI/EI Cash Cow
7. Welfare in Canada
8. Immigration and Emigration


9. Wages in Canada
10. The Distribution of Income in Canada
11. The Distribution of Wealth in Canada
12. Big-Business Bellyaching and Actual Corporate Profits in Canada


13. Big-Business Investment in Canada
14. Research and Development
15. Productivity in Canada
16. Manufacturing in Canada
17. Cars, Trucks, and Auto Parts
18. Corporate Taxes in Canada
19. Personal Taxes
20. How Competitive Is Canada?


21. Education in Canada
22. Culture in Canada
23. The Media in Canada


24. Foreign Investment, Foreign Ownership, Foreign Control
25. Foreign Takeovers
26. Canadian Investment Abroad
27. The Free Trade Agreement
29. Trade in Goods and Services
30. Globalization


31. Foreign Aid
32. Defence, the Military, the Arms Trade, Peacekeeping, and the Arctic


33. Government in Canada
34. Decentralization
35. Energy Policy in Canada
36. Water
37. Gross Domestic Product
38. Standard of Living and the Quality of Life


39. Reforming Our Dysfunctional Electoral System
40. Women in Canada


Appendix One:
Health Care

• Category Breakdown of Total Health-Care Expenditures in Canada
• Provincial and Territorial Health-Care Spending
• Public and Private Health-Care Costs
• Health Care in the United States
• Some Sample American Surgical Costs in U.S. Dollars

Appendix Two:

• Measuring Poverty
• Some Notes About Poverty in the United States



With special thanks to my publisher, Douglas Gibson, and to Philip Cross, Jillian Skeet, Geoffrey Stevens, Julie Maloney, Willem Hubben, David Green, Martha Friendly, Jared Bernstein, Carla Curran, Pierre Lalonde, Larry Gordon, Andrew Sharpe, Kim Kierans, Rob Macintosh, Carol Goar, Dennis Raphael, Mary Griffiths, Peter C. Newman, David Hughes, Mark Jaccard, Geoff Ballinger, Jim Stanford, Michael Veall, Duncan Cameron, Richard Chaykowski, Paul Axelrod, Richard Stursberg, Ian Morrison, Lawrence Martin, Peter Desbarats, Stewart Taylor, David Sabourin, Les Shinder, Thomas Walkom, Michael Byers, Eric Reguly, Steve Staples, John Ibbitson, Gordon Laxer, Barry Mersereau, Wendy Holm, Bill Potter, Neil Brooks, Bill Tielman, Janine Brodie, Aaron Paton, David Morley, Peter Julian, Cathy Oikawa, Nigel Fisher, Jeffrey Simpson, James Travers, Erin Weir, Doug Pepper, Roy MacSkimming, Roger Jullion, Allan Tomas, Kelly Patterson, Andrew Jackson, Owen Adams, Alain Rineau, Don Drummond, Rob Rainer, Paul Cappon, Michael McBane, John Ralston Saul, Mel Clark, Walter Dorn, David Crane, Nicholas Heap, Michael Goldberg, Jeff Merrett, and John Godard.

Also, special thanks are due to the wonderful people at Statistics Canada and at the OECD who have been so very helpful in steering me to the numbers and the sources I needed in writing this book.


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 of
The Truth About Canada
is 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 reading
The 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.

The Truth About Canada
is the result of many long days, months, and years of research. It certainly will be regarded as my most controversial book, and will bring immediate cries of protest from the usual Neanderthals at the Fraser Institute, the C.D. Howe Institute, the CCCE, the increasingly continentalist Conference Board of Canada, and, of course, the house organ of all of them, the
National Post

BOOK: The Truth About Canada
5.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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