The Five Best Countries To Live In Part Three: Canada

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The Canadian flag was adopted in 1965 and displays a maple leaf, a symbol that has represented Canada in many other ways for decades.

Lilah Claycomb, Staff Writer

In the 2016 election, there was a media trend in which liberals, who were angry about the results of the election, threatened to move to Canada to escape the foreseeable Republican climate. Now, of course, most Americans didn’t do that which is not to say that no one went to Canada, but following through with the transition didn’t happen. Instead, people just got sad. Instead of moving, they wallowed for four years until the next election when Republicans began to threaten to move to Canada. If all of this talk of moving to another country makes you wonder why Canada, I’d like to give you a little more information!

My family vacationed to Canada every summer and I loved it. So much so that I wanted to live there forever. Of course, I don’t live there, and I am now fully committed to uprooting my life and moving to Switzerland because I am head-over-heels in love with that country. Still, I am obligated to tell you that Canada is wonderful.

The environment is stunning, and though it is SUPER cold sometimes it is great for summer vacation.

Canada, as we know it today, was originally inhabited by aboriginals, and was found by Vikings around 1,000 years ago. Europeans discovered it in 1497 and soon after, the land was invaded by the French. After a whole bunch of wars and broken treaties, Canada was officially established as a free country on July 1, 1867. Since then, Canada has been progressing liberally, very quickly, and is considered one of the best liberal alternative countries.

The country is supposedly a very safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ having been one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. In 2018, statistics revealed that 3.3% of Canadians identified as part of the community, which is considerably high. However, it should be noted that around 23.6% of Americans identified as LGBTQ+. Transgender rights were addressed back in 2017 when Canada prohibited discrimination against gender identity. Fast action has been taken when social issues around LGBTQ+ communities arise.

Canada joined the Paris Accord Agreement on April, July 22, 2016, where it declared its intent to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 committing to completely eliminating their emissions by 2050. The country has been very committed since then, and although they have contributed to around 600 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide in 2017, that number decreased to 190 million metric tons by 2019, which is an exponential decrease.

To decrease the co2 emissions, the government had to turn its focus towards energy use and efficiency. Fortunately, Canada had started cutting unrenewable energy sources a year before after statistics revealed that the country was rated exponentially higher than most countries in their unrenewable energy use.

By 2018, 16.3% of Canada’s energy came from renewable energy sources, which is 2% more than the world average. This number ranked Canada 7th in the renewable energy rankings. However, that leaves 83.7% of Canada’s energy which is mainly oil.

The immigration policies in Canada are also quite progressive, being widely considered to be the best immigration site. Its borders are very well-regulated and fairly open to a top destination for immigrants and refugees. The country has made a point to accept anyone from anywhere as long as they are well vetted before entering the country.
Abortion in Canada is technically legal, like many liberal-leaning countries. However, Canada is unique in that it allows abortion at all stages of pregnancy. That means you could be a month pregnant or eight weeks pregnant, a concept that completely defies Republican demands. The free health care provided to citizens funds abortions for any reason. Canada is the only country in the world with no abortion restrictions, whatsoever, and it was first made partially legal, all the way back in 1969!

Republicans in Canada have also lost the gun control debate and they lost very quickly. When Australia enforced its gun control laws, the world began to follow. However, Canada had joined the list of influential countries on that front, having banned automatic weapons in 1977, nearly 20 years before Australia. In 2018, only 249 people were killed by firearms, including handguns, fully automatic firearms, and rifles or shotguns.

In fact, most crime in Canada is decreasing, not just gun-related crimes. Since 2003, violent crime has been steadily decreasing, and drug-related arrests have gone down exponentially. That decrease may be due to the drug laws. As the gun laws tightened, drug laws loosened, after, in 2018, recreational marijuana was legalized.

That legalization has also made Canada’s incarceration rate among the lowest in the world. It is estimated that 104 people per 100,000 thousand are behind bars. Not convicted, but imprisoned. Furthermore, the prisons in Canada are statistically safer, the death penalty was abolished in Canada in January 1963, and criminals are legally allowed to vote, a policy that is far from being enforced in America.

Canada is one of the top destinations for American liberals and immigrants. The country’s well-run immigration policies, free healthcare, and supposedly attractive governor are all significantly appealing to Americans. Plus, the minimum wage is $14.25 per hour.

But, Canada is not perfect. For one, living in the country is super expensive and, although the minimum wage is high, the cost of living makes that number much less impressive. For another, the government is VERY involved in citizens’ day-to-day life. The supposed lack of sufficient privacy in Canada is a large deterrent for immigrants.

And, of course, Canada’s weather has the tendency to be straight-up nasty. Yeah, that snow can be pretty but all of the seasons come with harsh weather conditions. Weather is a much larger factor than you may think, so carefully consider your willingness to experience the weather before you decide to move to a different country.

Canada is a wonderful place for liberals to escape America, but conservatives might want to reconsider. There are also some major deterrents that, though they seem minor, may significantly change your life. However, as far as relocating to Canada goes, I recommend it!