It’s July 1, Happy Canada Day.
150 years ago today, Canada – as a confederated country – got its start!
Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world, attended by Canadians living abroad. – Source: Wikipedia.
VIDEO – Happy Canada Day 150 Years 1867- 2017 – https://youtu.be/PPF9WQ7xRXw
Published on Jun 30, 2017 – Retrieved July 1, 2017 – Happy Canada Day 150
There are many Caribbean people in Canada; it is the Number 3 destination for our Diaspora (behind the US and the UK). So a celebration of Canada is relevant for this movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean; these ones are observing-reporting on the affairs of Canada, and its relevance to the Caribbean homeland. There are so many things we want from Canada, and so many things we do not want.
In fact, this was the actual title of a previous blog-commentary from October 14, 2016, encored here below.
Go Lean Commentary – 10 Things We Want from Canada and 10 Things We Do Not Want
“The Caribbean is the greatest address in the world”…
… so argues the book Go Lean…Caribbean in it’s opening (Page 3). Yet, a large number of Caribbean people live abroad. They live in places like the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. This commentary is Part 2 of 4 in a series examining the destinations of the Caribbean Diaspora. The full series is as follows:
- 10 Things We Want from the US and 10 Things We Do Not Want
- 10 Things We Want from Canada and 10 Things We Do Not Want
- 10 Things We Want from the UK and 10 Things We Do Not Want
- 10 Things We Want from Europe and 10 Things We Do Not Want
So for Canada, we must ask the questions of our Diaspora there:
- Why do they live in Canada and what can we learn from that experience?
- What can we gather for the Pros and Cons of Canadian life?
There are “push and pull” reasons why Caribbean citizens have emigrated in the past – and continue to do so now – to places like Canada.
“In the 2006 census, 578,695 Canadians reported that they originated from the Caribbean, and the overwhelming majority of these people have immigrated to Canada since the 1970s. … the largest populations of Canadians of Caribbean origin were from Jamaica (231,110), followed by those from Haiti (102,430), Guyana (61,085) and Trinidad and Tobago (58,415).” – Historica Canada
To our chagrin, the extent of that societal abandonment is so acute that it is now at an atrocious 70% rate among the region’s college-educated classes. Yes, this is bad! The frank admission, in the Go Lean book, is that the Caribbean has societal defects … in the economic, security and governing engines of society.
In the course of these Go Lean blog-commentaries, we have looked inward and identified the defects of our society. Now we need to look at these refuge countries and glean the Good and Bad of those destinations. This can be considered a “competitive analysis” as the Caribbean region is competing with these foreign locales for the hopes and dreams of our young people. (See the full immersion of Caribbean culture in Toronto in the Appendix-VIDEO below).
Here is a laundry list of the Good and the Bad of Canada; and how the roadmap to elevate Caribbean society, the Go Lean book, describes how the lessons should be applied in the implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU):
10 GOOD Things We Want from Canada
10 BAD Things We Don’t Want from Canada
|Free Market Economy Canada has always embraced Free Market capitalism; today, their brand is more Liberal Socialism than Conservative Republicanism. Many social programs are offered to Canadian residents as a result, so the government plays a BIG role in the lives of most citizens. The Go Lean roadmap promotes Free Market principles for the region’s industrial development. The structure of Self-Governing Entities allows for further Free Market expressions without local government constraints.||Massive Tax Burdens Many Canadians complain of high taxes. The governments defend the policy as necessary to support the many social programs (healthcare, subsidized college education, advanced infrastructure, etc). The Go Lean roadmap advocates deploying balanced tax schemes that mostly “skim off the top”. The CU will deploy systems to help member-state governments do better at collecting their tax revenues. Overall the Caribbean tax burden will increase, but only marginally.|
|Universal Healthcare Canada is a great example of successful healthcare for all of its citizens. They ensure that everyone has access and quality delivery. This minimizes the expensive repercussions of indigent care. The Go Lean roadmap calls for schemes to mandate healthcare insurance for every adult. With the leverage across the 30 member-states and 42 million people, the wholesale cost could be reduced.||Healthcare Egalitarianism The Canadian Health delivery is a Single Payer and not an insurance program. So everyone gets the same level of treatment. The realities of healthcare is that different people have different needs, so a “one size fits all” approach is not preferred. The Go Lean roadmap advocates for a mandated insurance solution. The key is that every adult will be required to select some insurance plan, of their choosing.|
|Weather – Cool Summers Climate Change is a reality. So the warm seasons in Canada now last longer, 8 months instead of 6 months. Summertime in Canadian cities is pleasant, without air-conditioning. The Go Lean roadmap promotes better infrastructure for Caribbean cities, developing refrigeration utilities for urban areas. This will leverage energy costs for cooling.||Weather – Cold Winters Canadian winters are not preferred, especially the months of January and February. The Caribbean Diaspora dread life there for those months. The Go Lean roadmap details the invitation to Canadian senior citizens to be Snowbirds in the Caribbean for the whole season. The economic returns of this strategy are too appealing to ignore.|
|Tourists There is a lot of competition for Canadian tourists; the Caribbean continues to make the case that its region is the best tourist destination in the world. The region wants to continue to appeal to Canadians of all demographic persuasions to come visit the islands for stay-overs (land-based hotels) and/or cruise ships. We want to forge vacation options and traffic for the upper, middle and lower classes of Canadian society.The CU forges plans, advocacies and re-boots to further enhance the Caribbean tourism product array.||Expatriate Workers During the early days of nation-building, many Canadians workers came to the English-speaking Caribbean to work jobs (teachers, nurses, bankers, etc.) that many locals could have done. This practice led to the ethos that “White” Canadians were “better” than local personnel. The Go Lean roadmap dictates a labor standard where local workers get priority for jobs, then regional citizens, then and only then foreign workers (like Canadians).The Single Market would have freedom of movement but with this labor-qualifying caveat.|
|Capital There is a long history of Canadian banks in the Caribbean region. (Think Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, and the First Caribbean-CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)). Despite recent losses for Canadian banks in the Caribbean region, there is still the need for these banks’ active participation in the region. The Go Lean roadmap calls for strenuous oversight for the Caribbean Dollar (C$) and regional banks participating in transactions using this currency.||Devalued Currency The Canadian dollar was 1-to-1 with the US dollar in the 1970’s. The currency has since been devalued, but only a little; between $.95 and $1.08. When a Caribbean financial transaction is executed in US dollars, a Canadian customer has to endure higher prices. The C$ is not designed to be pegged to the US dollar, rather a basket of foreign currencies including the Euro, British Pounds and Japanese Yen. So Canadians doing business in the Caribbean will not be as vulnerable to US$ fluctuations.|
Canadian Imports (cont’d)
10 GOOD Things We Want from Canada
10 BAD Things We Don’t Want from Canada
|Supportive Defense Canada is not a militarized state like their American neighbor, but they do feature a robust internationally respected Army, Navy, and Air Force in support of their homeland.The CU roadmap provide for a complete Homeland Security apparatus to defend the Caribbean region. In addition, there is a comprehensive Intelligence Gathering and Analysis functionality.||Deportees Canada repatriates Caribbean citizens guilty of criminality on Canadian soil. So these one become the concern for Caribbean authorities once deported.The Go Lean roadmap calls for proactive mitigations for “bad actors” that might bring a lawless ethos to the homeland. We seek a treaty with Canada for full intelligence sharing for those affiliated with organized crime (gangs) and low-level felons.|
|Foreign Aid Canada was one of the only foreign supporters for the defunct West Indies Federation; they have always shown our region “love”. Plus they always step up to aid the Caribbean in their “time of need” after natural disasters (earthquakes and hurricanes). But they prefer to help as a regional bloc rather than country by country.The CU/Go Lean roadmap is designed to process all foreign aid from Canada; from both the Canadian government and NGO’s.||Condition for Philanthropic Support Many Giving Organizations attach strings to their gifts. The burdens of compliance is so difficult that many times, public-private entities – think Red Cross – attach themselves to the gifts to ensure accountability. This adds an additional layer in administrative costs, and less funding goes to the beneficiaries.The CU envisions a federal agency for oversight of the NGO’s in the region. We must do the heavy-lifting ourselves, rather than submitting perils of “bad actors”.|
|‘First Nation’ Reconciliation Like other European settlers in the New World, Canada had a history of repression of the indigenous peoples, but this country has reconciled that bad history with many positive empowerments. The Go Lean roadmap calls for formal reconciliation commissions to settle a lot of bad treatment in the past.||Virtual Segregation Canada has the same history of racial divide as many other American Northern cities. While not a legal segregation, there is a de facto segregation with many ethnic migrants living in pockets.
The CU proposes repatriation back to the Caribbean homeland. There is nothing like being home.
|Bilingual Co-existence Canada is a bilingual society, with the majority French culture in Quebec Province. The English and French co-exist well and insist on bilingual media expressions. The Go Lean roadmap calls for multilingual media and government communications. There is also the need for Minority Equalization for different language groups.||Quebec Pull for French Caribbean Migrants Many French-speaking Caribbean people target Quebec as the destination for their emigration. In the 2006 Census, there were 102,430 people of Haitian descent living in Canada. The CU/Go Lean roadmap calls for managing the country of Canada as a competitor for the hearts of our youth.|
|Professional Sports Role Model Despite the regional domination of continental sports (baseball, football, basketball) by Americans, Canadians still dominate in their own rite – they are usually among the best hockey players in the world. They nurture the skills from youth participation up to the professional levels. The Go Lean roadmap calls for empowering the sports eco-system in the region, allowing for more opportunities for amateur, collegiate and professional participation. Other benefits of the regional focus will include better oversight of sports academies, agents and leagues.||Recruitment of Caribbean Athletes During the 2016 Rio Olympics, there were many Track and Field athletes representing Canada that were of Caribbean heritage. Canada extends a “welcome mat” to these ones, therefore encouraging more to naturalize and discouraging loyalty to the Caribbean homeland. The Go Lean roadmap seeks to reboot the Caribbean societal engines. This will lower the “push and pull” factors that cause citizens to flee to other countries and switch their allegiances. This will allow athletes to fully engage their professions without leaving home.|
Canada has been a frequent topic for considerations from the Go Lean movement (book and blogs). The opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14) recognized that there is value in considering the Good and Bad examples of Canada, with this statement:
xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of communities … On the other hand, the Federation must also implement the good examples learned from developments/ communities like … Canada….
The book specifically addresses Canada with these direct references of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocates:
|Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification – Cold Weather Residents Must Wait Until Spring||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Minority Equalizations – Model of Canada’s Territories||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship||Page 28|
|Strategy – Invite empowering immigrants – Like Canadians Snowbirds||Page 46|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Secretary of State – Trade Mission Offices||Page 80|
|Implementation – Reason to Repatriate – From Canada||Page 118|
|Planning – Lessons Learned from the previous West Indies Federation –Canada’s Support||Page 135|
|Planning – Lessons from Canada’s History||Page 146|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora – Toronto‘s Large Pocket||Page 218|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Foundations – Many Canadians NGO’s||Page 219|
|Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights||Page 220|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Elder-Care – Snowbirds Invitations||Page 225|
|Advocacy – Ways to Empower Women – Canada‘s great example||Page 226|
In addition, previous Go Lean blog/commentaries addressed many issues in regards to Canada and the interactions of Caribbean people and Canada; see sample list here:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9179||First Day of Autumn – Time for Canadians to Head South|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6937||Canada’s Great Example of Women in Politics|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3694||Economic Help: Jamaica-Canada Employment Program|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3582||For Canadian Banks: Caribbean is a ‘Bad Bet’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1014||A Canadian’s View: ‘All is not well in the sunny Caribbean’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=732||Turks and Caicos Drama with Canadian Healthcare Contract|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=214||Canada: The Best Address/Destination … per this Bahamian|
The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the CU. Our scope is to impact the Caribbean’s economic, security and governing engines, not Canada’s. But we do hope to engage the Caribbean Diaspora living there.
There are Good lessons and Bad lessons that we can learned from Canada. So let’s pay more than the usual attention to these insights. Everyone is urged to lean-in to this Go Lean/CU roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation, to make our region a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Related Article: 10 Fast Facts About Caribbean Immigrants In Canada
Appendix VIDEO – Caribbean West Indian Street Food｜Toronto – https://youtu.be/8ECKojESpOs
Published on Jun 18, 2016 – If you never had West Indian/Trini/Caribbean food, you are seriously missing out. They might not be the healthiest foods out there but it is definitely hot and delicious. Their foods are pretty much like their people, warm and welcoming. I’ve had doubles once before and it made me realize what I have been missing out my entire life. The aloo pie with tamarind sauce gave me the exact same shiver. No fancy complexity, just simple west Indian food.