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On paper Canada is near perfect. But in practice it is a country that is suffering so much from having to maintain continent size infrastructure on the tax base that would match a very small European country that the only way they are going to solve this long term without reducing the size of their territory or falling apart is to import very large numbers of people and hope to integrate them.

So far they are quite successful in the first and not so successful in the second. But on paper they excel at both.

If you want to see this strategy fail try to move to some small town outside of the top 5 and see how well that integration works in practice.




That's a popular misconception, but flatly wrong. Canada has the 10th largest GDP in the world. It's larger than Russia's and just shy of Brazil, a country with 209M people vs. 37MM in Canada.

The vast majority of the country is within 100km of the US border, and frankly we've massively under-invested in critical infrastructure like high-speed rail. Our telecoms routinely claim that prices are the highest in the world because of the sparseness of the country, and yet our telecoms are the most profitable in the world. Same for our banks.

No, Canada's real problem is its lack of self-confidence... we still coddle our banks and telecoms, regulating to protect them against foreign competition while failing to enforce competition laws that would prevent anti-competitive behaviour within the country. We seem to be afraid of competing globally on a level playing field even though this would make us better.

It's a very frustrating place to be an entrepreneur, particularly if you have anything remotely resembling a libertarian bent.


I never understood the need to protect a certain class of non-innovative noncompetitive services like banks and telecoms. It just a way to make a few a*holes rich.


Because we don’t have any practical alternatives to banks; and when banks fail the people who end up losing the most are not their senior management, investors or even employees but the thousands or even millions of account holders.

With Telcos it’s not that different too; if the large one as in those who actually have infrastructure fail it can lead to a catastrophic cascade failure when you can’t call an ambulance not to mention can’t do business because your phones or internet are down you are screwed.

Telcos are like roads it might seem really easy to set new ones up but if you remove all the existing infrastructure that was setup over a century you end up with a lot of short routes that lead up to nowhere.


This is certainly what banks and telcos will tell you, but it’s simply not true.

For example, the idea that banks should maintain appropriate reserves and refrain from taking on certain kinds of risks doesn’t imply that banks should be the arbiters of who is allowed to send and receive digital payments. The movement away from cash to digital has handed them extraordinary power over all economic activity in the country.

Telcos have responded to attempts to shake up the industry by acting in non-competitive ways, the primary reason why NONE of the new entrants from the last wireless spectrum auction still exist as independent entities, and why no foreign telcos have any interest in investing in the space. We don’t enforce our own competition laws, leading to a small group of extraordinarily profitable companies at the expense of the rest of the economy.


It keeps industries (affecting the currency, in the case of banks) stable. There's only 1 asshole to talk to, when it stops being reliable or the populace gets uppity enough for the political animals to notice.


And there you said you didn't understand it


> That's a popular misconception, but flatly wrong. Canada has the 10th largest GDP in the world. It's larger than Russia's and just shy of Brazil, a country with 209M people vs. 37MM in Canada.

https://www.worldometers.info/gdp/gdp-by-country/

Brazil and Russia are not first world European countries. Germany, France and the UK are and have a very small fraction of Canada's landmass.

> The vast majority of the country is within 100km of the US border, and frankly we've massively under-invested in critical infrastructure like high-speed rail.

My point exactly.

> Our telecoms routinely claim that prices are the highest in the world because of the sparseness of the country, and yet our telecoms are the most profitable in the world. Same for our banks.

That is due to monopolistic tendencies and protectionism in Canada.

> No, Canada's real problem is its lack of self-confidence... we still coddle our banks and telecoms, regulating to protect them against foreign competition while failing to enforce competition laws that would prevent anti-competitive behaviour within the country. We seem to be afraid of competing globally on a level playing field even though this would make us better.

Precisely.

> It's a very frustrating place to be an entrepreneur, particularly if you have anything remotely resembling a libertarian bent.

I think it is frustrating for all Entrepreneurs, which is the major reason most of them move South of the border as soon as they reach a certain size (or are acquired).


> on the tax base that would match a very small European country

What are you counting as very small? They have 3-4 times the population of the like of Denmark, Belgium and Portugal. They're comparable with Spain and Poland, which few people would consider very small European countries.

> country that is suffering so much from having to maintain continent size infrastructure

This brings some challenges, but infrastructure doesn't scale 1:1 with the land area of a country, 99% of the infrastructure can be on 1% of the land area and serve most people. It's the urbanization level that matters, not the geography.


I live in Victoria BC. Tons of immigrants, most are ESL, no issues. Definitely not one of Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver/Calgary/Edmonton. Where are the issues exactly? Because I've lived in quite a few places here and don't know what you're talking about.


A city (town?) with many ferries a day going between it and Vancouver is not a typical rural Canadian location.


Even without the proximity to Vancouver, Victoria is hardly rural. It's a small to medium city of around 350k people, as well as being the capital city of BC. The west coast in general is also quite a small-L liberal place. So to answer the parent's question, you would expect to find more intolerance in smaller towns in the interior and the north.


This was all in response to being outside the big 5 being terrible for immigrants, which is clearly wrong.

People go to Vancouver relatively infrequently. It's a hour and 45 minute ferry ride, but then there's basically an hour on each side getting to the ferry plus waiting in line for the ferry(which can be a very long time if it's busy). It's not something people here do regularly. I fly elsewhere more often than I go to Vancouver.

Also lol to town.


Victoria is also surprisingly expensive relative to its size, and has comparatively few jobs.

Great place to be if you can swing it, though. Better weather than Seattle/Vancouver.


Well here’s a question. Why does Canada have to maintain continent scale infrastructure? It could just let the interior go wild.


Which is for the most part what is done. Throughout most of Canada's land mass habitation is very sparse, mostly indigenous or small towns based around a natural resource industry.


Lots of people who don't pay taxes is not good.

"nine of 10 recent Chinese immigrants arrive in Metro Vancouver with enough money to immediately buy homes. But only half hold down jobs during their first five years in Canada, while four of 10 report they’re surviving on low incomes."

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-how...




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