Canada is often heralded as the shining example of how socialism can work by outsiders around the world.
It’s true that Canada has one of the highest quality of life ratings around the world and has an international reputation for being prosperous, modern, and good to its citizens. But we seldom hear the truth about how the socialist programs in Canada have many drawbacks that need discussing to get the whole picture.
Canada Is a Liberal Democracy
It’s important to start this discussion with the fact that Canada is not in fact a socialist country. Canada is a liberal democracy. Equality is the top virtue among most Canadian people, which is one of the main reasons why we’re thought of as being socialist. Even though we have a free-market that certainly provides much of the prosperity we enjoy, there’s a great degree of skepticism that the free-market alone can provide equitable results for everyone. There’s a generalized belief in the public that the government should enforce and secure equal outcomes where the market fails to do so.
Other ways that Canada is not socialist is that we enjoy a thriving private and public sector, property ownership is common, and we operate under a capitalist economic model. The means of production don’t belong to the people, nor do we have regulations that prohibit corporate monopolies or market domination from huge conglomerates. Ask any Canadian about their cell phone or internet provider to hear much lamenting about the lack of choice, over-priced plans, and abysmal customer service.
There’s a great degree of skepticism that the free-market alone can provide equitable results for everyone.
Resources, wealth, land, and power are not equally distributed among the population in Canada. We don’t even have free post-secondary education like Switzerland or the Netherlands. So it would be a completely false statement to say that Canada is a socialist country. We simply aren’t. We do have certain social programs that are lifted from the socialist model though, and this is the main cause for the popular misconception that we are a functioning socialist nation.
The Problems with Canada’s Health Care System
Arguably, Canada is successful and prosperous because we aren’t socialist, but you won’t hear about that in the mainstream media. The socialist economic policies we do have, such as our extensive welfare or health care system, are the aspects of Canadian society that have some of the most extensive and complex problems.
The health care system in Canada provides all people with access to health care and a large discount on all treatments and prescription medicine. Sounds great, right? Wrong. The problems with our health care system begin with the absolutely unbelievably long waiting times to see doctors, schedule life-saving surgeries, and receive that precious high standard of health care in a timely and efficient fashion.
We have an aging population in Canada. This means that in many cities we simply have more people seeking medical attention than we have health care providers. Most doctors are absolutely overwhelmed with the number of people in need, are overworked, and as a result, are often not functioning at top performance.
We don’t have the benefit of seeing the same doctor every time we need health care.
Canada is notorious for malpractice — something not often spoken about when outsiders dream of a health care system like ours. Tens of thousands of people die and are harmed by malpractice every year in Canada. One in 13 people who see a Canadian doctor will be the victim of malpractice, and when malpractice happens, victims often lose their lawsuits because doctors are awarded millions of dollars in legal defense by the goliath state-funded health care system.
We don’t have the benefit of seeing the same doctor every time we need health care either; we’re subject to seeing whoever happens to be in the clinic that day. We can’t choose to pay for speedy, top of the line health care services if we wish, and finding and locking down a “family doctor” is near impossible in some locations, further degrading the quality of care we receive.
Our health care system also faces the challenges brought forth by chain migration and family reunification laws which allow for elderly immigrants to enter Canada, having never paid taxes or paid into the health care system, but reap the benefits of free health care services just like everyone else. While turning the sick and needy away purely from an economic standpoint raises certain ethical considerations, it’s clear to see how the ballooning amount of need is not proportional to the availability of care on offer here in Canada. As a result, everyone suffers.
It’s important to state here that I’m not saying there aren’t good, caring doctors in Canada, there are. I’m also not saying that it’s bad that we don’t have to go into debt or remortgage our homes to pay for expensive medical treatments. Paying nothing when you have a baby or break a leg is a huge advantage for low-income citizens. What I am saying is that the system we have overburdens our doctors, limits timely access, and in some cases reduces availability to a high standard of health care for patients. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Sick People Are Faced with an Excessive Wait or with Seeking Care out of the Country
Some anecdotal evidence to this fact, of which almost any Canadian can offer: My grandfather contracted cancer of the kidney’s five years ago, and he was waitlisted for six months to receive surgery, in which time he might have easily died. These six months were excruciating for our entire family to endure, and when the time came for the scheduled surgery, my grandfather went to the hospital, but they had no record of his surgery being scheduled at all.
We will never know exactly why this happened, but I will highlight that sheer incompetence does play a role in our substandard health care too. The surgery had to be rescheduled, and the wait time increased by another three months. Thankfully, my grandfather pulled through and survived this absurdly long wait time for the removal of his kidney. Others with more aggressive forms of cancer and illness are not so lucky.
My family and I are grateful that he was cured of his cancer without it bankrupting our family, which it might have if we were American.
When my grandfather contracted kidney cancer, he had to wait nine months for surgery.
Popular social media influencer Lauren Chen’s father was diagnosed with cancer, and due to the lack of responsiveness from Canadian health care providers, she was forced to use her large platform to save her father’s life. She was met with hypocritical criticism from socialists in Canada for doing so.
She asked for help from any and all doctors worldwide and had to resort to crowdfunding to pay for the surgery. Luckily, due to Lauren’s widespread reach online, she was able to get her father’s surgery done in the United States rapidly. Other Canadians without the benefit of a large social media platform are not so fortunate.
Statistics Canada reports that over 200,000 people traveled abroad for medical reasons in 2018, and the death toll of people who died waiting for surgery is upwards of 3,000. Remember these numbers the next time someone begins to speak longingly about Canadian health care.
The Welfare System Has Caused Social Degeneration
The extensive and bloated welfare system is another issue that’s a result of well-meaning but ultimately naïve socialist efforts. Welfare is supposed to be a social safety net that citizens pay into in the event that, due to no fault of their own, they lose the ability to work. This safety net provides people the benefit of not having to go without food or shelter when they’re in between jobs or healing from injury. In theory, it’s a very good idea that provides humane living conditions for the most vulnerable and impoverished people in society.
Welfare is supposed to be a social safety net that citizens pay into in case they lose the ability to work.
Unfortunately, though, welfare has become a way of life for some people as it is too tempting to put one's feet up and rake in the dole rather than work for a living. As the welfare state has expanded, with it has grown fatherlessness and single motherhood, drug addiction, criminality, and other signs of social degeneration. This is not unique to Canada; it seems that as the challenges of survival are removed from people's lives, with it comes new issues of social deterioration.
Loss of Freedom of Speech in Canada
Culturally, we face other hurdles where the reigning socialist worldview on people and society is spreading swiftly throughout the public and private education system. The radical, progressive, and revolutionary movements champion ideas like “trans women are women” and “gender is a social construct.” They executed it into the law here in Canada with little actual resistance. Laws have been made which force people to use the preferred pronouns of trans people or else be fired, have their lives ruined, or be hauled in front of a human rights tribunal and be fined heftily.
A human rights tribunal is essentially a kangaroo court that’s not restricted by the burden of providing hard evidence. All that’s needed to justify the infringement on an individual’s right to freedom of speech is the accusation that a person has offended a minority by deviating from the acceptable standards of the current progressive paradigm.
We’re forced by law to not offend, so we give the impression of friendliness when what we really are is afraid.
In an attempt to protect those deemed most vulnerable to discrimination, we’re forced to accept increasingly restrictive limitations on what we’re allowed to say and, by proxy, what we’re allowed to think. We Canadians have the reputation of being the world’s friendly neighbor and a group of well-mannered, enlightened people, when in reality the truth is more like we’re forced by law to not offend each other, and so we give the impression of friendliness when what we really are is afraid.
Bill C-16 was passed in Canada back in 2016 as a measure expanding the human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination against people on the basis of their gender or gender identity. This piece of legislation doesn’t simply prohibit actual hate speech against sexual minority groups like trans people, which likely few would oppose, but it compels speech. It compels us to play along with their version of reality. Regardless of if we disagree with their opinions on neutral political or religious grounds, we have no choice but to play along.
The compelling of speech is a part of the very scary ideological aspect of socialism in Canada that many find intolerable. One could make the argument that these efforts are not meant to be tyrannical, but emerge from the left's desire to be compassionate to those of us who are weak. The unfortunate reality though is that it has the effect of tyranny in that we all are forced to accept (at least publicly or at our place of work) that it’s only okay to be progressive. To be conservative or right-leaning is to be seen as literally evil.
The conditions of progressivism are enforced socially among the public as well, adult hall monitors delight in tattling on their fellow citizens for infractions of various forms of “hate speech.” Since Bill C-16, this is also enforced legally. Jordan Peterson rose to prominence for resisting this very bill and is famously quoted saying, “In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.”
In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.
In Canada, you’re highly discouraged from taking the risk of being offensive, and thus in Canada, there isn’t much thinking outside the framework of what the government, media, and academic establishment deem acceptable. This is the truth of socialism in Canada. We’re all forced to be equally obedient, subservient, and mediocre.
Punishing Christians for Speaking about Their Beliefs
It’s against the Christian belief system to accept that a man can ever literally become a woman via medical or surgical interventions and vice versa. This is a fundamental aspect of the Christian worldview. There has been an attack on religious freedom in Canada in that expressing these beliefs publicly has become synonymous with committing a hate crime.
Bill Whatcott is a socially conservative Christian man from British Columbia who’s story rose to international prominence when he was hauled in front of a human rights tribunal to atone for distributing flyers around his neighborhood regarding a trans politician named Morgane Oger.
Morgane Oger is a B.C based politician who is well known for pushing gender theory and sex ed programs into the elementary public school system. Bill Whatcott obviously opposed her actions on the basis of his Christian belief system, not on the basis of hate as was reported by the media. By simply circulating a flyer around his neighborhood alerting people to who Oger was and why he believed people should be wary of Oger’s intentions, Bill was slapped with a human rights hate speech violation and a fine totaling 55,000 Canadian dollars.
Bill Whatcott was slandered by every mainstream news publication as a bigot who was motivated purely by hate, which further exposes the problem with socialist groupthink. If you dare step out of line and voice your opinion opposing ideological beliefs held by the socialists in this country, then you’re ostracized, slandered, fined, and made into an example for others.
Socialists Can’t Accept Hierarchies of Competence
Socialists would rather live in a pretend world where they can day-dream of their utopia indefinitely. In this fantasy, all people are equally abled and equally rewarded for their efforts. They wander about in a daze of egotistical self-aggrandizement, believing themselves to be a modern-day Che Guevara until their rage and hatred are revealed when confronted with anyone who’s at the top of a social hierarchy. To them, these hierarchies are evidence of the tyranny of power politics, not competence.
They will never accept that highly intelligent and skilled people are able to rise in social hierarchies more easily than others because they worked hard and deserve to be there. To them, inequality is always undeserved and always unfair; they believe the game is rigged by such forces as white supremacy and the patriarchy. Thus, ironically, creating a culture of discrimination against men and the white population.
To socialists, inequality is always undeserved and always unfair.
Rather than attacking the government, or corporate and international oligarchs that truly hoard power, wealth, and influence, socialists in Canada would rather attack one another over trivial disagreements in politics and worldview, and maybe that’s the point. Inherent in socialism is the desire to be taken care of by the powerful nanny state. To have the harsh conditions of existence, survival, and personal limitations leveled so that life is easier.
What this actually creates is a drone population of people terrified to think for themselves or to question the narrative being fed to them, who are hopped up on their own sense of personal virtuousness without ever actually having to do the work of being a person of virtue.
Canada is by no means a “bad country” to live in, but busting the myth of Canadian socialism has been a long time coming. If we’re a good country, it’s in spite of the ways in which Canada has adopted Socialism not because of it. Beware the unchecked power and tyranny behind the idealistic socialist dream. It’s just that, a dream and nothing more.
It’s a dream that takes away the opportunity for excellence in the misguided pursuit of vanquishing all forms of failure. A dream that favors spared feelings over unveiling truth. We must be free to succeed and free to fail if we want to be truly human. If we want people to thrive in society, truth must be the chief virtue, not equity.