Canada: The Old in the Great White North There is an old saying in Canada. It goes something like this; “Canadians are just like Americans, only they’re completely different!” The rationale behind this statement is that Canadians, for the most part, look, dress, eat, and talk very similarly to Americans, notwithstanding regional dialects! However, despite apparent similarities, ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2002
Canada: The Old in the Great White North
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. B. Orange
    University of Western Ontario
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2002
Canada: The Old in the Great White North
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2002, Vol. 7, 1-5. doi:10.1044/gero7.3.1
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2002, Vol. 7, 1-5. doi:10.1044/gero7.3.1
There is an old saying in Canada. It goes something like this; “Canadians are just like Americans, only they’re completely different!” The rationale behind this statement is that Canadians, for the most part, look, dress, eat, and talk very similarly to Americans, notwithstanding regional dialects! However, despite apparent similarities, there are real differences in social, political, and health-care systems and values that contribute to a North-South dichotomy. For example, Canada’s political system is based on a sociopolitical parliamentary democracy brought over from the United Kingdom, whereas the political framework in the United States is based on republican democracy, individualism, and a focused capitalist economy. Health care in Canada is viewed as a right, enshrined in federal and provincial laws. Health care in the United States is accepted as individual privilege, governed for the most part by federal and state laws, and influenced heavily by third-party payers. The purpose of this article is not to address or attempt to explain the differences in political, social, or healthcare systems between Canada and the United States. I leave that to experts better versed in the wide spectra of shared and distinct sociopolitical features of our respective nations. Rather, the purpose of this brief summary is to discuss a common phenomenon in the two largest countries in North America: a shared feature
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