Excerpted from The Truth About Canada by Mel Hurtig. Copyright © 2008 by Mel Hurtig. Excerpted by permission of Emblem Editions, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
At 214 doctors per 100,000 we are in 54th place in the world…A 2007 poll revealed that over 2 million Canadians have tried but failed to find a family doctor during the previous year…Canada now has about a third fewer doctors per population than other OECD countries.
Total per capita health spending in the US is almost two and a half times the OECD average. In Canada it is one and a quarter times the OECD average.
Canada has the fourth highest obesity rate out of the 30 OECD countries.
Canada has the lowest percentage of OECD adults smoking tobacco daily.
Canada’s overall environmental performance is far behind other OECD countries with a rank of 28th out of 30.
In a February 2005 study comparing 141 countries, Canada ranked a horrendous 126th in reducing our pollution.
Canada, with 0.5% of the world’s population emits 2% of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions… 46% of Canadian industrial greenhouse emissions in 2002 were attributed to exports.
The Canadian industrial average is 3.8% of revenues spent on research and development. For the energy industry it’s 0.75%. For the oil and gas sector it’s 0.36%.
In 1989, 15.1% of children in this country were living in poverty. By 2006, that percentage had grown to 17.7% or almost 1.2 million children.
In 2006, Canada’s poverty rate was worse than 18 other OECD countries.
In one month in 2006, 753,458 Canadians obtained food from a food bank; 41% were children.
More than 4 in 10 First Nations children are in need of basic dental care…Diabetes is 3 to 5 times more common than the Canadian average and tuberculosis is 8 to 10 times more common… Aboriginal people are about 3% of Canada’s population, but they make up about 20% of all prison inmates…58% of Natives living on reserve aged 20 to 24 have not finished high school.
In social spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, Canada is in 25th place out of 30.
In most western European countries low-paid jobs are between 8% and 12% of the total; in Canada they make up 21% of all jobs.
During the first half of 2007, Canada’s private sector dropped some 90,000 jobs, the largest decline in over a decade and a half.
In the five years before the Free Trade Agreement came into effect in 1989, employment in Canada grew at an average annual rate of 2.9%. In the five years from 2001 to 2005, it grew at only an annual average rate of 1.84%.
The 1990s saw the highest rate of unemployment in Canada of any decade since the great depression.
The US prisoner rate per 100,000 population was 725 in 2004, compared to the OECD average of 132.4 and Canada’s rate of 107.
Corporate profits: in 1992 before taxes they were 4.7% of GDP. In 2006 they were up to 13.9% of GDP, the highest in history…Since 1990, the average after inflation increase in hourly earnings until 2006 was only 10 cents.
In January 2007 the top 100 Canadian CEOs made between $2.87 million and $74.82 million. Meanwhile, the average Canadian worker earned about $38,000 a year and the average person working for a minimum wage made $15,931 a year.
By 2005 the highest 20% of Canadian families owned 69.2% of all net worth… The poorest 40% owned only 2.4%.
In 2005, over $22.3 billion of foreign controlled corporate profits left Canada, mostly for the US.
From the Hardcover edition.