Thursday, April 9, 2009

Proudly Canadian

*pasted from my Nest blog... don't mind the references the "this board" etc.*

I know that we Canadian's are the minority on this board... and I've actually learned a lot about the US in reading everyone's blogs. I've even added to my travel wish list- meaning I've heard some things about certain places that I have now decided that I need to see.

Alternatively, there are a few things that I have picked up on that make me happy to be a Canadian, and I wanted to point out the main two!

*this is not a USA bashing post. I think the States are pretty great... this is just a couple reasons why I think Canada is pretty great too!*

Maternity Leave: in Canada parental leave is 12 months! It's job guarenteed leave at 55% your pay through the government (EI). That's one whole year to get heal yourself and spend with your baby. I won't have to worry about pumping at work or leaving my baby with a "stranger" at just weeks old and to me, this is SUCH a blessing. I've seen several girls on here really stuggle with going back to work when their children are sooooo tiny and young and I'm so happy that I won' thave to worry about that. Additionally, if you don't want the full 12 months, you can transfer the balance (or a portion of it) to your spouse. A lot of people choose to do this- example: Mum takes the first half and Dad takes the second. For some people 12 months would be far too long, and I understand that (my boss is one of them, she's only taking 4 months) but it's soooooooooooooooo nice to have the option, should you choose to take the time off.

I work for a US company and we two offices in California. I believe the mat-leave there is only 90 days and I've heard some states are as little as 3-6 weeks! Really.. at that point, some woman's bodies aren't even healed (i.e. c-sections etc). I can't imagine the anguish some people feel dropping their newborn off at day care just 3 weeks after giving birth.

I'm just so happy that it's not something I will ever have to worry about.

Healthcare: If I get sick, need an operation, major disease treatment, a cast, give birth, slice a finger off, need a CT Scan... I don't have to worry about how I am going to pay for it. Basic healthcare is free! And it's great healthcare (contrary to popular belief).

I don' thave to think "well, I've been feeling pretty crappy for a week and should probably go see my doctor, but I just can't afford it right now". All you have to do it show your OHIP card (in Ontario) and it's covered. There's no paperwork to sign, no claims to submit... it's just covered. It wasn't until my teens that I realized that the whole world was not like this and I remember being shocked.

We stil have to pay for perscriptions, eye care (after 18) and dental (+ plastic or elective surgeries) for which I use my health plan at work. But, anything that is necessary health wise and you just don' thave to worry.

I can't imagine the strain that some people/families feel when they lose their job or hit hard times and someone they love is sick and they can't afford to take care of them properly. You hear these awful stories of families of terminally ill patients losing their homes and going bankrupt to pay medical bills. So scary!

I'm sure there are things that the US outshines Canada in, I don't deny that at all, but these two truly Canadian things are things that I will be forever grateful for and NEVER take for granted.

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