Why Not Annex BC?
Macdonald's reasons why we shouldn't have a North American Union
Wednesday, while in conversation with contributor Myrtle Macdonald,
I wondered if our standard of living would be better under the US
"Americans are the most benevolent people on earth," I said. "Their
poor people can afford to eat, services are better, wouldn't life be
improved if we joined the union?"
In 1858, lawless gold miners took over sections of the Fraser River. Boston
Bar was the epicentre of the unrest.
Governor James Douglas was worried that US troops stationed in Walla Walla
Washington would move to keep the peace, and in doing so would annex BC. So
Douglas sent 22 Royal Engineer Sappers up the canyon to deal with it.
The Americans in
BC back then were a wild unruly bunch. They were all well-armed with
a general distaste for indigenous people stemming from the Indian
changed now and Americans give more per capita than any other
More recently, Crimeans voted in favour of being annexed by the
Russian Federation. It still remains to be seen whether or not life
will improve there.
The next day following our conversation, Macdonald e-mailed a
response to my musings.
"I do not agree with your appreciation for the USA as stated below,"
• Their minimum wage is lower than ours.
• Their slums are worse than ours. Inner cities are appalling, much
worse than Hastings Street.
• Their crime is more than ours and the percentage of population in
jail higher. Only a few of their rehab programs are admirable and
• Their bankruptcies are more numerous per capita.
• Their medical expenses are astronomical and health insurance
payments extremely high.
• The expertise of their medical profession and of their
specialists is not really better than ours. Although I will have to
admit that when Dr. Clive Duncan did a bone graft on my sister's
hip, he found the donor bone in Seattle. it is nice that BC and
Washington state are on good terms and cooperate.
• The mentally ill are treated well in some places in the USA,
and very poorly in others. Our systems are a little better and they
cost the patients and families less.
• Our universities are all of a high standard. Theirs include
many that are inferior.
• Their mortgage system turned out to be ponzi schemes.
Thousands of beautiful homes were foreclosed and instead of being
turned over for subsidized occupation by the poor, they were
bulldozed. Neither country has enough good low cost housing.
• Their electric cars were doing very well and becoming
affordable and profitable, about 20 years ago. The oil companies
exerted their power and were behind the total destruction of every
electric car, even those that were new and in perfect condition. See
the documentary on that fiasco on channel 6 this week.
• Our Ottawa Question period on TV makes me ashamed. However
the immobilization of action in the USA Congress because of
polarized debating by the Republicans and Democrats and blocking of
bills is far worse, and Obama gets blamed. Strange. The inaction is
not his fault. It is caused by the Republican majority in Congress.
• Our electioneering for Prime minister does not go on full
steam for two years as it does for the President. It is exhausting
even for Canadians.
• Canadians don't have separate elections for MPs and the
• The US president has to spend a lot of time greeting
diplomats, presenting awards and doing ceremonial things. We have a
Governor General who does those necessary public relations duties.
Therefore our Prime Minister has more time to attend to governing
• More guns are owned and there are more tragedies by a larger
percentage of the public in the USA, than in Canada.
• Before you assert that US citizens are more generous than
Canadians, take time to look at the picture per capita. I think you
may find that the reverse is true.
• Are Aboriginals treated better in the USA? I don't think so.
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