Health care and colleges — does Canada have to do everything better than us?

I’m thinking it would be to our benefit to secede and join the more liberal country to our north. They really seem to have it together. They also demonstrate that elitism and exclusivity do not make for a better university.

The University of Toronto, rated one of the 25 best institutions of higher education in the world, has around 71,000 undergraduate students and an acceptance rate of 69 per cent.

Higher education is also cheaper in Canada. The average annual undergraduate tuition is $6,838, compared to $9,700 for state public colleges in the U.S. and around $35,000 for private colleges.

Sign me up. I also hear we get poutine and Tim Horton’s when we enlist. I’m willing to learn a little French.


  1. DonDueed says

    Mais oui, in Massachusetts, also secede? We’re closer to Ottawa than we are to DC already (physically and politically).

  2. fusilier says

    When we vacationed in Montreal, about 5 years ago, the only French I needed was, “Je suis de les Estates Uni, ne parlez francais, parlez vous anglais?”

    A couple of times somebody had to go grab a colleague, but most off the time we did fine. Wonderful people.

    The only bad thing is that TimBits are metric, you can’t buy a dozen, just 10 or 20.


    James 2:24

  3. dalemacdougall says

    I can remember buying boxes of Timbits but I can’t remember how many were in them. Outside of Quebec, parts of New Brunswick and working for the Federal government you can get by without speaking French.

    Your name intrigues me fusilier, my first army reserve unit was the Princess Louise Fusiliers in Halifax.

  4. Jemolk says

    Do they have to do everything better than us? Well, at the moment, it’s not exactly difficult — and in fact, I’m pretty worried for everyone who doesn’t do things better than us — us included.

  5. DaveH says

    Meh. We have our own clusterfucks and flaming dumpster fires. Like any society throughout history, 10-20% of randomly sampled individuals are going to be assholes. That will be a mix of permanent assholes and temporary idiots.

    What we don’t do is laud that assholery into some sort of national ideal. Generally. Most of the time. I like to think.

  6. Don F says

    The Dakotas, Montana, and in fact probably all the NW states would be jealous, so how about starting Canada-US border down as far as the MN/IA border and go straight west from there.

  7. Matt G says

    Freedom isn’t divisible by 10. I read that at an anti-metric website. It’s divisible only by 12, donut lovers.

  8. specialffrog says

    I’m sure our current Trump-wannabe premier is trying to undermine U of T and other universities. He’s certainly going to cut funding and has floated some kind of ‘protect right wingers on campus from criticism’ law.

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    Huh. With Doug Ford the premier in Ontario, Jason Kenney in Alberta, and the federal Cons making political hay in the run-up to the October election, things will get worse. Ford is already doing everything he can to fuck up education and health care.

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ford is already doing everything he can to fuck up education and health care everything.


  11. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Yeah, but then you have to deal with all your hockey teams either not making the playoffs, or getting destroyed in the first round. ;)

  12. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Fair enough, but I recently listened to this Citations Needed episode and got a little more cynical. Of course, many things compare well against the US, but that’s a rather low bar…

  13. Snidely W says

    Things have gotten really pricey up there since I left!
    Tuition at McGill University in the mid-’70s was about $700. (uh, Canadian dollars of course).
    Plus an occasional lab fee.
    Health care for the year – $60.
    It’s all gone to hell.

    Even back then PZ I didn’t HAVE TO speak French until literally my last day in Montreal when I mailed something at the Post Office.
    Strange that, since this was in the early years of the Parti Québécois.
    Pity that, too. I had been taking French since elementary school.

  14. Johnny Vector says

    Don F @#8:

    The Dakotas, Montana, and in fact probably all the NW states would be jealous, so how about starting Canada-US border down as far as the MN/IA border and go straight west from there.

    Thirty-four forty or fight!

  15. mrquotidian says

    I just moved to BC from California.. So far I love it. When my healthcare kicks in (90 day waiting period), I’ll pay $40/month. I hear it’s actually $0 in Alberta. No vision or dental, but that’s covered by my wife’s employer (this is super dumb – both should be part of government care).

    Some things here (BC) are very expensive: housing, gas, insurance, liquor, sales tax. But the income taxes are practically the same as in California. IMO it all comes out as a wash since the quality of life is so much better and I’m not paying $400/month for health insurance.

    The government services are really functional and pleasant to deal with. People seem genuinely friendly. There’s a decent amount of parental leave and you don’t get a hospital bill for having a baby. That’s how it should be everywhere- it should not feel like a treat.

    As others have pointed out, it’s far from perfect here though. Mineral/oil extraction seems to dominate the economy and there is sub-textual racism floating around (against first-nations and Asian populations primarily). Seems like plenty of lip-services paid to progressive causes, but perhaps not enough action. But I’m new here so I will need to learn a lot more before opening my trap, especially as an (cough) american!

  16. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Except Canadian tuition has been rising for decades. We’re lagging behind the US in this regard, but tuition has tripled in the last 20 years due to the government (both federal and provincial) cutting back their funding of these establishments. Thanks to the cost of living increases in terms of housing prices (things like real estate speculation, bubbles, and defunding of public housing) and fairly stagnant minimum wages, many Canadians find themselves in the same (albeit not as severe) debt situation as their American peers.

  17. numerobis says

    Snidely: $6300 is the Canadian average. Tuition is $2400 in Quebec, plus fees which are $2k at McGill. So, $4400.

    That increase though is why students were in the streets in 2012. The government of that day wanted to hike tuition.

  18. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    We’re not as bad as the US, but we’re just lagging behind. There are plenty of people pushing hard to mimic your model, regardless of how many it hurts. Big reactionary push back towards ignorance and bigotry in Alberta recently with the election of the UCP, and the less said about fucking Ford the better..

    And as with most measures, Canada can’t pick just one set of units. Our Timbits may be in metric, but donuts are still in the antiquated US dozens.

  19. Snidely W says

    And I’ll bet those apartments I had on Pine Ave across from Molson Stadium are a bit pricier too.
    Thanks for the update on the specifics.