By Nancy Macdonald - Wednesday, July 1, 2009 - 4 Comments
Canadians do. We’re the fourth-hardest workers in the world.
If you’re not proud enough of your country already, here’s another reason to stand tall: we Canadians work harder than almost every other country in the world. Thanks to BlackBerries and cottages wired for the Internet, we check voice mail from the beach and snatch holidays on the run. We’re so dedicated, Forbes magazine recently ranked us as the fourth- hardest-working country in the developed world. When you take into account both hours worked and employment rates, we handily beat out the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Japan and most of the rest of Europe. The only countries that out-work us are Iceland (which ranked at No. 1), New Zealand and Switzerland (which tied for second), and Denmark (which ranked third). In fact, some say, it’s starting to look like Canadians may be working too hard.
Given our proclivity for work, it won’t be much of a shocker to discover that Canadians get less vacation time than almost any other country. We now get 19 days of paid vacation time a year, on average, while our French cousins receive a staggering 7.6 weeks of paid leave per year. Spaniards get 30 days, Italians get 31, those famously industrious Germans get 27, and the Brits—who helped birth the Protestant work ethic—earn 26, according to a recent global survey by travel website Expedia. Continue…
By Michael Petrou - Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 8:30 AM - 8 Comments
Our tolerance likely has nothing to do with multiculturalism
For those given to worrying about how well people from different faiths get along in Canada, there has been plenty of evidence of late to feed their fears.
Canada’s various human rights commissions have been doing brisk business investigating perceived slights of one type or the other. Quebec’s “reasonable accommodation” hearings have heard from people who were upset by the sight of women wearing headscarves in Montreal, or by too much kosher food in their supermarkets. And a recent poll by Maclean’s found that many Canadians say they are divided by religion. But whatever religious fault lines exist in Canada, we’re much less divided than Europe, and only slightly more so than the United States. Recent polling by Gallup tried to determine the amount of what they call “interfaith cohesion” around the world, by asking respondents how they treat and are treated by members of other faiths—whether they would object to someone from a different faith moving next door, for example. Respondents were then classiﬁed as either “isolated,” “tolerant,” or “integrated.” Among countries in western Europe and North America, only the U.S. had more respondents who rated as “integrated” (and fewer who rated as “isolated”) than Canada. Continue…
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:05 PM - 36 Comments
We’re wealthier than the Americans, live longer than the Swedes and even have more lovers than the Italians
Let’s not sugarcoat it—it’s been a bad, bad year. Plunging markets have siphoned an estimated $300 billion out of the pensions and retirement savings of Canadians. A huge wave of job losses—400,000 and counting—has pushed the unemployment rate to an 11-year high. Add in the billions spent on corporate bailouts, and the $100 billion-plus in projected federal and provincial deﬁcits predicted for the coming years, and the economic gloom can seem overwhelming.
But Canadians might want to stop and take a deep breath before googling up the local chapter of the Hemlock Society. As we gather at the cottage, beach or in the backyard to celebrate our nation’s 142nd birthday, there is much to be thankful for. Things beyond the usual July 1 paeans to our scenic wonders, abundant natural resources, diversity, and stable politics. Continue…
By Cathy Gulli - Monday, June 29, 2009 at 4:20 PM - 6 Comments
No Mediterranean diet for us. We outlast the Europeans as it is.
Despite the global appeal of the more balanced, less frantic lifestyle in Europe—the Mediterranean diet, the work-to-live ethos, the café culture, siestas—when it comes to life expectancy, Canada is the envy of nearly every country. From the day we’re born, the average Canadian can anticipate living until the ripe old age of 81.23 years, according to the CIA’s World Factbook 2009 estimates. That puts us at number eight in the world, higher than most rich, industrialized nations, including France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, Britain, Denmark, and the U.S.
Even better, when it comes to “healthy life expectancy,” which refers to the number of disability-free years a person enjoys, Canada ranks fourth-highest at 73 years, behind countries such as Japan, Italy and Switzerland; tied with places such as France, Norway and the Netherlands; and better than Britain and Greece, among many others. “The average Canadian has a fairly long life,” says Frank Trovato, a University of Alberta demographer and editor of the journal Canadian Studies in Population. “And out of that fairly long life, most years are spent in good health. That’s exactly what countries should strive for.” Continue…
By Kate Lunau - Monday, June 29, 2009 at 4:15 PM - 38 Comments
Canadians have more sex partners than Italy. We take our time, too.
Which country produces the world’s greatest lovers? Spain and Italy— home to history’s two most famous hot-blooded libertines, Don Juan and Casanova—are clear contenders. And in France, Paris is affectionately called the City of Love (the French even have a kiss named after them). Canada, on the other hand, is better known for its toques, hockey, and maple syrup. But despite our stodgy image, it turns out we’ve got the other three beat: not only do we have more partners than the French, Spanish or Italians, we’re more sexually adventurous, too. During those long, cold winters, we have to do something to keep warm.
The 2007-2008 global Durex survey, which polls people on their sexual habits, makes it clear we’re no slouches in the bedroom. Canadian men say they average 23 partners in a lifetime, it showed, compared with 21 in Spain, 19 in Italy, 17 in France, and 13 in the United States. Canadian women say they have 10 partners, also more than their counterparts in those countries. In China, men reported just four partners in a lifetime, and in India they reported six. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 3:48 PM - 7 Comments
You’ll need a couple tries to ace these tests
Check back soon for the full provincial breakdown of all the charts in our Province vs. Province Canada Day survey. In the meantime, test your knowledge with our Canada Day Quiz.