Well I sat up last night watching the Canadian
elections and the results were...
And so this is the first
minority government in 25 years for the Canadians. I must say I was
mightily impressed with the speedy way they got in the results and in fact
I heard that the US got in touch to find out how they did it :-)
For those that don't know
the BQ are the party of Quebec that want independence and I guess somewhat
like our own SNP.
This election made me think
about Canada as a nation and in some ways it seems somewhat like the UK in
that while it is a huge nation with some 32 million of a population it
does have the same types of problems as the UK. Ontario is where
most of the population lives and so it is a bit like the South of England.
The west of Canada seems to be a bit like our North of England and
Cornwall and the BQ would seem to be like Scotland. This may well be
an over simplification but that's my general impression.
For those considering
coming to Canada you have to be aware of the huge differences all over the
country and you're just not going to see it all even in many visits.
House prices are certainly significantly below those in the UK and the
cost of living is also well below the UK. Talking to Pearl in Guelph she
commented that she gets a coffee for CAN$1.00 whereas in the UK she's
going to pay £1.00 so 2.5 times the price. Likewise folk will often
pop in for a breakfast and so you can get bacon, eggs and toast for around
CAN$3.00 which is around £1.20. That is why folk eat out a lot more
than they do back in Scotland.
Most houses over here have
basements and so while the house might look small there are hidden rooms
With almost 32 million of a
population I note the following figures from Statistics Canada...
|Place of birth
|Central and South America
|Caribbean and Bermuda
|Other Northern and Western Europe
|West-Central Asia and Middle East
|Oceania and other countries
Source: Statistics Canada, Census
The general impression on
service is that Canadians seem to take pride in giving good service in the
many bars and restaurants whereas the general impressions of Canadians is
that Scotland doesn't on the whole give good service although the food is
certainly up to spec. There is a lot of criticism from Canadians
about our organisations like VisitScotland, Historic Scotland, etc.
As a lot of Canadians are very proud of having Scottish roots they are
particularly disappointed about the lack of information coming out of
Scotland. Mind you I've been saying this for many years now that the
marketing of Scotland plc is pathetic and to be honest this has been
completely confirmed by the people I've met in the USA and Canada. I
really don't care if our Scottish organisations think they're doing a good
job as I can tell them with real authority that they are not but of course
they won't listen to me :-)
Anyway... all that said
there is a clearly massive opportunity to do more business between
Scotland and Canada and it's just a pity that these opportunities are not
being addressed in Scotland.