Canada and the U.S: Health Care, Celebrities and Poutine
There is a noticeable difference in Canada’s and the United States’ respective domestic policies. Canada, with heavily subsidized public health care services and relatively strict gun laws, is seen as quite politically liberal. The U.S., on the other hand, lets people be responsible for their own health to a greater extent and also allows people more freedom to own guns, making their society relatively less politically liberal and more individualistic. Both countries, nonetheless, embrace freedom, and both countries have populations who love and celebrate their own uniqueness.
Because Canadians think they are rather unique and have great national pride, they don’t want to be mistaken for Americans. However, given that they are the little brother on the North American continent and often speak and look the same way as Americans, it is inevitably going to happen. Canadian singers Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Drake, for example, are often mistakenly thought of as coming from the United States. So, too, are Canadian actors Jim Carrey and Pamela Anderson.
Admittedly, famous Canadian singers and actors often live and work in the United States. For this reason, it is generally easier to confuse them with Americans than it is to mislabel regular Canadians. Still, the celebrity world surely demonstrates how difficult it can be to differentiate Canadians and Americans. The same celebrity world, furthermore, is also a good case in point of how prominent Canadians often move south, while the American cultural trends that the emigrating stars help set, like songs and movies, often spread north.
Songs and movies, obviously, are not the only American cultural phenomena that make their way across the Canadian border. Yankee influence on Canada includes anything from food and political debate to lifestyle choices and language. Even so, despite the United States’ great impact on their northern neighbor, a few trends do go in the opposite direction. One such trend is Canadian poutine, a greasy mix of French fries, cheese curds and brown gravy, which is increasingly being served in restaurants in the United States.