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Oh Canada – Growing up in the Great White North – Episode 237

Canada Day

To celebrate Canada Day, IRA Financial’s Adam Bergman discusses growing up in Canada and how it impacted his life here in America and the differences between the two countries.

On July 1, Canada Day, Mr. Bergman decided to share a bit about growing up in Canada, the “Great White North.” He shares the similarities about his home country and the one he emigrated to, the United States. He also explains the differences he’s seen in each country.

Growing Up in Canada

The great thing about growing up in Canada is the “tossed salad” way of life. America is the melting pot, while Canada also prides itself on its diversity. Another great thing, according to Mr. Bergman, is the education system. He finds it’s far superior to that of America. It’s available and affordable for all Canadians. Further, it doesn’t saddle you with the type of debt American graduates are seeing.

Of course, not everything is great. For one, as Mr. Bergman has talked about in the past, is the health care system. Although it sounds great on paper, when you need the kind of care that could save your life, you can’t find a doctor who will help you. Health care workers are unionized and will not be fired. The care you may get may not be the best you would receive in other countries.

On the other hand, America has a different type of health care system. Medicare is there for our older generation. Obamacare, though flawed, helped thousands of Americans receive access to health care they have never had. Health care should not be controlled by the government. Chances are, if you work for a company, you have access to benefits. This is something that is not always found in Canada.

Also, if you become pregnant and have a baby, you have 11 months off from work! It’s the most important thing for new moms. They have the security of staying home with their newborns and not worry about losing their job. Here in America, you get a few weeks off, but often have to get back to work too soon for fear of being replaced. It’s time to treat our new moms better and give them the time to enjoy their new experiences.

Other Experiences

When comparing the two countries, it’s important to look at hot topics. One is gun control. Living in Quebec, in the eastern part of the country, you didn’t see a lot of guns, according to Mr. Bergman. In the western part, the plains of the countries, guns are more prevalent. There’s a lot more hunters out there. Obviously, America has proponents on both sides of the gun control debate. Most people can agree that guns should only be in the hands of responsible individuals.

Another topic in the news is the racial divide here in America, in part because of the George Floyd death. Mr. Bergman didn’t really see racism growing up in Canada. There was no slavery in the country and in fact, slaves sought safety in the country. It wasn’t as overt as it has been here in America. Reflecting on this past Canada Day, Mr. Bergman hopes to see more of his home country coming out here in America. There is no place in any country for racism, antisemitism and homophobia.

Living in America

Adam Bergman loves living here in the United States. In 2016, he became a citizen and calls it one of the proudest days of his life. His wife is American. His kids are American. He gets to live the American dream with his loves ones. The freedoms we have in each country is unparalleled across the globe. We can protest when we see injustice. We vote our leaders in and out of office. Although, we may not always be right, we have a say in how we live our lives and how the country is run. Generally, both America and Canada are on the right side of things.

Celebrating both Canada Day and the Fourth of July, Mr. Bergman sees the good in both countries. Sports-wise, Mr. Bergman is all about Team USA. Although, he admits he does root for the Canadians (the team) and Canada (the country) in hockey!

American cuisine of course gets the nod here. Montreal does make a good bagel, according to Bergman. But, where else can you find the types of foods offered here in the States? With the diverse background of this country, you can eat a different type of fare every day of the month.

Lastly, the American retirement industry, which Mr. Bergman is so passionate about, is a great system here in America. The government gives us a great way to put aside money for our golden years. Take advantage of it to the best of your ability.

Canada Day!

To conclude, Adam Bergman, and everyone at IRA Financial, hopes everyone had a great Canada Day and a happy and healthy Fourth of July. Thanks for taking time to listen to this inside-look at IRA Financial president, Adam Bergman. Living in both Canada and America has shaped the life he lives now. He will continue to share with you things about himself, in addition to the usual retirement and tax planning topics you generally see on the podcast.

Speaking of which, be sure to check out our SoundCloud page for all of Mr. Bergman’s podcasts!

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