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Canada

CanadaIt’s difficult for a non-writer like myself to write about golf while the world is going through so many depressing things, like Haitian issues, Chinese issues, Iraq (nice job there US), Afghanistan (diddo), Gaza, coal mines other than the one in Cape Breton that’s becoming a golf course, Jamaica, Korean issues (North, south and LPGA), Greece, Euro, pound, FOX NEWS, the Gulf of Mexico (when are they going to call in the guys from Calgary?), all the Cialis ads, IDOL, volcanoes, etc.
But there is also some good news, like Roy Halliday and Roy MacGregor, the NHL playoffs, Canada’s banks, civil servants, Westjet, Huntsville, Bob McCown, the iJays, in fact, CANADA.
I just spent three weeks in Canada, all of it in Alberta except for the mandatory first and last Timmys passing through Pearson. I was really impressed with the whole three weeks, the civil servants (bad word “servants”) at the passport office and the Old Age pension office, all the employees at the Alberta licensing offices were exceptional, the CIBC employees, in fact even the mandatory trip to ROGERS was fine. So why is Canada so happy?

Excluding the ganja, is it the Olympic successes ? maybe. They are working, mostly. They have great medical care, usually. The coffee is good, strong, and cheap although the donuts have certainly decreased in size! The Habs and Canucks looked good, for awhile. Canadian commodities are booming even if most are going to China (for awhile). The US depression continues while the Canadian recession seems well on the recovery path. Unemployment is down in Canada while it continues to soar like the waistlines south of here. Home sales are up in Canada compared to anywhere, Chuck sold two houses last week. Have you tried to walk through IKEA in a hurry – no way.

Personally I feel Canada is doing well because of at least three things. First, because I’ve been living abroad and I can compare Canada to other countries, secondly because of Canada’s stodgy banking system, and thirdly, love them or not, Canada’s politicians have given the country some very sound policies in the past few decades. Even Canada’s minority government expertise is something we could export to the UK. And even Mulruney had some good days!

The banker’s successes may cause the Looney to rise affecting exports and some discomfort in Ontario manufacturing but the banks have figured that out too. RBC and TD are now “american” banks. Watch the major US TV networks and there are almost as many ads for RBC (official bank of the PGA TOUR) and TD (america’s most convenient bank for 100 years – right, if you lived in Buffalo)
as for Cialis. Canadian banks by using initials are making Americans think they are US banks – it worked for Nortel, for awhile.

It makes me nervous because we all know how US bankd can be manipulated, I’s hate to see TD, RBC or BMO go the same route and then have to bailed out by Canadian tax payers. I’ve always preferred stodgy bankers over dodgy wankers.

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Gary Slatter

Venerable Canadian golf pro Gary Slatter discusses his opinions on the state of golf, golf course design and construction, teaching and more, based on a lifetime in the business.

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