About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

State of Affairs - Oil, Gas, Housing

I have just turned the TV off as I just can't stand listening to the two USA Presidential candidates go at each other any longer. As a Canadian, you might think I don't know too much about what goes on south of the border, but you'd be wrong. I believe most Canadians know almost as much about the USA as the Americans do, but it certainly does not go the other way.
I keep hearing talk about oil reserves and how the Americans need to find alternative energy resources and not rely on the Middle East so much or at all anymore.
But does the average American, the regular Joe, know where the USA get its oil? Do they think it all comes from the Middle East? I've been waiting..... waiting..... waiting for one of these candidates to state categorically from whence they get their energy.
Have the Americans ever heard of the country just north of them? It's called CANADA!

CANADA is the #1 source of oil for the United States of America!

Here's the list of the top 5 countries that provide crude oil to the USA (from here):

2. Saudi Arabia
3. Mexico
4. Venezuela
5. Nigeria

These top five exporting countries accounted for 67 percent of United States crude oil imports in July 2008. Canada provided 1.960 million barrels per day!

And here are the top 5 countries that provide petroleum to the USA:

2. Saudi Arabia
3. Venezuela
4. Mexico
5. Nigeria

And then there's the health care issue. Yes, Canada has universal health care but it's far from perfect. There are good and bad points for each candidate's views. I'd love to have a $5,000 tax rebate so that I could go and choose my health care provider. But does that mean I won't have to wait for a bed in the hospital when I need surgery that isn't life-threatening? Probably not. On the other hand, some people don't like the fact that an employer's contribution toward health care provision is a taxable benefit. Well, it's like that in Canada, too, even though we have universal health care. The employee has to pay tax on the employer's share.

What about gas prices? In the United Kingdom, people have been paying way more for gas than we have and it's been like that for years and years. Canadians are paying way more for gas than Americans and yes, we grumble and gripe, so we cross the border and buy our gas in the border towns of the USA. It's CHEAPER there! Click here and scroll down to "Why is gasoline cheaper in the United States?"

And what about the housing crisis? Egads! Who in their right mind would buy a house beyond their means even if the lender is saying that you can afford it. (Can you just picture the lender stroking his curly moustache?) I agree that what has happened to a lot of people, Canadians included, is criminal. But let's face it, we have to accept some of the fault for buying into the "dream" when we knew we couldn't afford it.
My parents didn't own their own home until their youngest child was in school. We were able to buy our own home when my first child was a baby and I was able to stay home with my children. My "baby" and her husband managed to scrimp and save to buy their first home when their first child was a baby, but she had to return to work full time after her maternity leave was over.

I think it's time to stop and rethink our definitions of "rights" and "privileges." Maybe you can have it all...but you can't have it ALL at the same time. Maybe we need to start prioritizing - needs before wants.

Just my humble 2 cents (Canadian) worth.


Louis la Vache said...

Here is a candidate for President that you know, but you didn't know was running!

Surprise Candidate

Katney said...

And that 2 cents is almost equal now to the US 2 cents again and probably will soon be worth more.

Jo said...

Leslie, you should check out this article about hospital wait lists. It was done by the Fraser Institute. BC has the second shortest wait list in Canada. But the main thing is, we have the best universal health care.

And yes, Iraq and Kuwait are way down the list on the table of countries that provide oil and petroleum to the US. Canada provides more oil and petroleum to the US than most of the other countries combined. And yet it is never mentioned in any of the (*cough*) Presidential debates. They keep talking about reliance on oil from the Middle East, but in reality it comes from ta-da Canada!

I love Americans, but America is not the greatest country in the world (.... she says, ducking for cover ....)

leslie said...

Louis! Louis! Oh yeah! We gotta go!

Yay Louis! LOL

leslie said...

You never know, Katney! We were ahead of y'all for a while, but now it's anyone's guess! :D

leslie said...

Josie, yes and I wonder if they realise that it's Canadians that are over "there" fighting with them and getting killed just like they are?

Anonymous said...

A very telling 2cents(C)., Leslie.
I knew Canada supplies most oil, I did not know about refined petroleum, and I find that surprising. Is their refining capacity so low ?
Those cartoon are gems.
And no, I don't find it strange you watch the goings on.

CrazyCath said...

As an outsider I stand and applaud you!

I don't know jack about the candidates or what it is like to live in America or Canada right now. What I do know is that I agree 100% with your sentiments and your principles. Why are folks buying what they can't afford? I do not own my house - I rent. Why is the US so obsessed with the Middle East? That one stumps me. If they get their oil and petrol from Canada, what's the problem? And how come no one noticed it came from Canada? *scratching head*

And "gas" (petrol) prices? - don't get me started. Thank you for bringing up what we pay! We pay FOUR TIMES what the American pays. I always say to my American friends that I sympathise with rising prices (we all have 'em) but I cannot agree that their price of petrol is 'extortionate' or 'over the top'. Not when I would give my eye teeth to pay a quarter of what I am paying now and have it considered "expensive". ;0)

Pear tree cottage! said...

Dear Leslie, here I am at last able to enjoy all your photos on your blog as I now have a very fast (yes! at long last) broadband and the dialup has be tossed out the window......I have taken the last half hour enjoying what I have wanted to do for many! Many months and that is to see your photos.

I so very much loved the photo of you and your delish!! dessert!! and friend on a summers day. Also the tribute to your dear dad Jack what a wonderful memory in pictures you shared with us. And the story that made me yes smile about your husband and your birthday....why you even brought a tear to my eye to be able to watch and hear the Delta police pipe band play one of my dear Scottish dad's favourite tunes. Your tribute to a day we will never forget was a good reminder of how life was before during and after sept 11..............but dear Leslie, to hear the laughter and see the video of Noah & Eden touched my heart like nothing else could it was worth the wait to get broadband just to see that little girl watching her brother with love and to hear her nanni's voice of encouragement making her laugh. I am truly blessed with my darlings as you are truly blessed with the love of these darlings. We I know find such joy in our grandchildren and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing that very moment with us.....

With much love and now many more visits from a speedy! Rushing around the world blogger that is living her life now at lightning!! speed In the world of blog AT LAST!!

Hugs Always Lee-ann

Reader Wil said...

The financial crisis is probably due to the expensive wars America is fighting in the Middle East. We all have to suffer financial losses because mr. Bush wanted us to participate. Well if I could vote, I would vote for Louis La Vache! LOL.

Sue McGettigan said...

Thank you! The whole housing thing is aggravating to me, everyone seems to have forgotten that old adage 'live within your means' - I don't love the lenders who enabled the unrealistic buyers, but I really wish the buyers would all get a clue and calculate what they can really AFFORD.

As for petrol and oil, you are right on the money, I'm living in the USA and the average American do es NOT know where their oil comes from. They are being scared into stereotypes of the Middle East.

The debates are just PR to me, I prefer to research their voting record on the issues they're discussing to see what they REALLY did. So jaded :) Ah well, it makes for great political cartoons...

Health care, I just have to shake my head on that one, I work in the healthcare system and can't understand why we can afford global war, donate billions to dictators around the world, and not cover basic healthcare for everyone ...

Bear Naked said...

You make more sense than the Prime Minister candidates here in Canada and the Presidential candidates in the US.
You go girlfriend!!!

Bear((( )))

nancygrayce said...

I really didn't know that about the oil, so thanks!!! I feel way more informed now.

My husband and I were just talking last nite about all these young people having it "all" right when they get married. I think that struggle to save money to buy a home, then save to get furniture, microwaves and the like is good for building character and accountability. We knew what we could and couldn't afford, even if the bank didn't.

We need to all take some personal responsibility in the US! Don't spend more than you make!

leslie said...

I agree, Nancy. When I got married, we lived in a rented apartment with used furniture. My husband went to school and I worked. Then my in-laws allowed us to rent their old and very small house (about 800 sq ft) for a nominal amount so we could save to buy a house. We finally were able to move our used furniture into a new build, but with an unfinished basement.
Now it seems young marrieds HAVE to have a house, all brand new furniture including the wide-screen TV, two cars, and a pool BEFORE they get married! I just don't get it.

Daryl said...

Whatever you do, dont tell Sarah Palin she's looking at the wrong neighboring country ...


david mcmahon said...

Oil's well that ends well - especially your last sentence, Leslie!!

Cedar said...

Hey Leslie I know this. I keep asking my Representitives why don't we invade Canada? We could bus the troops in and they could come home on weekends. No one wants to listen.

leslie said...

cedar - you're hilarious! We could serve up tea and crumpets during "tease" fire times. Har Har!

Maggie May said...

I must admit that I didn't know about Canada sending oil to America, so I have learnt something tonight.
Not long to go now with all this political bickering!

Anonymous said...

Great post...here from David's, for that I give thanks.

I'm a Brit and know only what I hear and read about politics in the US and Canada. What I do know is that when America sneezes, we catch a cold, or flu, or pheumonia.
this time it seems we have caught a disease which might prove fatal. Our local Councils have invested our money, the money we pay in local taxes, and invested abroad, specifically in Iceland. Now that bank has bust and our money is gone. Doesn't take a genius to work out that our taxes will go up, and up. So we are paying our own money back. Whoopeee! And the culprits? Og they are still living the high life and making excuses, passing bucks and pretending they care. Don't get me started. Do you feel like being our Prime Minister?

Jill Stewart said...

A curly moustache. Yes I can imagine it vividly. But I wanted to say that mainly thanks to our natural resources, which we so generously "give away" Canada will not become the second U.S. and that is one of the things that comfort me at night when I sometimes worry about what is happening. Well until someone comes and messes it all up. And to answer some comments about "why do you buy if you can´t afford it?". Simply because there isn´t anything cheaper and people always, no matter how near minded it seems, look for the easiest way. And that is what the U.S. gov. gave them. but nobody looked at the bad side of it. Rarely someone does.
And with this I leave, hoping for the better.

leslie said...

jill thanks for your input. But I still believe that if you can't afford something, you should not go into it just "because there's nothing cheaper." One of my best friends is a real estate agent and she and her husband have worked all their lives renting houses. Finally, with their children all grown and with 2 grandchildren, they have purchased their FIRST home! They are in their late 50s! People have to get out of that immature attitude of "I want it and I want it NOW no matter what!" It never works out.

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