Friday, January 04, 2013

Canada -- A Good Place to be Born

We are still in the Christmas Season, the twelve days from Christmas Day on December 25th to the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. This is the Christ-child season, the time when we celebrate Jesus' birth. Conditions were hardly ideal for the nativity of the Messiah, what with the barn and the manger and all.

We are on "baby watch" in our family, as we await the birth of our first grandchild. We keep Isaac and Rebekah in our prayers, and wonder if this is the moment every time the call display comes up "I. Mundy." We know that the hospital where our grandchild will come into this world is just down the street from where they live, and it has one of the best maternity units in the province of Quebec.

I'm glad to read that The Economist magazine considers Canada to be one of the best countries in the world to be born, and last time I checked Quebec is still part of the dominion. The rankings are calculated through a mix of wealth, crime rate, trust in public institutions and the health of family life. Canada comes in at number nine, with Switzerland at the top of the list:

The top ten best places to be born in 2013:
1. Switzerland
2. Australia
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Denmark
6. Singapore
7. New Zealand
8. Netherlands
9. Canada
10. Hong Kong

Our American neighbours are tied at sixteenth with Germany, and France and Britain are 25th and 26th. Russia was 72nd.  So ninth ain't too shabby. We know Canada isn't perfect, but I for one am very grateful to be a resident of this wonderful nation and that our grandchild will be born here.

I hope that my Christian response will be two-fold. One, that I will do my best to be a responsible citizen who will support our social institutions for the wellbeing of future generations. Two, that I will be generous in supporting efforts to bring health and stability to other places in the world. Nigeria finished last on the list.

What is your reaction to the list and our Canadian ranking? What do you think we can do as the Christian community to ensure our ongoing wellbeing and the health of others?


roger said...

I feel very fortunate to be living in Canada, although spending the next couple of months in Australia sounds pretty appealing!

IanD said...

It's worth noting how all the major Scandinavian countries out-rank us year after year in indicies of this kind.

Sweden, Denmark and Norway all invest heavily in education and maternal care/leave and also post miniscule crime rates. These facts all lend themselves to the high ratings they enjoy, and could teach all levels of Canadian government a thing or two about effectively spending tax monies.

(Oh, and 'Amen, roger!')