I’m writing this post as a follow-on to one of my earlier posts on Canadian ExPat’s. It is prompted by a recent CTV News article titled “Howie Mandel on hosting Canadian Screen Awards, and why he 'resented' leaving Canada”
Now I remember the “Canadian” Howie Mandel quite well having seen him and fellow Canadian Jim Carrey perform at Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto way back when. You will know how far back because that’s when we saw Keith Morrison do the local Canadian news, Alex Trebek hosted the Canadian Reach for the Top, John Roberts was a VJ on the Canadian Much Music, Kenny Rogers fronted the CTV Canadian house band The First Edition and Lorne Michaels was doing the Canadian Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour. William Shatner was already long gone! What do they all have in common? They all bailed out of Canada and are now Expats or US Citizens.
The intent of this post is not to condemn these people it’s to praise them, they figured out the Canadian Tax system, cost of living and limited opportunities (high paying) early in their careers and made, what I’m sure were wise decisions to move to the U.S.. What I don’t condone however is the false Canadian Flag waving and praise for a country that they bailed on every time they are interviewed– call a spade a spade. here to edit.
Many will tell you that they left Canada for opportunities. Howie is quoted in the article as saying "Once I made the decision that this is what I wanted to do for a career and for my life, I realized it's really hard to have a comparable career financially (in Canada)." Now lets get one thing clear from the get go, you can reach virtually any U.S. city from a Canadian airport every day of the week in a max of six hours. If a Canadian entertainer had a show, gig or otherwise they could get to that city without an issue. Not a cheaply as they could from within the U.S. but never the less it could be done. If a Canadian actor was filming a show for an extended period they could stay in a hotel or rent a place, hell they could even own a U.S. condo or home that they could stay in while working. (just like a lot of snowbirds do). A U.S. Visa would allow them to work there with no issue it would just mean that they would pay taxes in both jurisdictions. Canada and the U.S. The Canada/U.S. Income Tax Convention was signed in 1942.
U.S. Citizens however are taxed at a different rate than Canadian Citizens to the point that a U.S Citizen, paying U.S. taxes working in Canada will keep a lot more of their money in their pocket than a Canadian Citizen, working in the U.S., paying Canadian taxes. It’s a substantial difference. This is why, I believe, there is an entertainment and professional emigration south of the border. Can you blame someone for wanting to keep more of their money, isn’t that what we would all like to do?
I’ll end on another Howie quote "I ring the bell loud and clear every time I'm on something, that I was born and raised in Canada and I'm Canadian," said Mandel. Maybe he should add I just don’t want to be taxed to death in Canada!
I am a concerned Canadian that is fed up seeing companies and people leave Canada due to the high cost of doing business and living.