By Haddon Libby

Every year, I like to write an article for our Canadian friends who are visiting us for the winter.  Sit back, enjoy your double-double with some poutine or a jambuster, and get caught up on news from the Great White North.


Canadians are less fertile than they were 60 years ago.  Statistics Canada reported that Canadian women were having nearly 4 children each in 1959.  Today, it is 1.3 births.  Misinformation centers like X, Facebook and Instagram had many non-doctors stating that the decline in fertility was due to the COVID shots.  Caitlin Dunne of the Pacific Center of Reproductive Medicine states that the reasons are related to lifestyle changes, better contraceptives, and people in their 30s and 40s looking to have children.


Here in the United States, the fertility rate is 1.8 births per woman which is half the 3.6 level of 1959. Israel has the highest birth rate at 2.9 while South Korea is the lowest at 1.1.


Unemployment in Canada at present is 5.7% yet labor participation rates is at an all-time low of 65.3%.  Stated differently, only 3 in 5 Canadians of working age are working.  Underneath the figures is a trend toward part-time work suggesting that the 5.7% rate is lower than it would be if adjusted for folks who want a full-time job but can only get part-time jobs.  The US labor participation rate is 62.5% with unemployment at 3.7%.


Canada legalized euthanasia in 2016.  Termed Medical Assistance in Dying (“MAID”), the program is available to people over 18 years of age who are suffering from a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition’.  MAID can be applied to any disease, illness, or disability where the medical condition is not expected to get better.  The applicant need not have a fatal condition to request MAID, they just need to be mentally competent to request the assistance.

Where the MAID program was responsible for 1% of Canadian deaths in 2017, it now represents 6.6% of deaths in Quebec and 5.5% of deaths in British Columbia.  Critics say that the elderly and poor are being pushed into the program due to poor living conditions, inadequate access to healthcare facilities and poverty.

A new amendment to the law will allow the mentally ill to enter the program.  For now, that effort is on hold as few psychiatrists want to sign off on euthanasia for the mentally ill.  As one would expect, the Catholic Church is against all of this and urging the country to consider palliative care as an alternative.


Canadian geese in Ontario are dying from the Avian flu.  Residents of Kingston, Ontario are being urged to get flu shots and keep their pets away from goose feces.  At present, the country has 33 active avian flu warnings from Newfoundland to British Columbia.


Wong Sai Heung, a 40-year-old Canadian national, recently opened the emergency door of a plane preparing for take-off in Thailand.  Authorities are not sure why Heung opened the door, but they took him off the plane and sent him to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.  According to Thai law, Heung could face a fine of up to 800,000 baht ($22,300 US), up to 20 years in jail or the death penalty.  As Thailand has not executed a felon since 2018, it is unlikely that Heung will face a severe sentence.


The Canadian Folk Music Awards will be held in St. John’s this year from April 3 – 7.  Festival director Julie Vogt says event will be “jam-packed…with folk, folk, folk, folk.” Nominees for Folk Artist of the Year are Abigale, the Blooms, Aaron Collis, Paige Penney, Paul Pike, and the Swinging Belles.

Haddon is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Winslow Drake Investment Management.  For more information on our services, please visit