A Money Coach in Canada

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I don’t remember a season of such unrest as this one. Debt Ceiling Crisis in the States. Riots in the UK. Greece on.the.brink. The stock market plummeting and rising and plummeting. And that’s just in the western world.

If ever I’ve been grateful to be Canadian – land of “socialism” to some, where we riot about silliness like hockey outcomes (I’m not making light of it, just grateful it wasn’t about regimes), land of regulated banks and a good, strong dollar, land of one of the lowest debt-to-gdp ratios – if ever I’ve been grateful, I am now.

And I’m grateful too for our political tenor. Our talk is far from ideal, to be sure, and often very bitter, but so far on the whole we stop short of the vitriol I see in other countries. And we should. If my brief stint in the heart of politics up here taught me anything, it’s that politicians, even those whose approaches are angering, are trying their best to create a system that (in their opinion) will be good for the city, territory, province or Canada.

Which brings me to Jack Layton. I’m no NDP-er (I’m Green, and far too capitalist). But Jack Layton by all accounts was a thoroughly decent person. And we said that about him before he died! He was somewhat of a Canadian-style Obama. Talked sincerely about hope, but without excess charisma. Was passionate about social justice … yet comfortable with something as ordinary as “Orange Crush” (Orange Crush?!?) as a de facto campaign slogan. No celebrities made amazing mashups and sang songs for him, but his mustache sure made the rounds. All so Canadian.

And finally to send us all a simple letter, written to be published after his death, not filled with polished rhetoric, yet closing with these simple, straight-up words:

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

Damn. I’m content to be Canadian.
RIP Mr. Layton.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Trinidad

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. He was a fine man!

    It depresses me how even his dignified departure can’t help but highlight the disproportionate influence in Canadian politics of (fracking) Quebec: Quebec’ers made a big difference in the current parliament by electing a lot of NDPs, and Canadians now have a real choice in politics (“we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters”) because Quebec’ers finally stopped electing separatist sabotage politicians to the national parliament.

    I looked up the riding of the successor. Surprise, surprise, it’s in Quebec.
    Jan Karlsbjerg´s last [type] ..Northern Voice 2011 – Conversation Starters


    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    Hi Jan.

    I’m not as convinced that it’s a bad thing his successor is from PQ, only in that, presumably, it will solidify and confirm Quebecers support of the NDP. If the NDP is to continue to be a serious contender, it will need Quebec’s continued backing.


    Jan Karlsbjerg Reply:

    That was kinda my point: Quebec has far too much influence on Canadian politics.

    As a lot of South Africans once said: One man, one vote. 🙂
    Jan Karlsbjerg´s last [type] ..Northern Voice 2011 – Conversation Starters


    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    heh. oh boy. Welcome to Canada. Dissertations fill Library on that topic and political careers are won and lost by the way they approached this topic. When I was a kid, the west was so mad about that there was pretty serious talk about separation of our own.

    Aug 22, 2011
  2. Kathryn Anderson

    Hear, hear Nancy. Hear, hear.


    Aug 23, 2011

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