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Corporate Work in the US vs. Canada?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the are-they-really-all-that-different? dept.

Businesses 1309

No One You Know asks: "I've been working as a sysadmin for an insurance company in the US for the past six years, and have decided to move to Canada. I've had it with corporate America, but I'm trying to keep an open mind while job hunting. How does Canadian corporate life compare to that of the US?"

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Another FP for me! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132750)

i am the awesome jackson.

frist post (-1, Offtopic)

bkirkby (133683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132752)

frist post

Dodging? (-1, Troll)

nizo (81281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132761)

have decided to move to Canada

Well at least you won't have to worry about getting drafted into the "war on terror" anymore!

Re:Dodging? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132832)

Everyone knows that Canada is just the USA's penis extension. Corporate Canada can't be the different, except for the fact that there are more French.

Re:Dodging? (5, Informative)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132844)

This is not true. Canada and the US have an agreement that Canadians entering the US and Americans entering Canada are still subject to the draft of either country.

The ever-popular "dodge the draft by fleeing to Canada" no longer works.

Re:Dodging? (0, Offtopic)

JohnDoe.Slashed (717301) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132874)

Instead of that get ready for SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT II...

Speaking as a Canadian... (4, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132762)

...you'd better like back bacon. That's all I should have to tell you.

Re:Speaking as a Canadian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132803)

Is that what you call Canadian bacon?

Re:Speaking as a Canadian... (1)

ThomK (194273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132915)

Actually Canadian bacon is called "peameal".

Greatest difference: (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132842)

Mandatory toque.

Hope you don't mind permanent hat hair.

Re:Speaking as a Canadian... (5, Funny)

still_sick (585332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132846)

All you need to know about Canada : Less Handguns, More Beavers.

Yes, but significantly less ... (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132929)

beavers armed with handguns.

"Stay the hell away from my dam or I'll shoot!"

Re:Speaking as a Canadian... (2, Funny)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132869)

listen to this guy he knows what he's talking aboot

I live in Canada (4, Informative)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132949)

I would say its much harder to get a job, but the people are pretty nice. I would say you'll deal with the most crap in Quebec. Its hard to set things up as the burecracy is huge.

If you've got a job, go for it! You'll pay more in taxes than the states, but you'll have a good quality of life.

visa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132763)

Can you just move to Canada... like that? Don't you need a work visa or something?

Re:visa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132813)

I think you mean 'visum'.

Meet the new boss (5, Interesting)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132764)

...same as the old boss. Corporate life in Ireland, Germany, Holland, France and here in the US is the same, mostly. I've work at least one year in each of those countries, for local and American corporations. Varying degrees of formality and autonomy, but basically the same crap in different languages.

Re:Meet the new boss (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132877)

I'm just curious; how'd you manage to get all these different jobs? It seems like it might be an interesting way of seeing more of the world outside the US, even if the jobs themselves aren't that great.

How was living in the different countries? Which were the best and worst places?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132767)

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons. It's not too bad, but still Dilbert-like. The people I talk to on the phone from here are much more laid back than the Americans, though.

DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132769)

FUCKING FAGGOT

How does Canadian corporate life compare (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132770)

Well, since you work in an igloo, you need to dress a little warmer than normal.
Also, you do not get breaks for lunch. You just have to drink uRINE FROM A GOASTS ASSHOLE!

YUCK! DIRTY GOAT ASSHOLE URINE!

Re:How does Canadian corporate life compare (1, Funny)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132836)

ok... that's really lame... but i find it really really funny

Do you know how to speak Canadian? It's like English, but some people speak French. I think it's because they are under the impression that they are in France. This impression is wrong. They are in Canada!

Canadian-French is to French as Ebonics is to English

Re:How does Canadian corporate life compare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132950)

This does not make sens, its worst then the chewbacca defense, it does not make sens, why would a wooky live on endor you say? For no reason at all, this does not make sens!

It's a lot like American corporate life (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132776)

It's a lot like American corporate life, but instead of just bad bosses, you also need to watch out for those asshole fracaphones from Quebec.

Watch out... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132777)

everyone has square heads and rides on bicycles with square wheels!

Canadian business (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132781)

same sh!t .. different country .. less money.

Exchange rate (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132840)

No joke ... the Canadian dollar is NOT strong against the U.S. dollar right now. Be prepared for your lower salary to not stretch as far as you'd like it to.

Conversely, it seems like a great time to live in Canada if you can get paid in U.S. dollars by an American company...

Re:Canadian business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132847)

& better beer.

Blah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132783)

Score -1, Pro-USA

Well.. (2, Funny)

mindstormpt (728974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132785)

they have those guys with the red jacket on top of a horse..

That must change things a lot

Stupid Ask Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132786)

Corporate culture varies by company, everywhere in the world. In Canada, I've worked with 'old' business corporate culture and more relaxed corporate culture.

Internationally, I've found much the same thing. It's a matter of the company's history, the people who invest in it/own it, the people who are there.

What a dumb thing to Ask Slashdot.

Canadas not So Bad,.... (5, Funny)

nevek (196925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132788)

Except for pea-soup-eating separatists, the annoying weather, the sports teams that never win, (go calgary), 90cents a Litre Gas, and 15% Sales Tax!

But we do have Beer!!

You seem to have forgotten ... (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132880)

mandatory minimum Canadian content radio/TV.

Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot and Rush!

Re:Canadas not So Bad,.... (1)

urmensch (314385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132902)

But we do have Beer!!

No [labatts.com] you don't [molson.com]

We do [bellsbeer.com] .

Just kidding :)

I'll probably get modded troll, but it's true! (5, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132789)

People don't speak so loudly. [ducks]

Re:I'll probably get modded troll, but it's true! (2, Interesting)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132878)

We have them in New England, they're called "rotaries" here. And frankly, if you've ever driven in New England, you'll know why in this imperfect world of ours, rotaries are not superior to traffic-lighted intersections: because most people either don't know or don't care what the YIELD sign means!

Oops, exchange rate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132792)

The job may still be bad, but at least you get paid less.

Why do I live in Canada again?

Two Words... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132794)

... Tim Hortons

Three Words... (3, Funny)

Plake (568139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132865)

..Maple Walnut Dip

Re:Two Words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132937)

Gotta tell ya, Tim can suck my Krispy Kreme. Normally I'm all for protecting Canadian things, but I've been to the new Krispy Kreme in Calgary (Kalgary?), and I have seen the promised donut.

Let me tell you how it differs. (5, Interesting)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132796)

People are not nearly so uptight as in the US. Gor crying out loud, we had an office party here for Christmas and everyone got a drunk &#8212 those who didn't still sang and danced and had a good time. Contrast this with my experience with typical American office parties where they order some bland catered food, sip on mineral water and itch at their cotton-polyester blend polo shirts waiting to go home so they can work some more.

There's much more of an "open collar" atmosphere in Canada. Everyone trusts everyone else, we're all ready to get to know one another, and we certainly don't stay uptight after the regional manager has ended his visit to our office. Working in Canada is much less conducive to heart attacks.

Re:Let me tell you how it differs. (1)

Bryan Gividen (739949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132859)

Did you work for the bland catering service, the mineral water company, or the polo shirt making company? Seriously, what US office party are YOU going to...?

Re:Let me tell you how it differs. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132888)

There's much more of an "open collar" atmosphere in Canada

Yes... but you have to suck each others dicks.

Re:Let me tell you how it differs. (1)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132923)

I can attest to this. While in the US I'm not even allowed to drink yet, up here I get free beer on "Thirsty thursdays" when everyone in the studio hangs out and drinks.

By the way, I'm an American working in Toronto as a 3d animator. I like it here.

Re:Let me tell you how it differs. (1)

cadfael (103180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132932)

Yep. Canadian culture is much more relaxed (or just far less tense).

Re:Let me tell you how it differs. (2, Insightful)

infochuck (468115) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132939)

People are not nearly so uptight as in the US. Gor crying out loud, we had an office party here for Christmas and everyone got a drunk

You sure you aren't just working for the wrong people? Lots of places throw a x-mas party, and there's even alcohol on occasion.

My current employers throw parties whenever they can, and the boss is usually the most drunk. 'Sgot nuthin; to do with the country. Though there are other reasons Canadia appeals to me...

Well... (0, Troll)

EmCeeHawking (720424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132797)

It's basically the same, except you get paid less and you're taxed more. Also, instead of the company providing health insurance, you get state-provided health care that is roughly about as good as health care in Uganda.

Re:Well... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132883)

Let's all go to Uganda to by cheap pills then.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132944)

And speeling checkers!

Not quite. (5, Informative)

leoxx (992) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132924)

I can't speak for everyone, but I get paid more than my counter parts in the USA (and I can compare directly, as I am in a services company with employees in the US too). My income taxes are about equal, although sales taxes are higher. Finally, our health care is no worse or better than that in the USA [yahoo.com] , and costs half as much per person to run.

Less fear of outsourcing, maybe? (2, Interesting)

bcore (705121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132799)

I have no idea if this is actually a difference, but I definitely find that IT workers here (in Toronto) are not one bit concerned about outsourcing..

Of course, I have no idea if the general IT population in the states are either, or if it's just especially strong here on /.

PS, what's with the OP's website? (1)

bcore (705121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132868)

If you visit the OP's website, it appears to be more or less a fansite for Canada.. :)

Re:Less fear of outsourcing, maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132908)

Thats because you already work for outsourcing wages. Why worry about outsourcing when you are the bottom of the barrel?

Re:Less fear of outsourcing, maybe? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132912)

Maybe they're just more educated about the overstated impact of outsourcing compared to the natural churn of job losses/gains in the economy as a whole.

Re:Less fear of outsourcing, maybe? (1)

Bryan Gividen (739949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132928)

People on slashdot over-reacting to something? No... (/end sarcasm)

Very similar to some degree (2, Insightful)

genkael (102983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132800)

Many of the companies in Canada are just counterparts to American companies. Specifically I'm referring to MNCs (multi-national corps). However, the environment is a little more easy going unless they are a division of an American company at which point that can be more difficult to work for. I've worked in the past with Canadian divisions of an MNC and this was usually the case. Smaller companies are still the way to go. You might want to look into a Canada based insurance company since you have some experience in a similar environment.

Outsourcing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132801)

How is the outsourcing situation there?

Don't Get Sick (-1, Troll)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132802)

The companies are pretty much the same, but the government services are even crappier than in the US.

Don't Get Sick. Or if you do, come south of the border and pay for a doctor in cash. You'll get better service faster than waiting for the Canadian national health service to get around to you.

Hope you don't like guns, because Canada is rabbidly anti-gun.

Bob-

Re:Don't Get Sick (2, Informative)

Garak (100517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132927)

Healthcare greatly varys from province to province. Its not national, its provinical.

Re:Don't Get Sick (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132933)

What are you talking about? Maybe the media source I've seen are biased, but allegedly Canada has more guns per capita than the US does. Of course, this is probably mostly rural folk who have a lot of rifles and shotguns. When you say "guns", do you actually mean "handguns"?

Re:Don't Get Sick (2, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132951)

So 9/11 was all the fault of the gun control lobby and the communists? Anybody else you'd like to blame while you're at it? How about the Jews?

Stay in the United States please. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132805)

Canada does not need more "War on Terror" Americans wrecking what Canada does have left. We really don't need anymore immigrants taking what little jobs are left.

Stay in America, and be proud. Oh yeah, good luck with the draft coming up.

Re:Stay in the United States please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132922)

A "War on Terror" American probably wouldn't move to Canada, unless required to by his job.

Re:Stay in the United States please. (1)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132934)

To quote South Park:

Dey took are juubbs....

Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132806)

Prepare to get raped by taxes.

Wage Slave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132809)


and we call ourselves free, although we spend what little time we have on this planet working, weird species

Corporate reality (0, Redundant)

ssmith39 (179625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132811)

With American companies, the day they hire you they are trying to figure out how to lay you off. The reality is, we're all independent contractors (easier to limit the unions).

Privat Sector Baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132812)

Move Here. [tourismvictoria.com] and Look for work Here. [bcpublicservice.ca]

Leaving the country is a bit over the top (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132815)

Cananda is not the 51st state and moving there isn't like moving to North Dakota.

If you are unhappy with corporate life in the US, get out of corporate life, not the US. Insurance is one of those industries dominated very large companies. Lots of rules, regulations and PHB. Go find a (stable, profitable, non-high tech) company with 80 - 200 employees. It is a whole 'nother world working for a small to midsized company.

Well... it depends. (2, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132818)

If you like being unemployed, or simply working without getting paid, being a sysadmin in Canada is just fine.

Do I sound bitter? Well... maybe I am, just a touch.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132822)

My job was outsourced, so now I'm moving, does anyone know of any openings in Canada ?

Socialist Country.... (-1, Troll)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132827)

Just realize you will be paying 50+ percent of your income to the Fed, will have subpar healthcare (but it is universal) and will be lucky to find a decent paying job. With all the weird labor laws in Canada most companies hire contractors rather then actual employees, since it is so difficult to fire and hire people. And be prepared for MORE bueracracy, being a socialist country the Canadians LOVE red tape and most people take there jobs WAAAAYY to seriously. Oh and don't forget the French, those whacky French speaking Canadians make the real French seem practically friendly.

And yes I did actually work in Canada for 6 months made me glad to come back to my job in the states.

Re:Socialist Country.... (5, Informative)

puppetman (131489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132870)

Uh, I make a six figure income, and my tax rate is around 35%. Yes, every dollar I make over $110,000 is taxed at 50%, but the first $7000 I pay no tax, and the tax rate increases from there. Taxes aren't much worse than California.

Taxes in California are HIGH (2, Funny)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132917)

Funny you would compare it to California, which is one of the highest (if not the highest) in the US ;)

Re:Socialist Country.... (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132930)

Don't forget the 7% GST on everything and your provincial sales tax too

What kind of dollars? (1)

runlvl0 (198575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132947)

Of course, those are CANADIAN dollars. (Today, up to 72 cents!)

Heck, it's a lovely country! I'd emigrate except for the toilet paper money and their barbaric gun laws.

Full disclosure: I live in Texas.

Re:Socialist Country.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132925)

That doesn't sound like the Canada I work in.

Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132828)

Well we already have your TV channels and some province in far east wants to separate. On the other hand I don't know if there is any differences in the corporate world. If you want to call in sick be ready to Fedex in your first born and 8 hour days still apply (lunch does not count).

jumping ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132833)

go ahead , im sick of hearing about fair weathered americans who are moving to "better" places like canada.

Exactly the same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132838)

Barring tax laws and perhaps a slightly more liberal outlook on life, the corporate environment is exactly the same in both countries. "Eat or be eaten".

It's aboot the same aye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132848)

A bit more polite and you get to stay under the nuclear umbrella!

Canada cities (1)

ArCaNe50 (587961) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132850)

No its not like the USA in terms of B2B you drive out of the city and there is farms for hundreds of kilometers. So B2B and interoffice operations are much different. Not to mention the weather or the difference in population. These things have an effect on new job openings that the USA simply does not have.

Why don't you quit working for corporations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132852)

There are other places to find work besides a corporation. What is your problem?

language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132856)

So... eh?

It's no different (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132857)

You will find the same exact politics and frustrations at a Canadian company that you find at an American company. The only benefit to working in Canada is a different level of social responsiblity, less personal independance accross the board and, of course, much better beer. Mean people are mean people whether they live in CAN or the US. Bad management is ubiquitous to the World. They do put a bit more effort into their breakfast pastries, however. The girls are easier to fool, and, perhaps the most important is that you find its really cold.
Don't forget that you CANadian is pretty much an ameriCAN.

You make less (2, Offtopic)

nate nice (672391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132861)

You will probably make less and are paid in Canadian dollars, so that 60K a year isn't as nice as it sounds. You will also pay higher taxes. But, you also gain free health care as well and have more public facilitties. Also, you can take pride in the fact that your tax dollars don't go to humiliating and tortuing Iraqi POW's.
Also, it's really, really, really cold in Canada. Hope you like Hockey! Keep in mind, your boss will still suck.

Same Shit, Different Pile (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132862)

I'm sorry to say that you won't find the corporate life all that different. What you will find different (authority: i have worked in the usa and now live in canada) is in canada people don't care as much if you smoke weed or not and think your health care should be free. there's arguably less racism in canada, but a friend of mine once said "at least in the USA they'll be racist to your face". I do believe canadians are less xenophobic, though.

YMMV

Grass Is Greener (5, Insightful)

Hrolf (564645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132867)

Generally, variability within different U.S. companies (corporate culture and procedures) is greater than that between the U.S. and Canada (or the U.K., or Australia), so it depends on where you wind up.

French areas (5, Insightful)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132872)

Can't say much about corporate Canada, but as someone who switched countries when I was 25 I can say there is a lot to be said for going somewhere with a new language and culture. French orientated areas of Canada offer great opportunities for this.

First few weeks are difficult, but people have a lot of patience if you are seriously interested in learning thier language.

In a few years you will find that you have not only become bi-ligual, but bi-cultural, you will be able to switch between different ways of thinking, frankly it really broadens then mind.

Then, who knows, next stop Europe! If nothing else it is a great thing on your CV!

What? (-1, Redundant)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132882)

What are you talking aboot?

As a Canadian... (5, Insightful)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132886)

It works like this: you get paid less and taxed more.

In exchange it costs slightly less to live and hostpitals won't turn you away.

Differences can be regional (1)

Dav3K (618318) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132894)

You will find things tend to appear more casual on the west coast (ie. Vancouver) but to call it 'laid back' would be incorrect. Some of the most competitive positions I have held were there. However, dress code tends to be casual. I would compare Vancouver with Seattle - climate is similar, and so is most of the corporate culture.

The other tech-hub, Toronto, is very similar to most larger US cities and other than subleties, you will find little difference. Both places boast dynamic and competitive markets, and the cost of living is somewhat comparable. (moderately high)

Sad News ... Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, dead at 46 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132895)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Actor Fatty Arbuckle was found dead in his New York home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

I should ask my co-workers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132896)

Since they came here to work.

Now they are doing their best just to stay employed and remain in the US...

Language differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9132911)

Every sentance ends with an "eh?"

Standard Canadian Joke (5, Funny)

SmegTheLight (521218) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132913)

Fat geeks in Parkas look just as big as skinny geeks in Parkas.. Girls you meet will never know until you get them back to your igloo.

Much tougher (1)

indros13 (531405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132921)

Well, the work isn't so bad, but they might not let you read Slashdot at work anymore, eh?

Where was capitalism born? (1)

imidazole2 (776413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132941)

In the US. Thats where it stays.

Got a job offer already? (3, Informative)

jonesvery (121897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132943)

Slightly off topic, I suppose, but you know that the unemployment rate in Canada [statcan.ca] is currently higher (7.3% April 2004) than the US unemployment rate [bls.gov] (5.6% April 2004), right?

And you're a Canadian citizen or have compelling reason to believe that you'll be offered a work visa (personal connections, obscure and valuable skills)?

One nice thing about working in Canada... (5, Insightful)

fpp (614761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9132946)

I never worry about my office building/city/town getting targeted by terrorists. That's not to say it won't ever happen, but when was the last time you heard anyone say, "Let's get those damn Canadians"?
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