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Not something to be proud of

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I am taking a break from the regularly scheduled programming following "Idiot-gate" in order to point out that Canadians should be a little red-faced.

Not because we somehow managed to elect a parliament full of yahoos who are willing to let the economy crash and burn while they argue about who gets to be the king of the sandbox.

Not because we are still exporting asbestos to third-world nations even though we know it’s bad for people and we’ve pretty much banned its use here and we won’t even agree to a treaty that would ensure we warn the people we are shipping it to that it’s dangerous.

Well, we should be red-faced about both of those things. But today I’m talking about us being red-faced because we’re apparently cheapskates.

On a list of the most giving jurisdictions in Canada, Manitoba is number one. Yay us.

But we are only 37th out of 64 jurisdictions in North America. And Canadian provinces occupy 12 of the bottom 20 spots on the list. Not so yay us.

Americans apparently donated more than double the percentage of their aggregate income to charities in 2006, compared to Canadians.

This is the season of giving, people. Let’s kick it up a notch.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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