At CPAC 2010, Jonah Goldberg described Canada as "a Northern Puerto Rico with an EU sensibility".
Fast forward to 2012 and the Puerto Rico of the North is doing a lot better than the US by some measures:
Canadians are feeling pretty good about themselves these days. On the country’s 145th birthday this past weekend, they were greeted with news that, on paper at least, Canadians are now wealthier than Americans. Mostly as a consequence of more stable housing prices, the average Canadian household now has a net worth slightly greater than the average U.S. household.
We've come a long way from when National Review would argue that "a little invasion is precisely what Canada needs". (Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister back then, it was a very different time.)
The substantive point to make is that since the 1990's Canada actually undertook many reforms that increased its stability and made it capable of weathering the economic crisis:
But luck has been also accompanied by good government. The Canadian federal government cut spending and raised taxes during the buoyant years of the 1990s, turning a big budget deficit into a surplus. While deficits have reemerged in the wake of the recession, Canada’s fiscal position remains much stronger than the United States. Canada’s banking system is more conservative than its U.S. counterpart, insulating the country from the financial crisis; in 1998 the government blocked two proposed mergers among the country’s biggest banks, and Ottawa has maintained a heavier regulatory hand. Immigration has brought new vibrance to the economy, and Canada has done a reasonable job of targeting skilled immigrants. Canada halved its corporate tax in the 2000s, helping attract investment, even as the U.S. corporate tax rate has become the highest in the world.
There is an unspoken rule that you can't write a blog post about Canada unless you refer to a Worthwhile Canadian Initiative. At this point, it is clear there is more than just one Canadian initiative that Americans could learn from.