The idea that Canadians are fiscally prudent is a farce to anyone in-the-know. Most Canadians live paycheque to paycheque, have no savings, overuse their credit cards and HELOCs and are overleveraged on their real estate assets. The collective 'we are better than the US' mentality is a joke since the average Canadian's personal balance sheet looks just like their American cousin's balance sheet from 3 years ago.
The only thing fiscally prudent about Canada is that our banking system was never 'transformed' to the US / European model back in the 90s, with no small protest from the banks. Because of the high reserve ratios that the banks are required to maintain and with no small help of taxpayer backed mortgage loan guarantees via CMHC, it is not surprising that Canadian banks are phenomenally profitable. Mind you, in a credit contraction, bank earnings will be far from stellar.
In a related note - Canadians need to save more - according to David Dodge