With the arc hazard emphasis these days I like the main breaker section covers. It allows work in the panel with almost no chance of accidental contact with the incoming lines hot.
I can't disagree there. It just looks so sloppy when all of the branch circuits must enter through the sides and bottom of the panel (or mount it horizontally) which we can't do. The "on" position of a breaker has to be either up or sideways (horizontal), but can't be down, meaning that a panel mounted horizontally wouldn't be permissible since half of the breakers would be a violation.
As long as you are pointing out differences the Canadian code has at least prevented appliance makers from using the neutral for bonding. I think most new US made ranges have 4 wire cords now?
Sort of. Ranges and dryers aren't actually shipped with cords attached, but they are equipped to work with 3- or 4-wire circuits with a bonding strap modification. If someone buys a new range or dryer, they still must purchase the appropriate cord set to match their existing receptacle. The only time that 4-wire circuits were required in the past was when the circuit originated from a sub panel. Now, 4-wire is standard but we still have to provide the cord separately. They will have to allow existing circuit installations to be "grandfathered". It's unrealistic to expect a homeowner to have to run a new circuit if they purchase a replacement appliance. Even if that was a requirement, I guarantee that 90% of the DIY'ers wouldn't do it.
Given that we both use the same basic distribution I am surprised the two codes are not almost the same. I really think the US code is written by lawyers and the Canadian code by electricians and engineers who are trying to write rules like lawyers.
It's generally understood that the manufacturers of electrical hardware and cable call the shots in the preparation of changes to the NEC. Some of the 2008 code changes are painfully obvious of this fact.
For the most part US and Canadian electricians make similar installations. Now if only you could get rid of all those electrical workers. You know the ones I mean; carpenters, plumbers, guys off the street, etc.
You figure that one out and I'm moving to Canada myself!