Canada

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The Canadians are a people of the extreme centre. They have not been averse to the quiet life...nor keen to spend more money on defence or effort abroad.
Margaret Thatcher's diplomatic team, actually believing this to be an insult[1]

Canada, or Soviet Canuckistan, or America Jr., or the United States of Liberty and Education is the second largest country in the world by total area (after Russia[note 1]) and fourth by land area, eh.Wikipedia's W.svg It is a crowned republic located directly north of the contiguous United States.

Americans and Canadians generally have no grudges against each other. But minor disputes do come up from time to time, as is expected in any relationship. [note 2] Indeed, the two remain close allies and major trading partners for most of their respective histories as nation states. As of 2016, the two countries are rank equally on the human development index, sharing the tenth spot. When adjusted for (wealth) inequality, however, the Great White North slips to eleventh place while its Southern neighbor drops to nineteenth.[2] The Economist ranks Canada as more democratic than the US.[3] While Canada is officially on the metric system, you will still find US customary units being used.

Canada is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Its capital is Toronto[note 3] Ottawa, Ontario, and its current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, lives in a palace in the United Queendom. She is officially referred to as the Queen of Canada while she is on Canadian soil, making her family the Canadian royal family. Canadians forget that she exists if she's not mentioned in the news or until a foreigner asks them who that woman on their colorful gay monopoly money is.

The incumbent Prime Minister of Canada is Justin Trudeau.


Language/Langue[edit]

Canada has two official languages: Canadian English and/or Canadian French (or Quebecois), a dialect of French that native speakers of European French find quaint and rather amusing.[note 4] Canadian spelling uses lots of extra U's and E's for no reason, but uses the letter Z about as much as American English (i.e. -ize instead of -ise). There is still a veiled rivalry between the English and French parts of the country, exemplified in each of their respective expressions for fleeing cowardly, "To go the French way" and "Filer à l'anglaise" (translated as "To run away like the English").

Most Canadians pronounce the last letter of the alphabet, "zee", as "zed."[4]

Some strange language-related laws have been enacted over time. For example, Law 101, which allows signs to be publicly displayed in Québec only if they are mainly written in French. If there is another language used (not just English), the caption has to be 50% smaller. The law also stated that company names had to be entirely French, which explains why the coffee chain "Tim Hortons" doesn't include an apostrophe before the trailing "s", because that would make it English, therefore evil, even if the company was founded by hockey player Tim Horton. Some other chains like "Taco Bell" simply boycotted the whole province rather than translating their name to French. The province also had its own language police who was tasked with fining companies that didn't respect the language laws, mostly in ethnic neighbourhoods like Chinatown. There is an urban legend in Montréal about a parrot that was arrested by the language police after multiple offences of repeating an ad slogan in English in front of a store. Luckily, the death penalty had been repealed in 1967 for such horrendous crimes.

Health care/Assurance-maladie[edit]

Canada has had universal health care since 1966. Over 70% is provided by government tax revenue, while around 27% is paid through the private sector for prescription drugs, dental care, among other things. Richer Canadians may head South for healthcare because, while it is uncommon for Canadians to die while waiting for specific medical operations, they do sometimes prefer the slightly faster American system, for those with deep pockets, that is. However, they also do not have people dying from treatable illnesses and conditions because they could not afford to pay for their treatment, something that happens constantly in countries without universal healthcare such as the United States.[5]

A good majority of Canadians[6] are satisfied with their coverage. This has been evident in almost every study released. Essentially, if a high-ranking politician ever planned to privatize it, there would be mass protests in the streets. Don't think it would happen in friendly, peace-loving Canada? Nobody expected this either. The moral of the story is to distrust stereotypes. The inability to buy shares in hospitals motivated some far-right individuals to label the system as "designed by godless communists".

If you are from a country that wants to implement universal healthcare, Canada's system certainly works and has proven to be popular among Canadians, but may not be the best one around.[7]

Gay marriage/Mariage gai[edit]

They let homosexuals get married there for quite a while now since 2005 in fact.[citation needed]

Firearms/Armes à feu[edit]

Although firearms are more regulated there than they are in the United States, in terms of the number of citizens who own guns and the number of guns owned total, the Canadian populace is every bit as armed to the teeth as the US. Interestingly, despite this, Canadians refuse to shoot each other at anything approaching the same rate.[8] Since Canada doesn't have an equivalent doctrine to the "Castle Law", shooting an intruder is always considered a homicide. In case of home invasion, it is actually faster to run away than to access any firearms that have to be stored unloaded with a trigger lock inside a locked cabinet inside a locked room and finding the ammunition which also has to be stored separately in a locked box.

Multiculturalism/Multiculturalisme[edit]

Canada was the first country in the Western world to adopt multiculturalist policies, under Pierre Trudeau in 1971. Since then, it still has one of the highest immigration rate in the world.[citation needed]

To the shock of Islamophobes, Canada, having some of the most lenient LGBT rights and abortion laws available, has had comparatively little problems integrating Arabs into secular society compared to Europe.[9] The most significant terrorist plotWikipedia's W.svg was halted due to the efforts of Muslim CSIS (Canada's CIA) agents, Sharia was banned in Ontario after conservative and moderate groups lobbied against it,[10] and the electoral riding with the largest Muslim population in Canada continues to elect openly gay politicians.[11] YouTube commenters also went crazy when they saw a Sikh RCMP officer repping the flag at a Stanley Cup game.[12]

It is, however, a mistake to consider Canada to the a thoroughly secular country. While Canadians tend to reject organized religion, many still hold religious beliefs. For example, 67% believe God exists and 53% think He plays an active role in the world. Of the entire population, only 19% declare they are non-believers. Population growth due to immigration likely contributes to the continued significance of religion in Canada.[13] A recent poll reveals that about half of all Canadians view Islam unfavorably, though that number is increasing, with Quebec leading the way.[14]

Indigenous affairs/Affaires autochtones[edit]

It is estimated that 1.3 million (3.8 per cent of) Canadians have Aboriginal ancestry, half of whom are Registered Indians. In the Constitution Act 1982 Aboriginal peoples of Canada include the Indian, Inuit (once called 'Eskimos') and Métis peoples (ethnic groups formed from mixed Aboriginal+French ancestries). Indians registered under the Indian Act are termed Registered Indians (once called Status Indians) and are entitled to benefits which may not be available to other Indians.

The gap in life expectancy between Indigenous Canadians and other Canadians is now seven years. Infant mortality rates have been halved since 1981 but are still higher than those of other Canadians. The unemployment rate of Registered Indians on reserves is three times the Canadian average. Between 1984 and 1994 the percentage of Indian children remaining in school until year 12 doubled to 75 per cent and post secondary enrolments tripled. In 1997-98 federal expenditure on indigenous matters is estimated at C$6 billion (0.7 per cent of GDP).

The Constitution Act 1867 assigned exclusive legislative authority to the Federal Parliament over 'Indians and lands reserved for Indians'. The Constitution Act 1982 entrenches Aboriginal rights in the constitution and requires the federal and provincial governments to consult with Aboriginal people prior to making any legislation that relates directly to them. Indigenous people's lands represent 6.3 per cent of Canada's land area; they control access to minerals in most of theses areas and receive royalties or compensation for mining. The Canadian Government's 1998 'Statement of Reconciliation' included a declaration that:

"As a country, we are burdened by past actions that resulted in weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples, suppressing their languages and cultures, and outlawing spiritual practices. We must recognise the impact of these actions on the once self-sustaining nations that were disaggregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of Aboriginal people, and by some provisions of the Indian Act."

The Statement included an apology for the Government of Canada's role in the development and administration of special residential schools:

"Particularly to those individuals who experienced the tragedy of sexual and physical abuse at residential schools, and who have carried this burden believing that in some way they must be responsible, we wish to emphasise that what you experienced was not your fault and should never have happened. To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry."[15]

Illegal immigration/Immigration illégale[edit]

The government of Justin Trudeau has been trying to correct its previous message that entices prospective immigrants to come to Canada because it gives the false impression that Canada has an open-border policy. Some of them even entered the country thinking the Prime Minister invited them.[16] There has in fact been a surge in the number of illegal immigrants across the US-Canadian border recently.[17][note 5] So far in 2017, more than 32,000 asylum claimants have crossed the border into Canada, many of whom "irregular".[note 6][18] That number will likely continue to rise due to a combination of the excesses of the Trump administration and the miscommunications of the Trudeau government towards refugees. Under the Canada-United States Safe Third Country Agreement, a refugee who lands in Canada cannot claim asylum in the U.S. and vice versa. This is intended to prevent refugees from "country shopping", so to speak, since both the U.S. and Canada consider each other a "safe country". Unfortunately, this agreement has gaping loophole: it can be circumvented by avoiding official ports of entry.[19]

Official estimates suggest Canadian immigrants lead the world in unauthorized visa overstays in the U.S.[20]

Baseball/Le baseball[edit]

Canada is also the only country outside the United States to have a Major League baseball team. Currently the Toronto Blue Jays are the only Canadian team that is part of the MLB; however, at one point there also was the Montreal Expos (who emigrated to Washington, D.C. in 2004 and became the Nationals.) ("Expo" was short for "Exposition" in reference to a fair held in Montreal in 1967.[21]) The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992 and 1993, despite having a Canadian on the team. Rob Butler is the only Canadian to win a World Series with a Canadian baseball team. Ever since the Expos - who played in an awful stadium and had their only potential championship season cut short by a strike - left, there has been talk about MLB moving or expanding into Montreal once more. Of course, half of the Franchise relocation talk in any sport is just to extort money out of cities to build the existing franchises bigger stadiums.

Beer/Bière[edit]

Canadian beer drinkers are especially proud of their beer. In fact, beer commercials account for roughly half of all displays of Canadian patriotism since the most popular beer happens to be called Molson Canadian.

Food/Nourriture[edit]

Poutine (not to be confused with Putin or putainWikipedia's W.svg) is the national dish and is made of French fries, 'hot chicken sauce' and cheese curds. It is commonly served at Canadian McDonalds. The American version in northern states often substitutes cheese curd with shredded mozzarella.

Canadian bacon (not the movie) is referred to internally as back bacon and is often maple-flavored.

The city that fun forgot/La ville que le plaisir a oublié[edit]

Ottawa, Canada's capital city, is supposedly "The city that hosers fun forgot", but it is probably the international adultery capital of the world; about 20% of residents have Ashley Madison accounts.[22]

How Canada got its name/Comment le Canada s'est fait nommer[edit]

Way back when Canada became a nation, a group of citizens met at a Tim Hortons Country Style to decide what the new country would be called. Somebody just happened to have a game of Scrabble and they decided to take turns drawing letters, and thus would the country be named. The first person drew the letter C and called out, "C, eh?" The second person drew an N and called out, "N, eh?" The third person drew a D ("eh?").

Ha ha. But seriously, it's a misunderstanding of the Huron-Iroquois word for "village" (kanata).[23]

Just to be clear, Canada has nothing to do with Kannada, a Dravidian language spoken in southern India.

Science/Science[edit]

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA)[note 7] currently has in orbit the Microvariability and Oscillations of STars (MOST), or colloquially the Humble Space TelescopeWikipedia's W.svg, the smallest of its kind.[24] Its name is likely a reference to its American counterpart, the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the largest ever put into orbit. Speaking of space, the Canadarm, a remarkable feat of robotics, plays a key role in the logistics of the International Space Station. It was in fact the first piece of robotics of any size being deployed in space. Although the algorithms used are quite commonplace nowadays, it was a true technological breakthrough in the 1980s, when it was introduced. There are now two such devices, the original Canadarm and the Canadarm 2, working in tantrum.[25] The CSA partners with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) for many of its projects.

In medicine, diabetes patients can thank Canadian medical researchers who first isolated insulin. They earned the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1923.[26] More recently, the Canadian Public Health Agency, in collaboration with the United States Army, succeeded in creating a vaccine against the Ebola virus.[27][note 8]

Unfortunately, however, a recent survey reveals that a surprisingly large number Canadians confuse (scientific) facts with opinions, as are that of those holding unscientific views. Fifty-two percent of respondents think genetically modified food is unsuitable for consumption. This is in fact one of the topics in which there is a stark contrast between the scientific consensus and public opinion. Forty-seven percent do not believe in the reality of (anthropogenic) global warming and climate change. And nineteen percent assert there is a link between vaccination and autism. In all, one sees a widespread lack of understanding of the scientific method, which is not healthy for a democracy. On the bright side, though, a majority would like to better understand science and how it affects the world.[28]

Science fiction/Science-fiction[edit]

One of Canada's main exports is science fiction shows, such as the Stargate franchise, Sanctuary, Lexx, and Orphan Black. Also The Starlost, though Canadians pretend that didn't happen. Sydney Newman, creator of the British science fiction show Doctor Who, was also Canadian. Also, science fiction novels by Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Charles Wilson, Spider Robinson, and other dudes with the syllable "Rob" in their names. And Cory Doctorow. And William Gibson[note 9].

...and Margaret Atwood. And William Shatner, who plays Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.

Humo(u)r/Humour[edit]

Canada comes in for a lot of mockery, mostly from Canadians and Americans. Despite that, dozens of ostensibly funny sources, including Stephen Colbert,[note 10] The Simpsons,[note 11] South Park and others, return to the same tired subjects. Research shows there are only 7 12 jokes aboot Canada, eh (no doot aboot it):

  • Céline Dion/Alanis Morissette/Justin Bieber/Bryan Adams/Nickelback/Avril Lavigne/Justin Bieber/Carly Rae Jepsen are terrible (Bieber deserves to be mentioned twice).
  • It's really cold/there's lots of snow/winter lasts 11 months/they live in igloos/they drive dogsleds.
  • Polar bears roam the streets/Everybody has a pet moose.
  • Canadians say "eh?" and "aboot" (But in reality, they never do. Sarah Palin, however, does).
  • Canadians apologize for everything (They apologize for apologizing too).
  • They drink lots of beer.
  • They play hockey.
  • They don't use real "dollars" (except in 2007 and 2011 when the Canadian dollar was worth more than the U.S. dollar and the joke suddenly reversed itself).
  • The colourful money was copied from the game Monopoly.
  • The streets are paved with maple syrup.
  • All police are Mounties and still ride horses.
  • Every restaurant is a Tim Hortons (1 per capita).
  • They are incredibly polite except when it comes to Hockey, eh?
  • Their flag is a fucking leaf.[29][30]

In short, they tend to be stereotypes and should be categorically ignored.

Blame Canada!/Blâmons le Canada![edit]

Canada is featured in the song "Blame Canada" in the South Park movie. The humorously derogatory lyrics include:

No, blame Canada, blame Canada!

With all their beady little eyes and flapping heads so full of lies
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
...
It seems that everything's gone wrong since Canada came along.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

They're not even a real country anyway![31]

See also/Voir aussi[edit]

Sexy Canadian videos (SFW)/Les vidéos canadiennes sexy (SFW)[edit]

Notes/Notes[edit]

  1. But if Russia keeps on shrinking, soon they will be first, as long as Québec does not secede.
  2. Now kiss.
  3. Formerly York, the capital of Upper Canada (modern day Southern Ontario), Toronto is one of the country's largest cities, however.
  4. There is also a rural Quebecois dialect called "Joual", which nowadays is used mostly to confuse European French tourists.
  5. Most entrees came from Haiti, and unhappy countries in the Middle East such as Syria.
  6. That's Trudeau's euphemism for "illegal".
  7. Not to be confused with the Confederate States of America, which Canada, like her mother country, Great Britain, sympathized with.
  8. Maple leaves and bald eagles make a great team. :-)
  9. He was born in the USA, but dodged the draft during the Vietnam War.
  10. Don't worry, we love him all the same.
  11. Homer: "Marge, anyone can miss Canada. All tucked away down there."

References/Références[edit]

  1. Declassified documents reveal British views of 'inordinately sensitive' Canadians, The Globe and Mail
  2. 2016 Human Development Report. United Nations.
  3. http://www.sudestada.com.uy/Content/Articles/421a313a-d58f-462e-9b24-2504a37f6b56/Democracy-index-2014.pdf
  4. At least 10% of the population.
  5. Canada’s Health Care System: Fact and Fiction, University of Toronto
  6. Never mind the anecdotes: Do Canadians like their health-care system?, Chicago Tribune
  7. https://nyti.ms/2y8MqzM
  8. Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore et al.
  9. See for yourself.
  10. Voila. The reason why this went through relatively easily was because it gave the finger to all religious arbitration courts (as true secularism would expect).
  11. Conclusions on a Stunning Ontario General Election, TVO
  12. OMG a Sikh!
  13. Canadians May Be Vacating the Pews But They Keep the Faith: Poll. National Post. April 13, 2017.
  14. Nearly half of Canadians view Islam Unfavourably, Survey Finds. Global News. April 4, 2017.
  15. Indigenous Affairs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America, Norway and Sweden
  16. NPR — Canada's 'Welcome' To Immigrants Has Some Unintended Consequences
  17. CBC News — Trudeau to asylum seekers: Crossing border illegally won't fast track immigration
  18. More Than 32000 Asylum Seekers Have Arrived in Canada So Far in 2017. National Post. September 28, 2017
  19. Why Canada’s border problems will only get worse under Donald Trump. The Globe and Mail Editorial. August 7, 2017.
  20. Canadian Immigrants Lead World In Illegal U.S. Visa Overstays, According To First-Ever DHS Estimates. Latin Times. February 4, 2016.
  21. World's fair § cite note-3Wikipedia's W.svg
  22. Ottawa, the city fun forgot, tops on infidelity website ( Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:30pm EDT) Reuters.
  23. How Canada Got Its Name
  24. MOST-A tiny satellite probes the mysteries of the universe. Canadian Space Agency. June 9, 2010.
  25. https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/behindscenes/rms_anniversary.html
  26. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/about-insulin.html
  27. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/health/ebola-vaccine.html
  28. Canadians are confused about science vs. opinion, poll suggests. CBC News. September 20, 2017
  29. source one
  30. source two
  31. "Blame Canada" lyrics