Join Date: Apr 2006
50 things Americans should know about Canada
Some pointless thing off some facebook group:
We're you're closest neighbour. We're your largest trading partner, and your closest ally. Still, there's a lot of stuff you don't know about Canada. Here are fifty things for you to educate yourself with...
1. We DO NOT have snow all year round. We DO NOT live in igloos. We DO NOT ride around on dog sleds. We DO NOT have to check the back yard for polar bears, before we let our kids go out to play.
2. Stop asking if we know somebody in Canada, when you find out we're Canadian. We DON'T know everybody in Canada.
3. Canadians do not find, "Say 'eh' for me," to be particularly funny.
4. Our president is called a Prime Minister.
5. We have never had a Prime Minister assassinated. Although we've been tempted, a few times.
6. We're a lot bigger than you, in land mass, but our population is considerably less. The populations of Los Angeles and New York City would be around 30 million people. The entire nation of Canada has around 32 million people. Due to the fact that most of our country is in the northern latitudes, we huddle close to the border, for warmth. (That's a JOKE.)
7. In the War of 1812, we kicked your butts. The reason why your Whitehouse is white is because we set fire to it and it was whitewashed to hide the damage (for propaganda purposes). The west wing was almost completely gutted. Some Americans will say that THEY won the war. However, to win, a party must reach their objective. Your objective was to take over British North America (what Canada was called then), our goal was to stop you. You don't have any more northern territory along the Canada/US border than you did before 1812. So who won? (Alaska doesn't count, you BOUGHT that state from Russia.)
8. A form of baseball was played just outside of Toronto, Ontario three weeks before Alexander Doubleday played the 'first' game of baseball in your country.
9. We do not find the term "Canuck" derogatory, like Americans find "Yank" derogatory. It apparently originated during World War One. Your soldiers were call "doughboys" ours were called "Johnny Canucks". I think the British coined the term, but I'm not sure.
10. We did not have a "Wild West". The forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties), the Northwest Mounted Police, kept the peace. Due to the fact that they were a national police force, you could not escape their jurisdiction. They always got their man. Or woman. We have had our share of outlaws, though. Many famous pirates had their headquarters on the east coast of Canada.
11. Speaking of Mounties, they do not all ride horses. So don't try to outrun them if you see their lights in your rear view mirror.
12. We get the same TV shows and channels as you do. So don't ask "Do you get [name of show] up there in Canada?"
13. We are not "just like Americans", we have our own national identity, we just haven't figured out what it is, yet. Someone once said that, "Canadians are unarmed Americans with health care." That pretty much sums it up, I guess. We are internationally (but unofficially) known as the "World's Most Polite Nation."
14. Our national animal is the beaver. Sure it's just a rodent, but they're not even CLOSE to being extinct. You can still get money for beaver pelts. It is NOT our main unit of exchange, we have money, just like you.
15. We do not find the fact that American wear Canadian flag pins (so they can get better treatment in Europe) very amusing. So stop it.
16. Contrary to popular belief, the Klondike Gold Rush happened mostly in Canada, not Alaska. American prospectors were stopped at the border and had their liquor, gambling paraphernalia and firearms confiscated by the Mounties.
17. We have Thanksgiving in October, so we don't look like copycats (it IS an American originated holiday, after all). However, we celebrate Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Passover and other holidays at the same time you do.
18. We were formed, as a nation, in 1867.
19. We do not trade in beaver pelts, blankets and gunpowder. We have currency. Unlike you, however, we have a two dollar bill. (Although you had them during your bi-centennial celebration.) Actually, our two dollar bill is a COIN. Our bills have pictures of birds on them and are multi-coloured. Our one dollar coin has a picture of a loon on it, so it's called a "Loonie". The two dollar coin has a picture of a polar bear on it, so it's called a "Toonie". (Don't ask, I'm as confused as you are on this one.) There are plans afoot to mint a five-dollar coin, we have no idea what to call it.
20. November the 11th is called Remembrance Day, up here. It is a day when all Canadians honour our war dead and the veterans who are still amongst us. It's significance is that on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the Armistice was signed, ending World War One.
21. Not every Canadian speaks French. In fact, Canada is the only country where speaking French is not cool.
22. We spell words differently. Honour, valour, defence, neighbour, colour, centre and other words are from the British way of spelling. We also pronounce the last letter of the alphabet "zed", not "zee".
23. The Queen of England is not our national leader. She's' just a figure head and somebody to put on our money with the birds. (Some Royalists in Canada will have something different to say about his, but they're a minority.)
24. In Canada the term "bilingual" does not mean the person can speak two languages, it specifically means "speaks both English and French". Canada has two official languages, they are (coincidentally) English and French.
25. Members of our Senate are appointed by the national party in power. It is a life time position. Even though they are not elected by the people, they can still control government legislation.
26. Our states are called Provinces. We even have three Territories.
The provinces and territories are, from east to west:
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Yukon Territories Northwest Territories
27. Our governors are called Premiers.
28. Our Federal Governments are formed by the party who received the majority of votes (just like your system). Unlike your system, we do not vote for the person who we would want to be leader of our nation, we vote for the local representative in the territory they are responsible for (called a Riding). The party who had the most local representatives (seats) voted in -- is the ruling party. The party who came in second is known as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. (This is done because we have more than two national parties.) The Opposition's job is to keep the ruling party honest and prevent them from getting into any skulduggery. (It doesn't always work.) We have elections every four years, but the ruling party can call an election earlier, if they so choose.
29. Our Prime Minister does not have a limit on how many terms in office they can do. The most recent record is held by Liberal leader Pierre Eliot Trudeau who stayed leader of the country for around 16 years. It is known as the Trudeau Era. A WWII era Prime Minister, William Lyon MacKenzie King, served for longer than this, by the way.
30. We have had a women Prime Minister. Her name was Kim Campbell. She was Deputy Prime Minister (that's what we call our Vice President) when the Prime Minister of that time, Brian Mulroney, quit. There was an election shortly after that (the Deputy PM is not allowed to finish the term, like the Vice President is).
31. You don't have to be born in Canada, to be Prime Minister.
32. Many Canadians have never played hockey in their lives. There are many who do not like hockey.
33. Besides, our national sport is not hockey, it's lacrosse. It's one of the few sports that originated on the North American continent, it was played by the indians.
34. We didn't invent hockey, we just made it better.
35. Canadian football is different. The Canadian Football League (CFL) has larger end-zones, the football is bigger, and they have one less 'down'. We don't support it much and a few teams have gone bankrupt. Despite the fact that many say it is better than American football, others (who don't particularly like Canadian football) use the expression "run, pass, kick" to describe the game. Apparently, they feel this best describes every offensive strategy in the CFL.
36. Even if an "American" team wins the Stanley Cup (the "World Series" of hockey) it doesn't matter to us, because all your best players are Canadian.
37. On the other hand, if a "Canadian" team wins the World Series we ignore the fact that all our baseball players are American.
Continued... cause message is 11803 characters & CF allows 10k. :/