10 more facts and opinions about Canada

Today, July 1, 2009 is the 142nd birthday of the world’s second-largest nation. As a follow-up to last year’s wildly successful Canada Day post in which 10 facts and opinions about Canada were displayed for your elucidation, delectation, dissection and desecration, we bring you:

10 more facts and opinions about Canada.


  1. Lyin’ Brian Mulroney, much-detested former Prime Minister who took six years to declare to tax authorities that he took nearly a quarter-million dollars in cash in secret hotel meetings from a businessman now awaiting extradition from Canada to Germany to face charges of fraud, bribery and tax evasion, comes by his nickname honestly.
  2. Canola, another name for rapeseed, is a Canadian invention. I always thought it meant “because in the late 70s we became too politically correct to refer to something by its real name, so had to invent something stupid to replace it” but now I hear it actually means CANadian Oil, Low Acid.
  3. Two Canadians are whalin’ the tar out of each over over a bottle of beer. That’s MY brewski, eh? says the first Canuck. No way, eh? That’s MY brewski, says the second, but now ya got yer backwash on it, ya can have it. The first one takes and hauls off and pounds tha livin’ be-jeesus out of the second, the second grabs a chair and wings it half-ways ta breakfast across the bar but hits a moose mounted on the far wall instead. Moose wakes up and says: hey you guys, knock it off, eh? The hockey game’s on in five minutes. They turn to each other and say, gee, sorry. You OK? Yeah, I’m all right.
  4. That also passes for humour in Edmonton, Alberta.
  5. The Canadian Flag depicts the Maple Leaf in the centre flanked by two red rectangles. The rectangles are the exact size and shape of a case of 12 Molson’s stubby bottles when observed from the side.
  6. Manitoba, a province many are happy to say they no longer inhabit, used to have the following road sign every 10 miles: Keep heading west until you hit BC. Nothing to see here.
  7. In the other direction it said: Turn around! BC’s the other way!
  8. I’ve been to Winnipeg.
  9. Way too often.
  10. Last year’s list was better.

This post was not sponsored by VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger rail service. Choose VILE. You’ll wish you’d flown.

26 Responses to “10 more facts and opinions about Canada”

  1. 1 Vorpal
    July 1, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I like the joke (at least I think #3 is meant as a joke, but it probably did happen in Edmonton). Is there, like, a contest to see how many expressions in there are unique Canajunisms?

    For entertainment, ask a non-Canuck English speaker to translate:
    Pass me a serviette, eh? I just dropped poutine on my toque.

    Happy Dominion Day! to all.


  2. July 1, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Happy Canada Day!

    I think I get the first two Canajunisms in that sentence, but I don’t know the last one…

  3. July 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Happy Canada Day! #3 is great.πŸ™‚

    • July 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm

      About #3 – “…take and haul off and…” Is that a Canadianism? I really don’t know, but this miner from Quebec named Mr. Blanchette who used to live in our town used to talk that way. He’d take and do this or haul off and do that. One day he said he’d take and haul off and plow someone if they didn’t shut up.

  4. 5 indeterminacy
    July 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Michael Jackson faked his death so that he could run away and start over in Canada.

  5. July 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    In the other direction it said: keep heading east until you hit Spain.

  6. July 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, adorable photo, btw…

  7. July 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Happy Canada Day! It’s a lovely 16C here this morning. We have a garbage strike and a city workers’ strike so Canada Day celebrations have been officially canceled but unofficially are happening anyway. Our PM is a tad scary, kind of a Bush junior, but otherwise I figure we will just keep on being ourselves.

  8. July 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    That’s a wonderful factoid about Canola oil — I’d always assumed rapeseed was a no-go for its name too.

    Here’s one in return: the word artisan bread bakers in Italy use when talking about good, hard wheat flour is simply Manitoba.

  9. July 3, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I did not know the Canola thing, but have recently been wondering what is Rapeseed? (sounds scary)

  10. July 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Ian – do you know if “backwash” used in that sense is a Canadianism?

    Hope you have a great holiday, you lucky dog!

  11. July 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I love your daughter’s hair

  12. July 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    **** the police, they must be making it up… can’t fly a kite with 2 strings… really!

  13. July 6, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I’ve had a customer for a couple of years whose boat is named “Beauty, Eh!” After reading your post I called him up and said, “By the way, are you Canadian?” Sure enough, he is. He asked what tipped me off and I told him it was the boat name, and that I’d figured THAT out by reading the blog of a Canadian in Germany. He thought that was pretty cool.

  14. July 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks Ian, many humourous anecdotes about my lovely homeland! The folks who are still here don’t seem to appreciate it as much so it’s nice to read your posts. I feel almost nostalgic even though I haven’t left yet.

  15. July 9, 2009 at 3:51 am

    He’s from Toronto – good guy. He’s an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine – been here for years, though he has family there still. We joke that I need to put him on retainer. My mom’s had a cracked tibia, a double ankle fracture, a hand reconstruction and double rotator cuff surgeries in the last 15 years. I never know what’s next. When this fellow heard the litany of injuries, his advice was to tell her to stop playing soccerπŸ˜‰

  16. July 9, 2009 at 6:14 am

    I guess you’d have to be a high-earner to afford the nice boat. I’ve heard the first thing you should do when you buy one is cut a hole in the upper deck in which to pour cash.πŸ™‚

  17. July 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Another fun factoid from you – raps – thanks!

    Durum is semolina. Manitoba is very similar to what we’d call bread flour, high in protein and made from hard winter wheat. It has slightly more protein than bread flour sold to consumers.

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