Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson

Now that it’s spring, in the lower mainland anyway, I think it’s time to start working on our readiness to celebrate the fact that Canada is in its 150th year of confederation.

You may have been here your whole life or just arrived last week. Not to worry. I plan to introduce you to enough data about being a Canadian than the Citizenship test.  Enough data that you’ll be a star on July first and amaze the beavers, loons, sasquatches and the (non-hockey playing) Canadian Senators.

So here goes – there will be a test – You’re a Canadian if:

  • You know what a toque is, and own one.
    • You know how to pronounce “Saskatchewan” (hint: ends in “win”)
    • You watch hockey….with Punjabi play by play! ‘mareyaa shot, keeta goal.’
  • The proper name for Mac & Cheese is Kraft dinner!
    • If you’ve rolled up the rim only to be politely requested to ‘please play again’
  • If you can tell a visitor who asks what is a Canadian, five things we are not.
    • The cost of a thought (as in penny for your thoughts?) has jumped to 5 cents.
    • You know who Nick Adonidas, Relic are and where Mollie’s Reach is.
    • You know that Don Cherry isn’t an Okanagan breakfast wine
    • You can talk about the weather with anyone at any time (What about that rain eh?).
    • You know that the Americans Have Sixty Minutes, but we have an hour with just 22 minutes.
    • You know that Ottawa is the national company town and Toronto is the centre of the hockey universe – NOT – (but just play along, they just start sniffling and mumbling something that sounds like “go Leafs – and remember we have the…. Sh…. Caunucks)
    • The biggest Province is Ontario, Iroquois word “kanadario”, which translates into “sparkling” water. The population is 13.06 million people. The smallest province is an Island, with 145,000 people. It had the biggest name “Prince Edward Island” until they were upstaged by Newfoundland and Labrador (another island of storm-staid story tellers).
  • You know that Nanaimo Bars come from Smithers (just kidding) can’t argue with Wikipedia, which said the bars have a murky origin at best, but posted that some unconfirmed references date the bar back to the 1930s, when it was said to be known locally as “chocolate fridge cake.” One modern reference even refers to the bars’ existing in nineteenth century Nanaimo, and there’s no truth that they smell a bit like a pulp mill.

People from elsewhere have some interesting perceptions about the country as well:
• Such as the couple that arrived at the Peace Arch one morning and asked how long it would take to get to Banff because they had a lunch meeting there.
• Why does the ATM give me Canadian money? I’m using my American bankcard!
• What time do they turn on the northern lights?
• Where can I buy some totem pole seeds?

And here are some questions posted online from people interested in coming to Vancouver for the Olympics (Thanks to Snopes).

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto – can I follow the Railroad tracks? (Sweden)

A: Sure, it’s only Four thousand miles, take lots of water

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (UK)

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do
Q: Which direction is North in Canada? (USA)

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)

  1. We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.
    Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)

A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

So there you have it! The daily struggle of being Canadian. Well, you’re now ready to meet our adoring public during Canada’s 150th birthday. Oh, and one final thing.  The last letter in our alphabet is ZED. Now you too can speak Canadian eh!