Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alberta Will Sue Tobacco Companies

Alberta Justice Minister Alison Redford announced the province's intentions to file a statement of claim against tobacco companies within the next 12 months on Monday (October 25, 2010).  This brings the count to four Canadian provinces filing a lawsuit against the tobacco industry to help recover some of the health-care costs of treating smokers.  Provinces that have already filed lawsuits are British Columbia, Ontario and New Brunswick1.

My gosh, from this Canadian's perspective this really does open up a whole can of worms!  While the tobacco industry is responsible to some degree for advertising and glorifying the use of tobacco products they cannot be held solely responsible for the use of those products.  Tobacco products have been in use in Canada well before Canada's confederation, well before tobacco companies were established and quite frankly if all the tobacco companies went out of business the use of tobacco products would continue.   Individuals have the responsibility to make informed decisions as to what products they will or will not use.  The warnings against using tobacco products have been out for more than a couple of decades and yet that doesn't stop people from using them.  The taxes have been increasing on tobacco products driving the price upwards and that doesn't stop people from using them.

In short the provinces should not be going after just the tobacco industry.  They should be seeking a way of holding tobacco users accountable for their use of tobacco products AND they should specifically target those who have in any way affected the health of others through exposure to their secondary tobacco smoke.  To play devil's advocate here another thing to consider is just exactly what are these provinces going to do if they suddenly find themselves not getting the tobacco tax revenue?  Well you can bet your bottom dollar that they will come after the taxpayers to recover that loss.  They will come after the taxpayers to cover the costs of the actual lawsuits that will likely be very long, very drawn out and very costly.  It doesn't help that the cards are stacked in favour of the tobacco industry as well.  Lawsuits will not be effective at getting those who smoke to quit or prevent those who don't smoke from starting either.

This is one battle the provinces involved would be well advised to not even tackle.  The money would be better spent on smoking educational programs especially at an earlier age, smoking cessation programs, more smoking bans, higher medical insurance premiums for smokers and any other way possible to discourage smoking.  Lawsuits are not the answer in this case!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tim Hortons is in the News

Tim Hortons, the Canadian iconic coffee-and-donut shop chain is in the news.  They are teaming up with the North West Company to open three kiosks in Nunavut's capital city, Iqaluit.  It is one of the last places in Canada to have a Tim Hortons.  Apparently Tim Hortons fans on daily flights from Ottawa to Iqaluit were bringing back dozens of donuts.  That is good news for Iqaluit if you don't take into consideration the environmental impact of Tim Hortons' disposable cups and increased litter.  Tim Hortons say their disposable cups are now recyclable or can be composted however Iqaluit lacks the necessary recycling and composting facilities.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Missing Canada

We often vacation outside of Canada and we own a vacation home outside of Canada so we have ample opportunity to compare the Canadian way of doing things to what we see outside of Canada.  Let me say there are so very many things I miss about Canada when away.  Some things seem small but others honestly are big in my books.  I'm used to being accused of having a Canadian accent which apparently I do have even though I don't think I have one.  I seriously miss some of our native cuisine and the way just something as simple as cottage cheese tastes.  One of the biggest things I miss is our Canadian manners.  I'm serious I really miss the politeness.  What the heck is wrong with saying please, thank-you and using other civilities?    I honestly cannot believe the rest of the world has not heard of these terms.    Oh and I will go that extra mile to say if I hear the term y'all one more time, I will have a serious problem ever traveling outside of Canada again.  I'm not kidding!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mounted Police in Canada

By far the most recognized mounted police in Canada and a true Canadian icon is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) often referred to as the Mounties.  The RCMP is the federal police force that has jurisdiction Canada wide.  There are several RCMP detachments throughout Canada with a total of 28,700 officers over 15 districts. However, other municipalities across Canada have regional or municipal mounted police.

The Niagara Regional Police Service (NPRS) Mounted Unit serves the Niagara region. There are four trained mounted police in the NPRS Mounted Unit that act as ambassadors at special events while providing effective policing within the community.  Other mounted police units across Canada include:

  • Calgary Police Service Mounted Unit
  • Halifax Regional Police Mounted Patrol (2 horses) 
  • Montreal City Police Service Cavalry (11 horses, 10 officers)
  • Toronto Police Service Mounted Unit (25 horses, 45 officers)
  • Vancouver Police Department Mounted Squad (9 horses, 7 officers)
  • Victoria Police Department Mounted Patrol

There was a large presence of mounted police at the G20 in Toronto, Ontario that included members from several mounted units including the RCMP.  While the mounted police do perform the role of ambassadors their effectiveness at controlling the rioting that broke out during G20 Summit in June was quite evident.  The mounted units are used for crowd control during demonstrations as well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

RMR: Longism

In recent Canadian news the focus has been the long gun registry and the long census form.  Once again Rick Mercer turns politics into a bit of humour.  He really is a national treasure! It looks like the entire showing would have been a good laugh from all the video clips.  Unfortunately I did not get to see it.  At any rate, in his ultimate way of explaining all things pertaining to Canadian politics, here is his take on the Conservative Longism.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

RMR - Region Against Region Rant September 28, 2010

Oh my gosh, it would appear that the Rick Mercer Report was a good one on September 28 and I missed it! His rants are usually pretty good and they do present very valid viewpoints.  This is an excellent rant based on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's comments on Canadian regions in follow-up to Cabinet Minister's John Baird's recent comments on the long gun registry vote.  Harper actually went on the news to "say the people of the regions of Canada will not stand for this".  This statement alone shows that Harper views Canada not as a nation united but as one made up of regions, something that has been quite apparent in much of his decision making.  He really is not working towards Canada as a nation and that is what is making him ineffective as a Prime Minister.  Here is Rick's rant on the regions statement.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

RMR: Front Page September 28, 2010

Canadians in general love to poke fun at other Canadians and why not because a good sense of humour is a Canadian tradition.  Heck when our land is covered with snow a good portion of the year a sense of humour goes a long ways to making life pleasant.  Poking a bit of fun at other Canadians is more than acceptable but poking fun at Canadian politician, well now, that is a must do.  Keeping the Canadian constituents happy is why our politicians are so gracious in providing ample opportunity for us to poke fun at them.  It's the Canadian way.  Here is a recent clip from my favourite Canadian funny man, Rick Mercer.  Enjoy!