Archive for October, 2012

Canoeing is not something really easy to do, mainly if there are two Mexicans in the same boat
October 26, 2012

*Guest post from Mexican Jesús Rendón, on the anniversary of his first year spent in Canada.

1. Down is something very important. I am an animal supporter, but have to confess I bless ducks for such feature, also, they are not sacrificed, are they?
2. Sun in these latitudes sets earlier and despite the fact I am not a depressive guy it does affect me a little bit.

3. Not all Canadians are  bilingual (you will find some Canadians speaking more than 2 languages though!), however, they are such kind and nice people, always willing to help others (ok ok, there are some exceptions, it’s like saying all Mexicans are lazy :p).

4. Not sure why Europeans consider North America as only the USA and Canada (I always thought their education system was excellent, again, surprises :p).

5. There is no better song to get bears away from you than “Guantanamera”, especially if it’s sung by a beautiful girl and two handsome guys with a beautiful voice of course.

6. “Schmetterling” is the nicest word in German :D. Oh and touching the German topic… Germans are (most of them), really easy-to-love people, they are not cold and bored as I thought.

7. More than 6 Coronas don’t make you a king but a happier guy.

8. “Bienvenue” is used in lieu of “De rien” in Québec.

9. Canoeing is not something really easy to do, mainly if there are two Mexicans in the same boat.

10. If you mix more than one language, what stops you to mix the systems of measurement too? After all, mixing is good!


Heritage Minutes: Ones you’d actually want to see
October 16, 2012

It has recently been announced that the Historica Dominion will be bringing back the Heritage Minutes (funding partner-finding permitting). While the Minutes are generally beloved by all English-Canadians, there have been some criticisms that they present a patriarchal (none about women after 1918) and colonial vision of Canada. Try watching this one without noticing that it ends with an Aboriginal person kneeling, actually kneeling on the floor, before a white woman

So I’ve taken the liberty of imagining a few scenarios for future Minutes that highlight the really important (and slightly less problematic) aspects of our heritage:

1-    Cabin in the woods, circa 1900. Boy inside sits next to the fire with some toast but is dismayed to find that the butter dish is empty. He asks his mom for some margarine. “I’m sorry little Tommy, margarine is illegal in this country. Only Newfie bootleggers can get ya some of that stuff.” Tommy looks off forlornly into to frozen abyss while a voiceover reads: “And so margarine remained illegal in this country until a shocking decision of the Supreme Court in 1948, which boldly pointed out to the government that they cannot make something illegal for absolutely no justifiable reason.”

2-    Scene: Palace of Westminster, London, 1868.  A frustrated little Nova Scotian, weary after a long boat ride, is pleading with the officials: “Sirs, I complain that the Parliament of this country, by an Act passed in the last Session, overthrew the constitution of the colony of Nova Scotia, and destroyed a description – nay, in fact, a reality – of independence which had existed in that colony for nearly 100 years. You handed over our Government and destiny to another colony and parliament which is to sit at Ottawa, distant not less than 800 miles from Nova Scotia. I therefore petition this government to release Nova Scotia from the Canadian confederation.

And so the British Prime Minister answers, “There is not, in my opinion, in any colony a stronger feeling of loyalty than there is in Nova Scotia, nor do any of our colonies possess a population with more business-like and active intelligence. In short, Ottawa needs you! Motion dismissed. Now be on your merry little Canadian way.”

The Nova Scotian boards a ship home, starring across the Atlantic toward Canada, his new home. A slightly arrogant voiceover points out: “Canada: easy to get into, impossible to get out of,” and then giggles.

3- Then there is this one:

4-    Winnipeg, June 14, 1985. Two young kids on the street.

“What should we do today Skeeter?”

“How’s about we kill, rob and maim some old ladies?”

“Good idea, Chip. The best part is that all laws in Manitoba were declared unconstitutional yesterday, so Manitoba is totally like one big legal vacuum.”

“Sweet, we can totally get away with anything. Let’s go steal some maple syrup and force an Indian to stoke a fire for us.”

“Dude. Sweet!”

Voiceover: In 1985 the Supreme Court found all Manitoba laws invalid, as they were not translated into French as the constitution mandated. Unfortunately for Skeeter and Chip, the Court used a process of delayed invalidity. Skeeter and Chip are now serving life sentences in prison where they eat nothing but margarine and burnt toast.

It actually happened:

Supreme Court Margarine Reference:

Nova Scotia was Québec before Québec was Québec

We do not pay nearly enough attention to Manitoba: