Randomly, on Canada Day

Ah, another fine Canada Day, and who would I be if I didn’t take a minute to write something about the fine country I’m so proud to live in. This is tradition, of course – I’ve done it almost every year I’ve been blogging. There are Canada Day posts from  20042005, 2006, 2007, 20082009, 2010, 2011,  2013 and 2015 for your reading pleasure.

This year I give you: Ten Random things about Canada.

1. There is no cultural taboo about discussing religion or politics in Canada. As a matter of fact, most of us discuss politics everywhere we go. Coffee shops, dinners, parties, the bank… political debate is a sport here. It’s not considered rude to bring up either of those topics. Note: Though religion and politics are fine to talk about, as a a culture, we don’t care for them combined.

2. In Canada, we have no major politicians or parties opposed to equal marriage, which we’ve had uneventfully in place since 2005.  It is a political non-starter in this country, and this weekend, the Prime Minister will walk in the Pride parade here in Toronto. (Me too.)

3. It is free for me to send a letter to the Governor General, The Prime Minister,  the Speaker or Clerk of the House of Commons, the Parliamentary Librarian, all Members of the Senate, all Members of the House of Commons, or the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. Any of those people can send me a letter for free too, as long as we’re both in Canada. Note: Not a package. Just a letter, and if an MP wants to send a letter to all their constituents, they can do that for free too, just only four times a year. We’re Canadian. We like restraint.

4. Santa Claus lives in Canada, and his address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0.  If you send him a letter from anywhere in the world, you’ll get a letter back, almost always in the language you wrote to him in.  This is because he is a magic elf, and also, Canadians are really nice.

5. In 2013, we got rid of the penny.  Our only coins now are the $2, $1, quarters, dimes and nickles. Everything still has prices on it like we have pennies though.  If something costs $1.99, and you pay with a card, it costs $1.99.  If you’re using cash the shopkeeper will round it up or down.  Like a lot of things in Canada, this sounds like it would never work, but everybody is doing it and it’s totally fine.

6. While Canadians have free speech (except for hate speech) and freedom of the press, it’s illegal to lie in broadcast news. There’s a law that says they “shall not broadcast any false or misleading news.” This can make the news sort of boring, especially when it comes to politics, but also means that Canadians can pretty much trust what we hear. This makes #1 less volatile.

7. There is a law against “pretending to practice witchcraft.” Actual witchcraft isn’t illegal, it’s find to be Wiccan, for example, but if you say you can perform magic for money, and then you don’t? That’s a crime.

8. The Canadian Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II, not the Prime Minister.  What’s that you say? The Queen of England is Canada’s head of state? Nope. The Queen of Canada is Canada’s head of state, she just happens to have that other job too.  She’s not around much though, so we have a Governor General to be her viceregal representative. The Governor General is also the Commander in Chief of the Canadian Military, except if the Queen is here. Then it’s her.

9. Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t join Confederation until 1949. My husband’s parents weren’t born in Canada, their birth certificates read “Newfoundland” as their country of birth. That means that although their families have been here for a long time, and my husband was born the same place they were, he’s a first generation Canadian.

10. In Canada, when a family has a baby (by birth, or through adoption) the new mother can take a paid maternity leave of up to 15 weeks. After that, “parental leave” applies – either parent can take another 35 weeks of paid leave after that, and the parents can share the leave however they like. They can both claim it, and stay home together for half the time, or the mother can take the whole thing. That’s 50 weeks total, and your boss can’t give away your job. There’s some problems with this, like that we haven’t figured out how to extend it to all self employed parents, and there’s a cap on how much you’re paid while you’re off (it depends on your income level, 55% for wealthy Canadians, and up to 80% for lower income ones) but for most Canadians, it’s a more or less paid year off when you have a baby, and that’s a pretty sweet ride.

11. I know. I said there would be ten, but I can’t resist this one. When our Prime Minister was asked why he’d selected a cabinet that for the first time in Canadian history, had an equal number of men and women, he repliedBecause it’s 2015″.

There you have it, a little slice of Canada for you, on it’s 148th 149th Birthday. (Whoops! Typo!) How about you, my fellow Canadians? Anything you want to add? Any wild or wonderful tidbits about our quirky and kind country?  Have at it in the comments, and keep your stick on the ice.

Happy Canada Day!

(PS. If you want to immigrate here, you can check here to see if you’re eligible. We have lots of room.)



226 thoughts on “Randomly, on Canada Day

  1. I especially looked for your Canada Day post (I fell behind in reading this past month)! Thank you for reminding us what is so cool about our northern neighbor. Thank you, also for sharing your lovely daughter’s wedding with us.

  2. Dude!! It’s our 149th birthday! I know this on account of the ridiculous amount of advertising here in Ottawa for the mega-party we are throwing NEXT YEAR for the 150th birthday. I can do maths! 😀

    I hope your day gets less rain than ours ended up with. It is why I am indoors and checking my phone for sheltered stuff to do with the kids today, and reading your blog instead of getting sunburnt on Parliament Hill. 🙂

  3. I remember learning about the Newfoundland one when a criminal in a novel set in St. Johns “escaped into Canada.” Took us a while. And this year the Stratford Festival is doing As You Like It set in Newfoundland — plaid shirts and toques — with music by one of the guys from Great Big Sea. Happy Canada Day, petal — we’ll be there at the end of the month. Save me a butter tart.

  4. While I was waiting for this post, I went back and reread some of your previous Canada Day posts. That’s my way of celebrating this great country this year. Your posts always make me realize how much I love and respect this country. Thanks for articulating that once again.

  5. Every year, one of my favorite posts! I learn so much, I almost want to move. Maybe after November. I know I would love your winters. From a Wisconsin reader.

    • Can I keep your kind invitation on hold until after November? It’s only a short exodus from Albany, NY, but we may need it.

    • I’m a Minnesotan from Chicago and I’m beginning to eye Winnipeg more and more appreciatively all the time…..:D

      • Oh, Sweetie! Move to Gimli, it’s much less crowded, and way prettier than Winnipeg – and there’s a BIG lake, with nice beaches.

    • Oh yes, here in The Mitten, we’re *soclose* and yet so far way. Perhaps that will change in the future (I’m hoping that Canada just adopts us — you can alway use an extra Mitten!). :^)

    • I grew up far enough upstate in New York to be mistaken for Canadian while in Australia, though I’m a Chicagoan now. I’ve even gone so far as to scan real estate ads during visits, so I, too, would like to hold your invitation for possible use in November.

    • Thanks for the link, Rams–it was a very funny post. And, Stephanie, for what it’s worth, it always takes me some serious thinking to answer the question, “How old are you?”, too:0)

      • I tend to add a year. How silly is that? I think it may be because my grandmother always did. Her reasoning was that she had already completed x number of years on her last birthday and now was into x+1. We all thought it was not correct, but now some of the family are doing it unconsciously!

  6. I’m not Canadian, but I have to add that I love that most things in Canada actually close on holidays. If you’re working on Christmas, you probably have the kind of job that lives depend on!

  7. Canada had one of the first female lawyers. Clara Brett Martin (1874-1923). Also, Murdoch Mysteries is one of the best TV shows out there!

      • If you’re in Canada, you can stream it all on the CBC website for free. Season 9 is the most recent season. It’s a great show!

  8. Happy Canada Day! I love your Canada Day posts, they always add to my list of reasons I’d love to live there. (It’s a long list. Sadly, the items on the very short list of reasons NOT to live there are weightier, viz: the huge distance from all my people, be they in Europe or South Africa, and – well. The winters.) I’m in Switzerland, which is a pretty awesome place too, but verrry conservative. Yay for progressive Canada, showing us all how it’s done!

      • I am lucky to have lived extensively in both Switzerland and Canada. They complement each other. Fewer rules, written and unwritten, big and small, to keep track of in Canada.

  9. Always enjoy your Canada Day posts. I have to say that, counter-culturally, I do care for religion and politics combined – Tommy Douglas, Bill Blaikie, Bob Ogle, Lorne Calvert, Olivia Chow – many more whose politics and religion are inseparable – and that’s only the (leftist) Christians.

  10. And I will remind everyone (since Steph is obviously Canadian-ly polite) that these comments are in Stephanie’s virtual living room and that she is our hostess.

    Keep it nice. You don’t want to make me mad.

  11. Happy Canada Day. So glad I remembered to renew my passport so that I can visit this Summer. Love the facts about Canada. Numbers 2, 10 and 11 make me so jealous. We Americans can learn a lot from our neighbor!

  12. Happy Canada Day! I got a kick out of reading the factoid about it being illegal to pretend to practice witchcraft 🙂 I guess if I ever end up in Canada I’ll just keep my Witchy practices real, eh? 🙂

    • “pretending to practice witchcraft.”
      Me too!! That one really cracked me up.

      Just today DH and I were wondering (hypothetically) where we might like to live ‘for a year’. New Zealand will be forever home but Canada or Spain were the top two on our list.

      Happy Canada Day to you all.

  13. Happy Canada Day!

    I love reading your Canada Posts. My favorite tidbits from today’s post are the North Pole postal code and fact #7.

  14. Wow, can’t believe 4 hours north of Seattle they are getting 50 weeks paid maternity leave and we get zip. Unless we have a generous employer. Crazy!

    • Actually, from downtown Seattle to White Rock, BC (southernmost community) is only about 2.5h. Then I have another hour northwest to the suburb I live in. That’s straight driving time and excludes however long to takes to clear Customs. That can be ten minutes to three hours, depending on your timing.

      • Really?! 😮 I live 20 minutes from the border between Switzerland and Germany and we just drive through, no checks into Germany and sometimes a brief question on the way back into Switzerland… If there are tourist queues in the summer and I might have to wait 5 mins, I can leave a different way and cross the country border where there are never any checks, and take a tiny but very picturesque country road detour home…

  15. Happy Birthday Canada! You sound like you are the Democracy I always believed the United States should be. Now, if you just didn’t have all that snow!

  16. Man, it’s a good thing I moved here 44 years ago because it seems I would not qualify now.

    What else do I like about Canada? The fact that our national unit of currency is called the Looney!

  17. It is so good to read about a nation that celebrates their wholeness and diversity at a time when minority elements of the United Kingdom are demonstrating that difference is to be feared and turning their backs on an integrated, globalised world is a good move to make. Canada, you rock!

        • In certain elements of society, I would agree. 48% did not vote to leave Europe. 48% embrace the diversity of Britain. Interestingly most of the major cities voted to remain in Europe: i.e. the most cosmopolitan places voted to remain. I and my family are devastated and heartbroken by what has happened and there are millions like us. My eldest son and his Polish partner will probably leave the country. It’s a pity that we don’t have the same law as Canada with regard to broadcasting lies. The British public were fed a pack of lies and 52% believed them.

          • 100% didn’t vote to leave Europe, 48% voted to leave the EU. I felt that the money being given to the EU could be better spent in the UK. I am not a racist and thus do not support UKIP. I am all for imigration and emigration, my brother emigrated to Vancouver from the UK. Anyone who lives here should contribute to society regardless of whether they were born here or came from another country. My brother wasn’t able to just walk into Canada, he had to prove his worth which took more than 2 years. So please don’t assume 48% of the UK want it to be white British.

    • It was 52% who voted to leave, and for many of them it was nothing to do with xenophobia. But this is not the place for politics and I won’t go into political lies, but I envy you Canadians. Happy Canada Day to you all.

  18. Happy Canada Day! My husband works with many people in Canada (we’re in the U.S.) and will happen to be traveling for work to Toronto for the Fourth of July, so he is taking today off from work just like his Canadian co-workers. So for once, I knew it was Canada Day before I checked your blog. Enjoy your long weekend!

  19. Happy Canada Day too! It seems they don’t want me either, but I am not giving up! I have always wanted to immigrate there, and I hope it will still happen!

  20. Happy Canada Day!! I’m afraid to check if Canada would allow me….I may sneak in if things go awry in November. shhhh

    • The little city I live in was one of the prime Canadian stations on the Underground Railroad — maybe we’ll have to revive that tradition?

  21. 6yo daughter discovered earlier this week that Canada Day is marked in her wall calendar, and has been talking about it for days. Only today (now that she can identify the Canadian flag) is she talking about Independence Day. Happy day to you and yours, from MN.

  22. What a great post – I didn’t know that about the news having to be true (though I have heard that truth is an absolute defense to any claim of defamation) and I never thought about Joe and others like him being first generation Canadians. Neat! Great post!

  23. Happy Canada Day! We’ve visited many areas over many years and have loved all of it. And if I were to leave the U.S., it would be first on my list of desirable spots to relocate. In fact, check back with me on that one on November 9. Things could get dicey here.

  24. I love living in Canada!

    I have to stay that I forgot about “Keep you’re stick on the ice!” I loved that show! I wonder if anyone else remembers.

  25. hi, i read somewhere online, that a little boy drew the colour for the flag of canada. There were people who are drew the pictures for the canada, the little boy won. Hope i am right about it.

  26. So many reasons to love Canada, but mostly my family for me! And you too Steph! Thanks for all the Canada trivia and being a proud Canadian! You have plenty of reasons to be proud. (If the US could get their heads screwed on right for maternity/paternity leave…) Happy Canada Day to you!

  27. Happy Canada Day to Stephanie and any other Canadians reading the Blog. Your love of country is obvious and admirable. I hope your cold is better and that the rides to come are more bearable if not enjoyable. Happy knitting!

  28. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! I even knew it was today before I saw your blog. Thinking of you post-wedding and cold (hope the cold is post), and gearing up for extreme bike event. Pun intended. Best always to you and yours.

  29. I’ve had a soft spot for Canada since finding out my grandparents nearly emigrated there instead of here (balance tipped by having a cousin already out here).
    New Zealand shares a lot of the good things about Canada, though not, alas, all (e.g. we don’t have Corner Gas). We do have milder winters, though 🙂

  30. Happy Canada to you! I love reading your posts, as an Australian there are a lot of similarities, we also have no 1c or 2c coins anymore, but most prices in the stores don’t reflect that absence, it’s also working well. In Papua New Guinea they have also gotten rid of the small coins, but they always round down.

    We also have a Governor General and the Queen as the Head of State, but in reading your posts, there is so much that Canada is doing better than my own country at the moment. Do you think they could clone your prime minister and send him our way?

    • Re: borrowing the Prime Minister – I think our need is greater than yours (writing from the UK) and the welcome to emigrate very much appreciated right now…

  31. I love how even though I grew up here and have lived here most of my life, I still learn things from your Canada day posts.

    A question. I was born here, to immigrants. My husband was not – we came ‘back’ here about 3 years after we married. So are my kids first generation? Second generation? Canadian v 1.5? 🙂
    Never figured that one out!

    • Because you are first generation Canadian, your kids are second generation. Keep in mind that, in older times, the only parental relationship that could be proven was maternity. Therefore your children get their “generation mark” from you, not your husband. But that’s all just technical stuff, lol, refer to them however makes you happy with your family story.

  32. Happy Canada Day!
    As a former Canadian who is considering moving back I wonder if it lucky that my icon today is a truck?
    Counting down the days to our BC Vacation!

  33. Happy Canada Day!
    Every time I read about Canada, I get closer to planning my emigration north of the border. Such a civilized country. And I already like hockey and curling!
    My favorite story in the news this week was the amazing greeting President Obama received during his visit. What a sight to watch a roomful of Canadian legislators shouting “four more years.”

  34. We pretty much have the same stuff in Denmark, but I’d still consider immigration. Your prime minister is much more of a mensch than ours. Happy Canada Day!

  35. I look forward to these posts every year and I can vouch for the friendliness of Canadians . A friend and I rode on the VIA from Vancouver to Lake Louise several years ago and we met several lovely people who were full of information and suggestions of places to visit. Now if we could get a law that would require candidates for office to tell the truth we would have it made!

  36. Happy Canada Day all! And Happy Independence Day to the people in the States on Monday! Hope everyone enjoys their long weekend.

  37. Yes, Canadians are nice!
    I live in North Pole, Alaska, USA and can’t even get a North Pole postmark on my letters unless I park, go in, wait in line and hand them to a worker at the post office. (More difficult than it sounds with 3 kids 5 and under and pregnant).
    But we have a huge Santa Claus house.
    And drove through the beautiful Yukon to get here.
    Happy Birthday Canada.

  38. Stephanie, Happy Canada Day! I thought of you yesterday when I read a New York Times article about Canadians clamoring to sponsor Syrian refugees (I linked to the article in the spot for my website–hope that’s okay). In a nutshell: ““I can’t provide refugees fast enough for all the Canadians who want to sponsor them,” John McCallum, the country’s immigration minister, said in an interview.” (NYTimes.com). So wonderful. You have so much to be proud of!

  39. I am proud to live in a Canadian town where Smiley the blind therapy dog (and his mom) were made Citizens of the Year today!! You can google him. Smiley and his family are making a difference on SO many levels. Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and fellow knitters.

  40. Happy Canada Day. Hot and sunny and 30 C. Hope everyone is having a great day. Hope you and Joe got out for a sail on the Lake.

  41. I just found your blog today, though a blogger living in California. I’m getting closer and closer to clicking that link that tells me if Canada wants me. But gosh, what if you don’t? Can I still read you?

    • Q here – – – how does one go about finding out if “Canada wants me”? I’m a bit confused………

      • There’s a link in the P.S. of Stephanie’s post.

        Canada doesn’t want me unless I agree to invest $2M in the country!! Can I, instead, claim to be a USA refugee if things become dire down here after the upcoming election?

  42. I think it is notable and good that the ocean’s beach up to the high tide mark is public property in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Everyone can walk there, no one can stop you or fence it off. (I’m not sure if this is Canada-wide, I think it depends on provincial law.)

    For anyone interested in immigration who can’t hack the snow, B.C.’s coast near the 49th parallel is a few hours away from Seattle and has similar temperate weather.

    This is a good year for people from other countries to take a holiday in Canada, with the favourable exchange rate. Happy Canada Day!

  43. Never have written before but just had to today.
    Roger Whittiker ( sp??) sings a wonderful song called Canada Is written by Steven Hyde and Eric Robertson.
    Tonight our 9 yr old granddaughter wanted to end Canada Day by singing this song.
    I used to teach this song to my adult ESL students so that we sang it just before July 1.
    If you have never heard it give it a try-to all our family it’s what CANADA IS.

    • I had forgotten about that song. My Mum was a huge Roger Whittaker fan, so I know his music well. Thanks for the lovely memory!

  44. And to make it even more confusing, Queen Elizabeth II is also Queen in 15 or 16 other countries, including New Zealand, Belize, Jamaica, and The Bahamas! Interesting and much to admire about our greatest ally to the north! Happy Canada Day!!

  45. About 25 years ago we were vacationing on PEI (one of my most favorite places) and attended a local music festival where the Governor General spoke. He had an aide who carried his reading glasses and notes to the podium for him which amused me. Afterwards he walked around and I shook his hand.

  46. The Canada Day posts are some of my favorites. I know we here in the US tend to make fun of how nice Canadians are but most of the time, I really wish we could follow your lead.

    I hope you had a beautiful, fun Canada Day.

    ps. I didn’t write this on any of the posts about Meg’s wedding but Congratulations to her and her new husband and your families. When I read the post that announced Meg’s wedding, I, too, had the reaction of “wait, what? There is no way Meg’s old enough. How long has Stephanie been writing?”

  47. I too looked for this post and hoped that the post-wedding catch-up and bike ride wouldn’t stand in your way. I’m thinkin’ we need to knit something special for next year — the 150 — eh? Maybe 150 socks (75 pair) or even 150 *pair* over the year — start in January and give ’em away for Christmas to folks who need good warm socks. Maybe make sure they’re mainly in red and white? Or Canadian landscape colours, like blue, green, grey, gold, brown? Or Canadian hockey team colours? Or all three?

    Okay…okay…Happy Canada Day, Stephanie, and here’s to another year in this great land!

    • River City Yarns has the hockey team series … all the hockey team colours! (Touch the foot! covered by the sock I bet.)

    • I read that as Canadian landscape colours, like blue, green, grey, COLD, brown? and laughed so hard before realising my mistake. Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

  48. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! I always enjoy reading your post on this date and learning a bit more about our lovely neighbors to the north. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a couple of areas of your country and have found the people to be delightful and friendly. Hope to visit again sometime.

  49. I love this country. I’m first generation Canadian. I feel grateful every day to live here.

    Here’s another quirk of this country: one of our national treasures is a knitter. She’s also a wonderful writer, funny and kind, but mostly she knits. I feel very proud of the way she represents our beautiful country. ☺

  50. Let’s not forget all the contributions Canada has made to world culture, such as the Guess Who, the Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, and William Shatner. (Of course, Canada denies any responsibility for Mr. Shatner’s toupee. . .)

    So, have some screech and poutine, listen to “One Week” or “My Heart Will Go On,” watch “Star Trek,” and have a happy Canada Day!

    • And then there’s Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Michael Buble, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Martin Short, the late John Candy, Mike Meyers, Diana Krall, P.J. Perry, Oscar Peterson (those last 3 for jazz fans), the late Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, Christopher Plummer, and many of the best hockey players in the world… Just sayin’! 😉

    • Oh, oh, I was going to say that too. That article made me cry all through breakfast!
      #13: You are so sane, right now we have lost our minds and our bearings!

      Another Minnesotan

  51. My heart is going “kush-kush” ( which is English translation of Japanese ‘my heart is full/love’). Happy Canada Day Stephanie, to you and yours.

  52. Happy Canada Day! I love these posts every year.

    I have checked and I don’t think Canada wants me (I’m in the US) but it’s hard to tell – they don’t have a category for retired low-income grandmas. I do know I was *conceived* in Canada but I don’t find a category for that, either. *sigh*

    Love you all anyway!

  53. The US used to have a law, before Reagan was President, that the airwaves were to be used for the public good and you could lose your license to broadcast if you were caught lying on air. (The then-chairman of the FCC tasked with enforcing that was family on my husband’s side.)

    Canada still does it right. Happy Canada Day!

  54. Love reading your Canada Day post every year! I too am a Proud Canadian, and I am so thankful that I was born in this wonderful country. We are a humble bunch of people who find it hard to blow our own horn. A big hurrah to Stephanie for educating everyone about this great land north of the U.S.

  55. Happy Canada Day. You sound a lot like Australia, except we are an island. And I prefer your Prime Minister, he is an inspiration!

  56. PS that was kinda funny to do the eligibility test – apparently, if you (even theoretically) want to start a business and invest 2 million in the Canadian economy, you still aren’t eligible to move there from Switzerland?! Guess I’ll be staying here, it’s pretty good lol.

  57. Sadly, they won’t have me either (I’m not sure why. I theoretically wanted to start my own farm) which is a shame, because it sounds lovey. (Her Majesty isn’t much in evidence in England, either. Can’t say as I blame her just at the moment)

  58. Great post but is your country really perfect? You have described a utopia. Where does Canada get the revenue to pay 54 weeks of family maternity leave? How are the airways controlled to only broadcast the truth? I love Canada. Beautiful people and beautiful country. But nothing can be that perfect!

    • Just because “nothing can be that perfect” doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of what we feel we do right. Striving to do better is part of what makes this country great. I suspect you wouldn’t be happy with a half empty glass, you’d rather have a completely empty glass. How do we pay for these things? Taxes. And guess what? People would rather pay those taxes than have others go hungry or not have health care.

    • Maternity Leave is paid for by Employment Insurance, which every person who is employed by someone else must pay into on every paycheque, to an annual maximum. EI also covers sick leave, lay-offs, and if you need to care for a critically ill relative.

      The truth in broadcasting is monitored by the CRTC. If someone makes a complaint they investigate, and if the complaint is valid the people responsible are fined.

    • We have something here called Employment Insurance (EI). Employees (not self-employed) contribute a percentage of their base salary to this federally-administered program. If they are fired or laid off, they can collect benefits from this fund based on work history and contributions and income. AND that’s the fund from which maternity leave is paid.

  59. I always love this post! I live just 50 miles south of Canada and know BC and the Yukon pretty well . . . we often think we need to become Canadians! After this post I really believe we need to become Canadian!

  60. Happy Canada Day! I love learning more about our northerly neighbors, and love everything you write about your country. Here’s something else I love about Canada … as xenophobia takes over the world, Canadian knitters are making hats to welcome refugees: https://25000tuques.wordpress.com/

    Thank you, Canada, for setting an example for the rest of the world.

  61. oh i so would like to emigrate to canada. (but not until after hillary becomes president. a woman for president – because it’s 2016 – i do so love your pm.) and i would live next door to you. 😉

  62. Hi. I live in Michigan. I didn’t know you guys did away with the penny! Did you know here, you can use the canadian coins (quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies) interchangeably with American coins at stores? We even get them back as change. But in Nashville, they wouldn’t take the Canadian nickel we had! My get rich plan when the Canadian dollar was worth a lot more than the US dollar (I dont’ know what it is now) was to take all my money to canada, exchange it for Canadian quarters, then slowly use them up in Michigan. You can only mix two or three of them in a quarter roll b/c you don’t want it to weigh too much different.

  63. For number 10. Actually they can give away your job. It happened to my husband and me when we had our second baby. Currently jobless and soon homeless family of soon to be 5 (having another baby in less than a year after I had my second).

    • They can if you haven’t worked for a full 52 weeks for the company before going on leave (including sick leave if you are put on bed rest), or if they eliminate your position. It SUCKS but it is legal :/

  64. If a certain orange-haired guy is elected president just south of Canada, we’re immigrating & promise to bring our pensions (and our fiber) with us.

  65. I’m Canadian and I love my country, it’s peoples and it’s beauty.
    It’s not perfect but we work hard at getting there. There are lots of places I have lived and could live, but I’m happy it’s here 🙂

  66. Canada sounds like HEAVEN right now. Seriously. I live in Indiana, USA, and I’m in mourning for what this country is turning into, with the shootings, the racism, the xenophobia and the willful ignorance. I don’t even want to watch the news anymore. All I’ve got is my vote, which I will use, and my voice, which I use to stand up for those who are less fortunate than me, and for just acting like a decent, kind human being & a citizen of this world.

    But I love your country. The odds of my country behaving in such a high-class fashion? Slim to none these days, and it breaks my heart…

  67. Giving a link to your immigration information again demonstrates that Canadians are the nicest people on the planet. If only my fellow Yanks were so welcoming. I always enjoy your Canada Day posts.

  68. My husband and I think you have the best national anthem. In the 1970’s my husband would wait to hear Roger Doucet sing it at the Forum before a hockey game and THEN we could go out on the town. BTW, we are not Canadian but sometimes wish we were!

    • Our National Anthem recently had an update to the lyrics. Instead of “True patriot love, In all our son’s command”, it is now “True patriot love, In all of us command”.

      Lots of complaints about that, but I personally love the inclusive language. And since this is not the first time that particular passage was updated, those fuddy duddies can suck it.

  69. Your lovely post made me check to see if I’m eligible. Can’t figure it out. My father was born in Bonne Bay, Nfld in 1917, emigrated to Maine
    with his newly widowed mother in the 20’s. I’ve always loved the notion of being Canadian but kissed that goodbye 53 years ago when I married a Brazilian who won’t even go as far north as Maine! So I go back alone to Maine, and pray that I won’t have to make a run for the border next January.

  70. I so want to move to Canada.
    I have two friends, both in Montreal, and after the recent weeks in the UK where frankly I hardly recognise my country, we are seriously considering getting out.
    Also, not publishing lies in the news? That would have been very handy for us….

  71. Thank you for reminding me (although I really don’t need reminding) of how lucky I am to have been born and live in the Great White North. Those of us who call Canada home are truly blessed.
    If there’s one little downside, it’s the fact that yarn from the US costs so much more right now.

  72. I always love your Canada Day posts, and this year’s is great too. I was born in Canada to Dutch immigrant parents, but they continued to migrate, so we ended up in the Pacific Northwest U.S. I’ve often wished they would have stayed north of the border, and lately a little more so!

    I work at a radio station, and did get the morning announcer to play Canadian music to celebrate on the 1st!

  73. I was waiting for the Canada Day Post as well and it did not disappoint! I have developed a great fondness for your country in the past year as my son is attending University there. He loves it and when we visit we can see why.

  74. This was my first Canada Day as a permanent resident, and I loved it. Looking forward to a few years from now when I’m celebrating it as a new citizen.

  75. Sorry I’m late! A very Happy Yesterday – hope you had a good one. The way things are going in the UK at the moment you may find a lot of Brits (including me and some of my family ) might be taking you up on the offer. All looks fine to me!

  76. No capital punishment.

    When something awful happens I don’t hear people hollering about how fabulous the country would be if we all carried guns to schools hospitals and playgrounds.

  77. I love Canada Day!
    My husband and I, both Americans, got married 10 years ago on July 1st. We love that there are big celebrations all across Canada on our anniversary.

  78. Happy Canada Day, just a day late! Do you do fireworks for celebration? Over the years, I have visited Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto, London, Vancouver, and Victoria, B.C., and found Canadians helpful, polite, civil to the max, and your cities navigable and accessible. You have much to celebrate! I dream of relocation to Stratford as Americans who love restraint seem to be losing the culture wars.

  79. Amazing that we are neighbors and our accents sound similar but we have some pretty amazing differences. I think I want to move to Canada – except – I’m kind of partial to ‘my’ Rocky Mountains. 😉

  80. A tiny clarification: if both parents share the parental leave they do not have to stay home together. The parent who gave birth can stay home first and then the other parent can stay home after.

  81. #5 is what I think Canada is smartest about and that goes all the way back to the introduction of the Loony and phasing out the $1 bills.

    Happy Canada Day Steph!

      • I was sure I was going to spell that wrong! But I still think the coins were handled the right way. Except when I’m in Toronto with a pocket full off Loonies and Twoonies 🙂
        (I hope I got both right that time)

  82. I just spent the week in Canada – visiting Calgary, Banff, and Yoho National Park. Field, BC had a very fun Canada Day parade. Loved every minute of the trip. I also look forward to the Canada Day updates,. Thank you for broadening our horizons. 🙂

  83. I’ve been re-reading your Canada Day posts, beginning with 2004. The thing that echos is how multi-cultural Canada is, and how the diversity is celebrated. My SO and I visited Winnipeg last year, and stumbled into the Folklorama celebrations. All the area cultures put on performances and serve food and explain their cultural heritages. The venues are all over the city in the residential neighborhoods in community centers and church basements and school gymnasiums, and the celebration take place over 2 weeks at the end of July / beginning of August. If timed properly, one can do appetizers at the first venue, main course at the next venue, and dessert at the last venue of the evening. Highly recommend it!
    Sioux Falls, SD

  84. I love the fact that both Canada and the US got a long weekend this year – it usually doesn’t work out that way – so we could all really celebrate together.

    Very proud to have been born a Canadian, and I realize how lucky I am, every time I read the newspaper. I love to travel (especially, as I get older, in February!) but I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

    Being proud doesn’t mean we think we’re perfect (some of the Truth & Reconciliation findings were news to me, and I thought I was pretty well-informed on the issues), but at least we’re trying. Our successes to date don’t diminish any other country’s achievements or efforts.

  85. I know you included self-employed in the mothers that don’t necessarily get paid maternity leave, but you forgot ordinary, unemployed or stay at home moms. Although my husband could have taken parental leave, we couldn’t have survived on 55% of his income.
    However, we did get the various “Baby Bonus” credits, depending on what era the kids were born.
    Canada is a great place and I often refer others to your Canada Day posts!

  86. So happy to be Canadian for the 8 months of cold and menopausal relief that it brings… 😉

    Happy Birthday my wonderful Canada even though I’m late to the game.

  87. Great list! I also think it is awesome that we apologize when someone bumps into us!

    I got to travel and meet Adrienne Clarkson when she was governor-general. We travel to Italy with WWII vets. She was a wonderful representative of our country – I think they all have been, past and present.

    Happy Canada Day!

  88. #10 is slightly incorrect. The 17 (not 15) weeks is specifically for mothers who give birth (by any method) and are intended as physical recovery time. These are available to you even if you are giving birth as a surrogate or the child passes away. Only the 35 weeks parental leave are available to adoptive parents. 17+35 = 52 and therefore a year’s leave.

  89. Happy Canada Day! a few days late because … it is the American celebration of Independence today and I have been busy getting ready.

    Good to know one can still enter Canada… Waiting to see who wins the election here in the south land this November, it may be time to leave then. Perhaps you can incorporate US? I read Canadian news and listen to the CBC for the very reason you stated. 5 years of high school too.

    Personally, I would come for the beer alone.

  90. I have always been curious what hate speech is. One person’s hate speech is another’s common use of language. When certain groups can speak about another group and say bad things about them and it’s not called hate speech, but another group talks badly about a different group and it’s called hate speech, then there is a problem. Then you have government telling you what is hate speech and what is not. We are having problems with this in America when one group gets offended by another group for something that is said even though it is not said in hate. An example is those who are called racist because they want our borders protected from illegal immigrants. They are called haters. Why? It’s a very slippery slope when government gets to decide what we can and cannot say. I might think something someone says to me is hateful, but I have no recourse. Yet someone else can get someone thrown in jail for saying something. I understand that Canada has removed parts of the Bible that speaks against homosexuality because it “offends’ people. Is that correct or is that just a rumor? Another reason why government should not be telling us what we can and cannot say. Just some things I have wondered about for years and never get any answers.

    • Definitely a rumour! Are you maybe thinking of the recent decision by the Conservative party to remove their policy against marriage equality?

      The Canadian government certainly has no more authority than anyone else to alter the Bible, and in general it’s never been the policy of any federal government, regardless of political leaning, to dictate individuals’ religious expression.

    • Our hate speech law is here: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-46/section-319.html

      It’s pretty simple: if you are publicly spreading hatred you can be criminally charged for it.

      Free speech is protected in Canada under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but the right is not absolute. Section 1 of the Charter states: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

      Per the Supreme Court in 1990:
      “Parliament’s objective of preventing the harm caused by hate propaganda is of sufficient importance to warrant overriding a constitutional freedom.”

  91. I understand that Canada has removed parts of the Bible that speaks against homosexuality because it “offends’ people. Is that correct or is that just a rumor?

    That comment is false. “Canada” as a government has absolutely no power to amend the Bible. As Canadians we are generally tolerant, ban discrimination based on sex or colour, have had same-sex marriage for eleven years, and are (in my province) about to approve gay-straight alliances in schools. What offends Canadians is intolerance.

  92. I recently subscribed to Macleans magazine again. I like the current format, hope they don’t go changing it. Gives me news of Canada, the world, and a glance at the US from another viewpoint.

  93. Because I always want to move there when I read your Canada Day posts, I clicked your immigration eligibility link. It said, “Votre session est expiree.” Since I’m nearly 60 I think that is probably an apt description of why it would be really hard for me to move there!

  94. As an American in New England, my favorite foreign country to visit is Canada. Every trip has been a joy. Lots of surprises, too. The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews by the Sea stunned me! Couldn’t afford to stay there, but lunch was excellent. The truck drivers around there are a little, um, aggressive – didn’t Stephen King dub them “Killer Bees” for the black and yellow trucks? Canada is a wonderful country, a great neighbor, and full of world-class wool.

  95. Just an FYI about maternity/parental benefits. If you adopt, you can’t collect the 15 weeks of maternity as it is intended to allow a mother to recover from the birth of a baby. But adoptive parents do get the 35 weeks of parental.
    Also, If your baby is still-born, you still can get the 15 weeks of maternity as you gave birth.
    AND, if you are sick before the birth of your child and then your baby has to be hospitalized, you can collect sickness, Parents of critically ill children, maternity and parental benefits all in a row.
    Canada is nice like that.

  96. I got my permanent resident status just in time for Canada Day this year! It is a lovely place to live, and I can confirm that everything is up to my expectations (after reading these posts for so many years!). Happy birthday Canada 🙂

  97. I always look forward to your Canada Day posts, and I am becoming a bit wistful … I actually looked at the “if you want to come to Canada” link to see if I qualify, but it was partly down so I couldn’t finish it – we are becoming more and more disenchanted with the US. Could Canada use an archaeologist with bunged-up knees? We are too old to get Canadian health care, never having paid into your system; but we figure we could live in Toronto and whip over to Buffalo if we need anything stitched up… And you’ve got cold weather there? I spin and knit. Family there? Not now, but my great-gran lived there after she left Scotland (she taught me to sing “Scots Wha Hae” when I was two), and my granddad was born there. I can dream!

    • If you got accepted into Canada, you would qualify for health care after 3 months’ residence, if I’m not mistaken. You don’t have to have paid into it like for the Old Age pension or the Canada Pension. You would pay a $600 premium through your income tax return, so despite our proud claims to “free” health care, it’s not totally free. Still, $50 a month for health care is affordable for most. And if your income is too low, they don’t charge the premium.

  98. You also have some SUPER nice people (I’ll never forget the man who happened to be walking in front of my hotel in Toronto, said, “You look lost. I work as a tour guide. Can I help you find where you’re going?” and then gave me detailed instructions on finding and using the metro system), WONDERFUL beer, and LOVELY yarn! But those metro tokens are darned tiny. I was afraid a breeze would blow them out of my hand. 🙂

  99. I love your Canada Day posts. I love many things about your country. My husband and I are on a road trip this week. We reminisced a bit about about driving through Canada on Canada Day back in 1998. I love the way all the road signs in Quebec cleverly and unassumingly provide information in both French and English. Like so many other things, it just makes sense.

  100. Oh Steph, between Megan’s wedding shawl and actual wedding, to this, your posts touch me deeply and remind me how thankful I am that I did grow up in Southern Alberta so that I have better understanding of both countries. And that you are a way better mother than I am, unless a miracle happens, my daughter will not be wearing a handmade shawl for her wedding in September, more because she has set aside for now, I hope just for now, the meaning of such things.

  101. Had my first opportunity to go to Canada two weeks ago and was in Toronto. Everyone I met there was so kind and proactive in helping this tourist. Only problem I had – forgot to tell bank I was going out of country. Somehow Canada did not seem foreign and I had a small glitch, easily fixed. Lovely terrain, too.

  102. I look forward to your Canada Day posts every year. Thank you for sharing all that you love about your country, and for giving the rest of us something to aspire to.

  103. This is fantastic, I love those facts. I may just need to move north a couple hundred miles from here in Madison, Wisconsin. 🙂

  104. every time I read these and at random other times, but most especially NOW in the US, I want to pack my car and go. It’d be a short trip – we’re in Minnesota. Sounds lovely.

  105. My question for you is; If a certain horrible terrible really bad person gets elected to be president of the USA, will Canada welcome me, for one, and many many who say they will want to move to Canada?

  106. So, number 10 = I’m moving to Canada. Actually, now that I think about it, number 1-11 = I’m moving to Canada.

  107. I’m pretty late (I’ve had a seriously crappy summer thus far) but happy birthday neighbor! I was born in Soo Michigan and I’ve lived really close to Canada most of my life. My grandfather was from Scotland by way of Canada and my great grandparents were from England by way of Canada. I only have one thing to add… Canada has always been a good neighbor… Even when we were being stupid. The kind of neighbor who took in our kids when we wanted to send them off to die in a stupid war and who rescued our diplomats when someone violated all sense of humanity by taking over our embassy. So thanks for that. And happy birthday Canada, many happy returns of the day!

  108. This is the first time I comment here, but I have followed you for years. Bought some yarn at a flea market here in Denmark and the seller said she had some knitting books. I thought patterns but they were about knitting and fun! So I bought them. And so I was introduced to you.

    When I read your Canada posts (and especially this year) I find a lot of similarities to Denmark. We also have free education (including university), student “salary” (900$ monthly), free hospitals, free medical treatment among others. Free because we pay high tax, yes, but most people want it like that. Creates a more equal (and we are the happiest people in the world) society.
    Thank you for sharing

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