Oh Canada

Every year on Canada Day I post about Canada. I’m (naturally) a big fan and to let her Birthday slide by unnoticed? Not this knitter. The first year I did “Things for a knitter to do on Canada Day”, the next it was “You know You Are a Canadian Knitter when…” and last year it was “20 Interesting Things about Canada” This year I give you the A-Z of neat stuff about Canada.

A is for Afghanistan. While Canada chose not to take part in the Iraq war, the Canadian forces are present in Afghanistan. While there is a continuing debate about this plan and Canada’s role and purpose there, it is worth noting that in keeping with The Ottawa Treaty and the Canadian military’s position on landmines, Canadians have helped clear about one third of the 10 to 15 million land mines in that country, which can’t be a bad thing.

B is for Briggs and Little. Making and selling yarn Canadian yarn made from Canadian sheep at a Canadian mill in New Brunswick for 150 years.

C is for chips, which in Canada come in flavours like curry, ketchup, Fries and gravy, pizza, roast chicken, smokey bacon and chili garlic.

(We know, but we like it anyway.)

D is for Doughnut shops, most commonly Tims. Canada has more doughnut shops per capita than any other country on earth. We don’t know why. (It is worth noting that Krispy Kreme was a pretty big failure here, not enough people thought they were…well, doughnuts.)

E is for Ethnic Diversity. Canada is the most Ethnically diverse country in the world. Other countries may have more foreign born citizens, but Canada has the most variety.

F is for Flickr. Started in Vancouver.

G is for Gun control. The Supreme Court of Canada states “Guns cannot be divided neatly into two categories — those that are dangerous and those that are not dangerous. All guns are capable of being used in crime. All guns are capable of killing and maiming. It follows that all guns pose a threat to public safety. As such, their control falls within the criminal law power.”

H is for Hockey. (Duh)

I is for internet. Canadians love it, ranking first for internet reach (70% of households online) and first for time spent per month.

(Apparently my contribution has not gone unnoticed.) There are 650, 000 Torontonians on Facebook and that’s more than the combined Facebook users of New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

(Joe wondered if they took that measurement in the winter. Would explain a lot.)

J is for Joints.

K is for Koigu.

L is for Legal to be “top free” for women. Since gender equality is written into the constitution, women are allowed to be bare on top anywhere that men are. This was most famously upheld in Ontario, where the law was tested in court, and hardly anybody took of their top anyway.

M is for maple syrup, Canada produces 80% of the worlds supply. (M is also for Mounties. Arguably the hottest police force in the world.)

N is for Nunavut, a brand new Territory changing Canada’s map in 1999.

O is for Oil. Canada has oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia, and is the top provider of oil to the US.

P is for Patons. Seriously. Could it be anything else? (Well. Maybe Peacekeepers.)

Q is for Quarters with poppies on them causing a stir.

R is for resources. Canada leads the world in the production of zinc, uranium, pulp and paper and is a major producer of gold, silver, diamonds and lead.

S is for size, and Canada has tons of it. Second largest country in the world, bowing only to Russia.

T is for Terms. Canada has no term limits, and a Prime Minister can be re-elected forever. On the other side of the coin, while an election has to occur at least every 4 years, one can be called anytime the government loses a vote of confidence. William Lyon Mackenzie King was Prime Minister for 21 years and 4 1/2 months, while Sir Charles Tupper was only in office for 2 months and 7 days.

U is for Universal Health Care.

V is for Vineyard, Canada is a big wine producer, producing many prize winning wines and is the worlds leading producer of Ice Wine.

W is for water. Canada has more fresh water than any other country, more than half of the worlds lakes are within it’s borders and it touches three oceans. (Further to that, a Canadian was once famously defined as “someone who knows how to make love in a canoe”. Don’t laugh. It’s harder than you think. Those things are tippy.)

X is for X-files, filmed in Vancouver. (That one was hard. Thanks Lene.)

Y is for Yarn and yarn stuff. (I can’t believe how long that took me. Idiot.) There’s not just Koigu, Briggs and Little, but Fleece Artist, Handmaiden, Mission Falls, Philosophers wool, Mary Maxim, Treenway Silks, Soak, Oceanwind Knits, Apple Laine, Knitty, Fiddlesticks Knitting, Needle Arts Bookshop, Lana Knits, Lucy Neatby …the list goes on and on and on.

Z is for Zed. Not Zee.

Your turn! Let’s hear your Canadian fun and Facts.

Happy Canada Day, eh?