Ask A Canadian

Based on my five years of blogging and interacting with American bloggers, I’ve come to the conclusion that Canadians know more about the US than Americans know about Canada.

Blog friend Becky and I have often discussed the differences between the US and Canada, so I asked her to send me some questions she has about Canada, that I could answer in a blog post.

And here they are:

1. Do you have a thanksgiving parade sponsored by Macy’s?

No. We don’t even have a Macy’s in Canada. I’m sure some towns have a parade, but it’s a small thing. There are no obnoxiously large balloons of Snoopy floating down the street, if that’s what you’re wondering.

2. What’s the US equivalent of Justin Trudeau? Follow up: Why is he so beautiful?

The equivalent is Donald Trump. Excuse me while I go wash my hands. You call it a President, we call it a Prime Minister.

As for your follow up question: probably genetics and a good stylist.

3. Why isn’t a 401(k) called a 401(k) in Canada?

We call it an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). Also, the 401 is a highway that stretches across Ontario. Used in a sentence: “I’m taking the 401, k?”

(Hold for laughs)

4. What do you mean you don’t have a million channels devoted to politics 24/7?

There’s more to life than politics and being angry all the time, I suppose. Today is the municipal election in Ontario and there will be election coverage for about five hours tonight on Canadian news stations, and then they’ll go back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Even when it’s time to elect a new Prime Minster, the campaign only lasts about two months. It’s not dragged out for a year and a half.

We get CNN, but I don’t know what the Canadian equivalent to that is. We don’t have a news station devoted to a daily nine-person panel of people in vibrant attire and concerned dispositions.

The biggest news story in Toronto the other day was a naked man jumping in the shark exhibit at the Ripley’s Aquarium.

4. Why does Canada make up holidays?

For everyone reading this, you’re talking about Family Day. Ontario adopted Family Day as a statutory holiday in February 2008. I don’t know if it’s the official reason, but I think it’s because there would’ve been too long of a gap between holidays.

Not every province recognizes Family Day. Alberta started it in 1990.

5. Can you do some kind of Canadian rain dance for good luck?

Yes, but if it ends up snowing instead, it means we get bad luck.

6. WHY DO YOU SPELL DEFENSE WEIRD IS IT A CANADIAN THING?

Google says you can spell it as “Defence” or “Defense”. I’ve always spelled it with a “c”, mainly because if I type it with an “s”, a red line appears under the word, or it autocorrects to “Defence”.

7. What’s the deal with all of the moose and maple syrup?

Those are both Canadian stereotypes. They seem to be a bigger deal to non-Canadians, honestly. To me, it’s just an animal and something to put on pancakes.

8. Why don’t you say fourth grade and senior year?

We say, Grade Four instead of Fourth Grade. And in university, Senior Year is called Fourth Year. I’m sure some Canadians call themselves a Senior, or Freshman, but those aren’t really terms that are on the tip of our tongue.

Every country has different terminology for their levels of schooling.

9. Is the CFL worth watching?

I would say yes. It’s a fast-paced game. The field is wider than the NFL. There’s an extra player on the field. The receivers are allowed to get a running start prior to the snap of the ball. There are only three downs. The play clock is 20 seconds and doesn’t start running until the ball is placed at the line of scrimmage.

Possessions can swing multiple times in the final three minutes, even though each team only has one timeout per half.

I’d say the CFL is more popular in Western Canada, especially Saskatchewan. Talk to people in Toronto about the CFL and they’ll act like they’re too good for it. They’d rather support the soccer team and pretend it’s a European soccer environment.

People like to turn their nose at the CFL and call it “second rate” football, when it’s really not.

The NFL likes to ignore the fact that two quarterbacks from the CFL are ahead of Drew Brees on the Pro Football All-Time Passing list.

10. You have a Hotmail account? Has Gmail not made it to Canada yet?

Yes. And I have a Gmail account. I don’t understand why people attach a negative connotation to Hotmail accounts. It delivers mail just like Gmail.

If you have any questions about Canada that you’d like answered, ask them below. We have operators standing by, waiting to assist. And by “operators”, I mean it’s me and three monkeys who keep knocking their name tags off whenever they scratch their armpits. But they’re wearing visors and have a pencil between their teeth, so rest assured, they’re total pros.

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About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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37 Responses to Ask A Canadian

  1. cd says:

    This made my day

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Becky Turner says:

    Thanks for not making me look like an idiot haha. I tried to scroll back further in our Twitter messages because I know I had more but that’s all I could find/think of from recent memory.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That’s why I always wanted to visit Canada. Both US and Canada is very different from my country – India

    Liked by 1 person

  4. micqu says:

    Thank you for all this information. Let me share something too. It’s about CFL.
    In Luxembourg we have CFL too.
    Usually, they don’t play sports though. It’s Chemin de Fer du Luxembourg. (Luxembourgish Railroad Company)

    Carry on,
    Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bryan Fagan says:

    The biggest separation between my country and yours (that I see anyway) is the 24 hour news cycle.

    Imagine being really mad and having people talk about it all the time. Now imagine these people doing it on purpose and laughing at you. Us Americans are being played by a propaganda machine known as FOX – CNN and MSNBC.

    At the same time Canada would rather spend their time and energy on things that matter. In other words, you’re the cool cousin and i’m the one that’s always a mess.

    I want to move to Canada!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      This is spot on! You guys never get a break from all the talking and opinions. And naturally, everyone watching will formulate their own opinion and want to be heard too, which is when social media becomes a debate room.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bryan Fagan says:

    We love to hear our voices but we rarely listen.

    Thanks buddy. Maybe someday we’ll be neighbors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kara's Kloud says:

    OOoooo I have questions for a Canadian operator!!!! First, is everyone in Canada realllly that nice? I feel like they are, but you never know. Secondly, the more pressing issue, does everyone in Canada say the word “ope” a lot? *Spoiler alert* – when I visited Canada a year ago, the person that let me through the border said it, and I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t want to look suspicious of being on something, you know?

    I’ve also been told that I look Canadian, so there’s that. I wasn’t aware that Canadians and Americans looked that different, but I took it as a compliment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha most Canadians are really nice. We tend to keep to ourselves in public settings and don’t bother other people too much. We also over say “thank you”.

      I noticed recently that I say “Ope” a lot! And I’ve realized other people do as well. It is hilarious because I don’t even think most of us realize we’re saying it.

      It’s a great thing to look Canadian! Means you look friendly and non-threatening.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rea says:

    Why do y’all say “zed” and not “zee”?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ely says:

    Lol!!!!! Sooooo notes to self:
    1-don’t mail Paul a moose head covered in syrup for his next birthday

    2- don’t correct him in my head when he says “defence”

    3- wtf is this CFL CFG CHG game? Google that.

    4- when I was little I thought Prime Minister was a thing in a fairy tale like kings and queens but turns out they’re all REAL things.

    Is there like a White House or a castle or a Taj Mahal where this prime
    Minister lives?

    And did the naked guy make it out of that tank alive?! I haven’t read the other comments so if you answered that already my bad!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      1. Haha that would be so sticky

      3. Canadian Football League

      The Prime Minister lives in Ottawa and on a school trip there we drove by his house which is like a normal home (just big) on a normal street, but it’s far away from the road and the gates/fence near the sidewalk have a bunch of trees and bushes around them. So basically you can barely see the house from the road because they want privacy haha. They also don’t work in their house like your President does…what a concept!

      The naked guy made it out alive and eluded security and escaped!!! They eventually tracked him down and arrested him but still haha

      Liked by 1 person

  10. deiijoyce says:

    This is interesting!

    In the Philippines, we also call it “Grade Four” and “Fourth Year”. I thought we’re the only one who calls it that way.

    And your answer to the 4th question is amazing. I am so moving to Canada! Hahaha! In years time maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Barb Knowles says:

    I agree with your first paragraph completely. Which is odd because it seems like half of “our” actors are Canadian. I find most of your comments obvious, but don’t want to blow up the spot of your readers. Especially given the glass house rule. I know we laugh about the “u” thing, but what it really is to me is that I’m incredibly interested in how some British expressions have remained in Canada and not the US. Like to university but we say to the university or to a university. We go to the hospital not to hospital.

    And then there is the whole smarties debate.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Barb Knowles says:

    Oh, I was also surprised you don’t have 100 24-hour news channels.ok I’m exaggerating. But I was really surprised and feel like I’m now ready for the course Canada 201.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Bryan Fagan says:

    Barb Knowles – You are so right. Politics is a sport. Watch ESPN and then watch the news programs. It’s the same thing.

    Like

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