What Canada Isn’t

Canada is a great country, whose one identifying characteristic is, that it doesn’t have an identifying characteristic. Those of us who deal with non-Canadians, spend great amounts of time and effort explaining to the rest of the world, what Canada isn’t.

We are like the middle child in a family. We have to explain to the Americans, that we are not English. We have to explain to the British, and the rest of the world, that we are not Americans. We explain to the French, that even the Quebec portion isn’t French. Vive le Quebec libre somewhere else, monsieur DeGaulle. De gall of dat man, heh?

We are not a colony anymore, and we are not ruled or led by a European county. We are an independent democracy, but we are not Jingoistic about it. We provide socialist support for our citizens, but we are not communist. Although we are a country of large geography and small population, and have acquired the reputation for being a well-mannered Mr. Niceguy, we are not a pushover. Anyone who saw the movie Argo, viewed a piece of American-made hype, but got that message.

We aren’t equipped with a huge set of Armed Forces, but we aren’t afraid of getting our hands dirty, and the job done, to the point that we aren’t often called on to prove it.

One of our home-grown comics, who moved to The States because we aren’t rich enough to afford to pay our best performers what they deserve, said that Canada is a subtle flavor – like celery. But remember, celery is strong and crisp, with lots of fibre….and so are we.

Some of our Provinces, Territories and areas have their complaints and demands, as the siblings in any family do, but we are not coming apart at the seams as the Balkans, and other SSRs did. Canada is not a country which imprisons, executes or oppresses social, ethnic, political or religious minorities.

Canada is not perpetually covered with ice and snow. It is not inhabited by toque-wearing lumberjacks, living in igloos. Canada is not an exporter of wars, aggression, terror or ideology. Canada is not a bucolic backwater, because Canada is not afraid or incapable of adapting to rapidly changing, social and technological climes.

Canada isn’t a troublemaker, or a creepy neighbor, partner, or ally. All in all, what Canada isn’t….is a bad place to live, work or visit. Y’all come now, y’hear?

Canadian Flag


But ……………………………Canada Kicks Ass

The preceding political message has been brought to you by a Citizen and booster, as proud of the many things that Canada isn’t, as the many exemplary things that his country is.


22 thoughts on “What Canada Isn’t

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Canada is one of my favorite places to visit. Strong and crisp, indeed.


  2. Rincewind says:

    Still need to go there, got my open invitation to visit winnipeg so need to go there.


  3. BrainRants says:

    Okay, okay. I need to visit Canada.


  4. aFrankAngle says:

    Well said (my northern neighbor) and way to share your pride!


  5. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Great post!


  6. It was a lot easier for people in my area to visit Canada when passports weren’t necessary. Really – a passport to go 10 minutes to the bridge and 2 minutes over the bridge? Not that it’s Canada’s fault, of course, but it’s one of the reasons I haven’t been there in years. Well, that and the constant backup over the international bridges. Just got to be too much hassle for me.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Canadian passports cost $85, what are American ones worth? I view it like my Costco membership. It’s what I pay, to shop there.
      Despite spending $30 million, to convince Michiganders that they didn’t need or want a second bridge at Windsor/Detroit, the Palestinian who owns the Ambassador Bridge is losing his monopoly, and crossing there will become quicker and easier. 🙂


  7. Jim Wheeler says:

    Nicely put, Archon. You might also have defended Canada’s weather by pointing out that you do not have hurricanes, nor tornados (at least none that I’ve heard of). I am not unappreciative. However, do not expect me to visit in January. 😀


    • Archon's Den says:

      As I mentioned in my Location, Location, Location post, we do get the tail ends of occasional strong hurricanes, like last fall’s Superstorm. And we do get the odd, tiny tornado, but they’re hardly enough to blow out all the candles on my birthday cake, not like what you and Rants may endure.
      Visiting Canada can be like eating oysters. Only do it in months with July or August in them.


  8. Francis Roy says:

    Do you remember this commercial?

    It was a big hit in the mid-2k. What lovely irony that it took a beer commercial to spark off a wave of Canadian Patriotism, eh? More than once in my life, I’ve had conversations where my interlocutor has responded with “You keep saying what Canadians aren’t–who are you?”

    If I were generous, I’d say that we’re the peacemakers, the voice of reason and those attuned to nature. We are the world’s liberals, in the true sense of liberalism, but without the finger-wagging. That’d just be rude.

    Were I to be less so, I’d say that we’re the thick-rimmed glasses wearing middle managers walking on the egg-shells of world politics, the co-dependants of the globe. Do you still like us? We are Anne of Green Gables living among a biker club, optimistically hoping that maybe, just maybe, tonight, we won’t take it up the butt.

    We are those who live with Russian winters, but no breadlines, our cynicism melting just long enough in a four-month summer to prevent permafrost. Our military is as strong as an hard-frozen igloo and we rely on the American red-necks to keep the bears at bay.

    But we take care of the trees and the mountains, except of course for the Alberta shale-sands, which, while ruining our land, keeps us in the good graces of those folks with guns.

    We are the land where a politician showing a shoulder or misusing a mere hundred thousand dollars is a genuine national scandal. Call us milquetoast and the hockey jersey comes off, but we’ll shake your hand after a game.

    How does a foreigner recognize a Canadian? We’re always speaking about the weather. When walking, we don’t cross the street when the light is red. Even when nobody is looking. We open your door and say thank you. We apologize to you when you bump into us. We do say “eh?”, we don’t say “aboot”–unless we’re from the east.

    Who are we? We’re Canadian. Try as you might, you can’t peg us to a simple description.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I do remember that commercial! I also remember seeing….our….Canadian….superstar….Bill (Blowhard) Shatner, do a satire/takeoff of it on the Montréal Comedy Fest program.
      I published a post about the differences between Canadians and Americans. Your mini-blog comment does a much better job. Canadians are easy-going, not subject to being outspoken or polarized, a bit of this, a bit of that, and not too much of anything. 😀


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      @ Francis Roy,

      Nicely said, FR. If Archon’s blog had a like-button for comments, I would have clicked on yours here. 🙂


  9. Francis Roy says:

    Judging by the fact that you called my comment a mini-blog post, I feel reasonably confident that like William Shatner, I also may be a blowhard. Is that a Canadian trait?


    • Archon's Den says:

      My own posts usually hover around the thousand-word mark, only one of the reasons I only publish every three days. If you and Bill are Canadian blowhards, I’m another, in good company.
      Feel free to expound at any length here. Jim Wheeler above has cut back on his own posts, and often reveals interesting facts here, in similarly long comments.
      Haven’t had a chance to check your site yet, but the above would make a dandy post, if you haven’t already. 🙂


  10. benzeknees says:

    Yeah, Canada! You said it well!


  11. I’v actually had my eye on Canada for quite some time, long before this current mess in America…

    Liked by 1 person

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