The land of milk and maple syrup

Posted on November 12th, 2009 10 great comments. Room for one more!

Another movie shoot? I gotta be honest with you, I don’t get out of bed for anything less than a feature-length film these days. Made-for-TV is, frankly, below me. And Winona Ryder? Didn’t she steal something? *phft* No thanks.

stick a yellow notice on the old cork board, don't tell me i'm bored, rather stay indoors

I have my standards. It’s the finicky Canadian in me. Or maybe the obstinate Czech. If the Canadian government had higher standards, maybe they’d keep the likes of Winona Ryder out of Canada. They came out with a new guide for immigrants today, but I don’t see how it protects anyone from anything.

Here are the things I took away from this:

“Serving on a jury is a privilege”

I’m not sure that needs any comment.

“In the visual arts, Canada is historically perhaps best known for the Group of Seven…”

If that’s true then we really need to do something. Now!

“In our federal state, the federal government takes responsibility for…”

Whoa there! Who said anything about taking responsibility? The government takes no stand on this issue.

June 24 – Fête Nationale (Quebec)

Once again Quebecers get a perk that the rest of Canada doesn’t. On my tax money, no doubt!

“Saskatchewan, once known as the ‘breadbasket of the world’ and the ‘wheat province’…”

Yeah, Saskatchewan used to be something. What kind of message is that?

“’Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.’ This phrase underlines the importance of religious traditions to Canadian society and the dignity and worth of the human person.”

Ooh, Zeus and the gang are not gonna be pleased about this one.

I think the problem with government publications is that they white-wash everything. The (we can safely assume) exorbitant budget probably had earmarked a proofreader for every individual sentence. Two for the God parts. What that guarantees is that, having used this booklet as preparation for citizenship, newcomers are not in any way prepared for the reality of Canadian life. This isn’t the land of milk and maple syrup they thought it was. Well, kind of. Good organic milk too. But it’s more expensive than they thought it was.

Really, I think the government is doing landed immigrants a disservice. They should be a little more honest, get a little more brutal, tell them how things really are. I’m hardly qualified to talk about Canada as a whole, but I’m at the senior kindergarten level in municipal affairs so at least I can offer up some samples from that. Here then are a few excerpts from my proposed Toronto Citizenship Test Preparation Booklet™. Answers are included; there’s really no way to cheat.

lights on, no one's home

apparently people have sometimes been found there after 5 p.m.!

used to be "the better way". then "the rocket". did they just give up after that?

  • Question: Name one of Toronto’s excellent metropolitan or regional transit services.
  • Answer: Haha! Trick question! None of them are excellent; fair at best.
  • Bonus Question: Who or what has the right of way on most Canadian roads and streets?
  • Bonus Answer: A taxi. Always. Even on the sidewalk, and especially through reds.

As above, each question in the test prep booklet would be accompanied by a photo or nice drawing of some sort. That way the student has something pleasant to look at while they pretend to study. For the test, the prospective citizen and the interviewer would shoot the shit in a local coffee shop. If the guy / gal can carry on an interesting conversation and shows no leaning toward homicidal tendencies, well, welcome to Toronto! What else do you want, a handshake from the Queen?

10 Comments on “ The land of milk and maple syrup ”

  • Bemused26
    November 13th, 2009 1:13 am

    Fantastic night time shots- I love the colours.

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  • Patrick
    November 13th, 2009 7:48 am

    Thanks, bemused. They're actually HDRs which is why you're able to see into the windows, so in this case I have to put the blame on technology.

  • DemonMeister
    November 13th, 2009 6:08 am

    Love Winona!!!!

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  • Patrick
    November 13th, 2009 7:51 am

    Is that an imperative, DemonMeister? How about if I like her, would that be acceptable? I don't dislike her, it's just that her career never really picked up again after the incident. Fair weather fandom is my kinda fandom!

  • WillOaks Studio
    November 13th, 2009 12:53 pm

    Lovely photos…but not too sure about the text on your government's immigration policy and promotions…your version, on the other hand, sounds just about right; but too brutally honest, I'm guessing.

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  • Patrick
    November 13th, 2009 2:35 pm

    "brutal honesty" is my middle name, WillOaks :) Patrick "brutal honesty" Bay. My parents never explained why they named me that, though.

  • BothEyesShut
    November 13th, 2009 4:20 pm

    I almost ran away to Canada once, ha ha! Your blog makes me smile, Sir. A fine job indeed. It's good to know that your government is as bad at mass transit as ours is.

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  • Patrick
    November 15th, 2009 7:31 pm

    And, may I suggest, BothEyesShut, it's tragic to know that governments are equally incompetent everywhere.

  • Gatekeeper
    November 14th, 2009 8:50 pm

    Shouldn't that be waiting for a handshake from the rent-a-queen? I waited all day for her to shake my hand when I became an Australian citizen. She never showed.

    I'm in NZ now and I doubt anyone has told her that she's the queen here too.

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  • Patrick
    November 15th, 2009 7:33 pm

    Yeah, the Queen doesn't care about her common subjects, Gatekeeper. She's more concerned with her ongoing ability to swoop in and take control of a country at a moment's notice. Many people aren't aware of this but Governor Generals are armed to the teeth and carry a license to kill.

What's on your mind?