Happy Canada Day Mounties! Pass the Poutine!

July 1st, 2013

Today is a big day for our neighbor to the North.

It’s their birthday!

Not only do we share the biggest border between two nations, we also share a national birthday the same week in July.  As we celebrate, we can cheer the same historic fact—we both gave the Brits the boot.

My first experience with US/Canadian relations was when I worked in the White House and learned that there is a popular tradition with some presidents that the first State Dinner is with Canada. Oops!  President Bush changed that and actually hosted Mexico’s Vincente Fox first, so we can probably assume that POTUS 43 is a wee bit more popular south of the border than he is with our northern neighbors.

Since I’m always up for a good party, I was thinking of ways to celebrate another year of Canadian independence.  In the process, I checked out popular food and drink and came across a dish called Poutine, which is very popular, and is basically fries soaked in brown gravy with cheese curds. Mmmm . . . . Probably tastes great although I’m likely to avoid eating much of it since it’s probably 3,000 calories.  Canadians evidently eat lots of cheese.  They also love their stew, maple syrup, and beavertails, which is a pastry like elephant ears you get at the fair.  Apparently, eating fried dough is universal.

Canadians also love their drinks.  You gotta love Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Crown Royal.  There is also plenty of beer and coffee.  Hey, it’s cold up there!

Guess the official sport of Canada.  If you said hockey, you’d be wrong.  What the puck!  It’s Lacrosse.  Now that’s a surprise.  That doesn’t mean hockey isn’t a huge deal there because it is.  In fact, top prize for the NHL Champion, the Stanley Cup, has its own bodyguard. That’s a good thing, too, because Canadian winners of the cup have been known to fill it with all kinds of food and drink (everything from chocolate milk to popcorn and cereal).  At least that’s more respectful than some of the American winners. Members of the Dallas Stars tossed it off a balcony and dented it!

The official language of Canada is still a topic of “conversation” in Canada. Most areas of Canada speak English but a few speak French.  If you want to brush up on your French, head on up to Quebec where you can practice your French and enjoy your Fois Gras.

Canadians have essentially a socialist government and socialist medicine.  The latter has worked so well for them that many of you enjoyed meeting your first Canadian citizens while they were down in the good old U.S.A for medical treatment.  Sadly, their medical system doesn’t work out so well if you’re suffering from anything more harmful than a cold or ingrown toenail.  Otherwise, they come here.  Unfortunately, we’re now trying to follow their socialized medicine example with Obamacare.  Guess our doctors will be missing out on treating their Canadian clientele when Obamacare fully kicks in.

Let’s hope our next president and Congress can repeal that awful law so our Canadian friends will still have a decent place to seek treatment.

Most Canadians I’ve met have been quite nice and laid back.  I’ve taped Canadian TV with CBC, and they could not have been more pleasant.

There is a lot to like about Canada.  I’m especially impressed by those Mounties.  How cool are they?  Formed in 1873, they eventually became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and grew to an organization of more than 28,000 members.  Love those horses and uniforms.

So there you have it.  A few facts about Canada on Canada Day.  So let’s all raise a glass of Canadian Club to the Canucks up north and wish them a very Happy Birthday!

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