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Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Canada Day

Holidays, Odds and Ends

Tomorrow is Canada Day. 

For our neighbors to the north this is the equivalent of our Independence Day which we celebrate on Sunday, July 4th.

My Canadian pals have instructed me to share with you some facts about that vast expanse to the north.

Born on July 1, 1867 when it became an independent Dominion of the British Commonwealth - the articles of the confederation were written by Canadians and accepted by the British parliament. Originally known as Dominion Day - today it is Canada Day.  Just like us - everyone goes to the parade, grills-out and watches the fireworks.

Although the fireworks are late.

Very late.

Like 11 PM

Closer to the arctic circle you know. 

I digress.

Canada has two official languages – English and French.

The last war Canada waged against the United States was the war of 1812.  It lasted two years.

Canada is the world's second largest country in land area. It has the longest coastline in the world, about 243,000 kilometers in length.  The border between the United States and Canada is the longest unprotected border in the world.

The main highway in Canada is known as the Trans-Canada highway. It stretches from St. Johns, in Newfoundland and Labrador to Victoria in British Columbia.  At seven thousand six hundred and four kilometers in length it is the longest national highway in the world.  I’ve driven a good deal of it.  Trust me – it is numbingly long.

In Quebec it is illegal to turn right on a red light at any time.  Radar detectors are illegal too.  Never argue with a French speaking highway patrolman.  You pay your tickets for moving violations at the bank.  Yes.  I  know this to be a fact.

Almost half of the population of Canada was born in other countries.  90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of our shared border.

Canada - with only one-tenth of our population - has paid a proportionately higher cost in blood in Afghanistan.

Canada has two national sports - Lacrosse and ice hockey.  Canadians invented the game of Lacrosse and basketball.  Over half of the players in the NHL are Canadian.  I am reminded that Canada invented ice too.

Canadians have made many other important inventions - including kerosene, the electron microscope, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system, the snowmobile, and the electric range.

Saturday mail delivery in Canada was eliminated in 1969.

The province of Alberta has been completely free of rats since 1905.

Canada is our largest trade partner.  Canada is also the United States’ largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power.

Canadians like their beer.  The brewing industry contributes just under $14 billion to the Canadian economy and generates more than 205,000 jobs.  This is 1.2% of all Canadian jobs.

Poutine is a dish consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and covered with gravy.  Quebec produces more than two-thirds of the world’s maple syrup.  There are more donut shops per capita in Canada than in any other country. 

Considering the diet and all of that beer - Canadians live longer than people in the States.

Finally - Canada is home to Sasquatch.  In British Columbia it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch.

Sources – The CIA World Fact Book and others

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