An Introduction to Canada Episode 2: The Rest of the Provinces!

Welcome to part 2 of my ongoing series, my introduction of Canada to those who may not know that much about the country and Canadians in general. If you’re wondering where the Arctic Territories and the Maritime Provinces are at, head on over here.

Saskatchewan

Motto: Multis e Gentibus Vires (Latin) Strength from many peoples (English)

Capital: Regina

Largest City and Metro: Saskatoon

Joined Confederation: 1905 (Split from Northwest Territories)

Official Language: English

Premier: Brad Wall (Saskatchewan Party)

Population: 1,033,381

Comparable to: North Dakota, but prettier.

Claim to Fame: That one time Tom Hanks came to watch the Grey Cup.

Tom Hanks poses for a photo at the 101st Grey Cup game held at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask. on Sunday Nov. 24, 2013.

Fun Facts:

  • Canada’s farm-iest province.
  • If you’re ever in Saskatchewan, and you want to win over the locals (Say, I dunno, you’re being forced into a shotgun wedding by a crazed gopher-herding family) just wear green and white, or some variation of this logo. Just trust me on this.

Also, wearing watermelons on your head is perfectly acceptable here. Just in case in case you’re into that stuff.

Manitoba

Map showing the location of Manitoba, in the centre of Southern Canada

Motto: Gloriosus et- O irrumabo! Culicibus! (Latin) Glorious and- Oh, fuck! Mosquitoes! (English)

Capital, largest city and largest metro: Winnipeg

Joined Confederation: 1870

Official language: English, but French is all but official too.

Premier: Greg Selinger (New Democratic Party)

Population: 1, 208, 268

Comparable to: Minnesota, but covered in mosquitoes.

Claim to Fame: Along with Saskatchewan, Northern Ontario, and Western Ontario, one of the “flyover provinces”.

Fun Facts:

  • Churchill, a town in the Northern part of the province, bordering Hudson’s Bay, is a small, mostly Aboriginal, town, where the tourism industry is thriving thanks to the fact that polar bears venture near (And sometimes into) the town in the months of October and November.
  • More mosquitoes per square kilometer than most tropical countries.

Actual size.

Alberta

Motto: Fortis et liber (Latin) Strong and Free (English)

Capital: Edmonton (My hometown!)

Largest City and Metro: Calgary

Joined Confederation: 1901

Official language: English

Premier: Alison Redford (Progressive Conservative Party)

Population: 3, 645, 257

Comparable to: Montana (Climate) , Texas (Damn near apocalyptic environmental policies, right-leaning governments, and an unfortunate preference for country music).

Claim to fame: Nickleback. We are so, so fucking sorry.

Fun Facts:

  • The second-most entitled, and most spoiled province in the country. Yep, we’re those guys.
  • Fort McMurray, in the North of the province, is the heart of one of the country’s main hubs of oil production, the notorious Athabasca Tar Sands. No joke here, I just hope it burns to the ground.
  • Just a heads up: Any city or town in Western Canada that has a name that begins with “Fort” is bound to be a piece of crap.

British Columbia

Motto: Splendor sine occasu (Latin) Splendour without diminishment (English

Capital: Victoria

Largest city: Vancouver

Largest metro: Metro Vancouver

Joined Confederation: 1871

Official language: English

Premier: Christy Clark (Liberal Party)

Population: 4, 400, 057

Comparable to: Washington (Canada’s main source of pot. Similar climate in the south. Also, hipsters) Oregon (Similar politics. And climate. Also, hipsters) California (Many TV shows and movies are filmed there. Also,  similar politics. And hipsters.)

Claim to fame: Pamela Anderson.

‘Nuff said.

Fun Facts:

  • The most beautiful province in the country. Bar none.
  • BC was the home of the internment camps where the Canadian government imprisoned innocent Japanese-Canadians during World War II. Yeah, we used to be REALLY racist.
  • Also, while we’re on the topic of racism, the Canadian Pacific Railway, which runs from Vancouver to various parts of Canada and the Northern States, we made the not morally terrible at all decision to use Chinese migrant workers (Or “coolies”, as they were lovingly referred to) as slave labour, paying them pennies in return for building the damn railroad and handling insanely dangerous explosives. In return, the Chinese took over the city of Richmond.
  • The southwest corner of the province is more or less the only part of the country that isn’t blanketed by snow eight months out of the year.

Quebec

Motto: Je me souviens (French) I remember (English)

Capital: Quebec City

Largest city and largest metro: Montreal

Joined Confederation: 1867

Official Language: French

Premier: Pauline Marois (Parti Quebecois)

Population: 7, 903, 001

Comparable to: Louisiana’s french population (Minus the friendly Cajuns) and Texas’s occasional separation jags (Except more realistic and more reasonable).

Claim to Fame: Celine Dion. Again, we are so, so sorry.

“And my heeeeeeaaaaaaarrttt will go oooooooooooooooooon……….”

Fun Facts:

  • While most of the southern part of the province is of stereotypical French-Canadian stock, the northern is composed mostly by Cree and Inuit people.
  • In 1963, a far-left, separatist paramilitary group called the Quebec Liberation Front launched a series of propaganda and terrorism which targeted English (Or “Anglo-Saxon Imperialist”) institutions in the province. They were responsible for the deaths of at least five people in between 1963 and 1970, when they were involved in the October Crisis, during which they kidnapped the British trade commissioner to Canada, James Cross, as well as Quebec vice-premier Pierre Laporte. While Cross was released and the FLQ fled to Cuba like a bunch of little bitches, Laporte was found in the trunk of an FLQ members’ car, strangled by his own rosary beads. The world is a dark and horrible place, kids!

Oh, look! Puppies!

  • The birthplace of poutine. See? Maybe life ain’t so bad.

Ontario

Motto: Ut incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin)

Capital, largest city and largest metro: Toronto (Ontario is also home to Canada’s federal capital, Ottawa)

Joined Confederation: 1867

Official Language: English (de facto)

Premier: Kathleen Wynne (Liberal Party)

Population: 12, 851, 821

Comparable to: New York State

Claim to fame: Rob Ford, motherfucker!

Fun Facts:

  • The most populous province, accounting for forty percent of Canada’s population.
  • Home of some of the most mediocre sports franchises in North America.

And that’s not even mentioning the Ottawa sports teams.

That’s it for today, but I plan on doing more episodes of my Intro to Canada some time in the near future. In the meantime, I’ll see you all sometime after my exams are over. Or when I finish binge-watching Orange is the New Black when I should be studying. Either or.

An Introduction to Canada: The Happiest Place on Earth!

Anybody who maintains their own blog on WordPress knows that there’s a little button you can press on your dashboard that takes you to a Stats page where you can see how much views you get per day, which pages are getting more traffic, your top commenters, and, oddly enough, what people are searching on their respective search engines to get to your site. You can end up learning quite a bit about the people who read your blog. Some of the more popular searches on mine are:

  1. “evan peters is a douche”
  2. ‘daryl sabara is gay”
  3. “amanda bynes ugly”
  4. “fuck jhonny peralta”
  5. “fuck alan rickman”
  6. ‘daryl sabara gay porn”
  7. “domican (I think they meant “Dominican”) piece of shit alex rodriguez”
  8. Alex rodriquexz is a piece of shit” (All right, settle down)
  9. “munenori kawasaki suck” (….You have no heart)
  10. the lion king simba and nala’s big fuck fanfiction (I don’t want to live on this goddamn planet anymore)

However, my favourite of the statistics that WordPress provides its bloggers is the thing (For lack of a better noun) that counts up how many views you get from each different country. It’s amazing how the internet has brought the whole world together so that people can ask themselves the important questions, like “How the hell am I not being censored in Saudi Arabia?” and “How is there still internet in Syria?”.  It’s this kind of global unity that should , if all goes well, eventually get us to the point where we stop getting irrationally mad at each other and start loving our fellow man.

…Eventually…

Anyways, while I’m not surprised surprised that there haven’t really been all that many people who have gazed upon the products of my comic genius, I was surprised at how few of the views were from my native Canada. The vast majority of my views come from the United States of America, and while Canada was second, it was still outnumbered by the combined views from non-english speaking countries like Germany, France, Brazil, the Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Australia.

“Fuck off, Rollins, we’re getting tired of your shit.”

Anyways, since, if you’re reading this, there’s an eighty seven percent chance that you are not Canadian, I have decided to do a series of blogs about Canadian culture. These blogs, spread out over however much time as is necessary, will comprise of me enlightening people who may not know that much about Canada. Today, we’ll start with everyone’s favourite subject: Geography!

PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES OF OF CANADA (FROM LEAST TO MOST POPULATED)

Part 1 0f 2: The Territories and the Maritime Provinces

Nunavut

Territory

Motto: “Nunavut Sannginivut” (Inuit) “Our Land, Our Strength” (English) “Notre Terre, Notre Force” (French)

Capital and Largest City: Iqaluit

Official Languages: Inuit, English and French

Joined Confederation: 1999

Premier: Peter Taptuna (Independent)

Population: 31,906

Which American State is it Comparable to?: Alaska + Oklahoma.

Claim to Fame: Nakasuk Elementary School in Iqaluit was modeled to look like whale blubber!

Nakasuk Elementary School.jpg

Fun Facts:

  • Canada’s biggest province or territory. It’s also it’s most sparsely populated!
  • The most recent of the provinces or territories, it was formed in 1999 when 85% of Nunavut citizens (Or Nunavummiuq, for short) voted to establish a separate territory for the Inuit people (Sometimes referred to erroneously as ‘Eskimos”) and split from the Northwest Territories.
  • The only province or territory where the majority of the population have a mother tongue other than English or French.
  • The region of Canada with the lowest life expectancy. We’re really not that good at taking care of Native people.

Yukon

Canadian Provinces and Territories

Territory

Motto: None

Capital and Largest City: Whitehorse

Official Languages: English and French

Joined Confederation: 1898

Premier: Darrell Pasloski (Yukon Party)

Population: 33, 897

Comparable To: Alaska

Claim to Fame: That one Calvin and Hobbes story where they want to go to the Yukon.

Good times…

Fun Facts:

  • Home of the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century, captured on film by the great documentarian Charlie Chaplin in 1925’s The Gold Rush.
 Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush

Ken Burns, eat your heart out.

  • The setting for American writer Jack London’s best known  books: The Call of the Wild and White Fang.

Northwest Territories 

Territory

Motto: None

Capital and Largest City: Yellowknife

Official Languages: Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ

Joined Confederation: 1870

Premier: Bob McLeod (Independent)

Population: 41, 462

Comparable to: Alaska

Claim to Fame: The designated region that Canada divides up if we decide to have ourselves a new province or territory.

Fun Facts:

  • The Northwest Territories used to comprise parts of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, as well as all of Nunavut, the Yukon, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  •  Along with Nunavut, the only Canadian province or territory to have an Aboriginal majority population.

Prince Edward Island

Province

Motto: Parva sub ingenti (Latin) The small protected by the great (English)

Capital and Largest City: Charlottetown

Official Language: English (de facto)

Joined Confederation: 1873

Premier:  Robert Ghiz (Liberal)

Population: 140, 204

Comparable to: Maine (But floating!) + Delaware (They’re both about the same size)

Claim to Fame: Anne of Green Gables. I’d add a snide comment here, but I’d rather not get shanked by some fifty-something Anne Shirley fan.

Fun Facts:

  • The smallest province or territory.
  • Charlottetown, the capital city of P.E.I., is where Confederation was signed, forming the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Oddly enough, the province of P.E.I. itself didn’t join until seven years later, as it was still considering joining up with the United States.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Province

Motto: Quaerite prime regnum Dei (Latin) Seek ye first the kingdom of God (English) (Matthew 6:33)

Capital and Largest City: St. John’s

Official Language “English” (de facto)

Joined Confederation: 1949

Premier: Kathy Dunderdal (Progressive Conservative)

Population: 514, 536

Comparable to: Massachusetts (Mainly because of their funny similar-but-not-Irish accents)

Claim to Fame: Just do yourselves a favour and search “Newfie accents” on Youtube.

Fun Facts:

  • Home of quite possibly the first European settlement in the Americas, the short-lived Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows (It’s around five hundred years older than Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” (Or, more appropriately, “rape and slaughter”) of the Caribbean.
  •  The last province to join Confederation.

New Brunswick

Province

Motto: Spem reduxit (Latin) Hope restored (English) L’espoir restauré (French)

Capital : Fredericton

Largest City: Saint John

Largest Metro: Greater Moncton

Official Languages: English and French

Joined Confederation: 1867

Premier: David Alward (Progressive Conservative Party)

Population: 751, 171

Comparable to: Maine

Claim to Fame: The best lobster in the galaxy.

You’re on, Maine.

Fun Fact:

  • During the French colonial period, New Brunswick was settled by French-speaking settlers known as Acadians, who developed their own cultural identity, separate from France, or even Quebec. After the British takeover, and during the subsequent so-called “French and Indian War”, the British, worried that the Acadians may fight on the side of the French (They weren’t planing to) tried to make the Acadians swear allegiance to King George III. When the Acadians refused, they were swiftly rounded up and deported to Britain France, the Caribbean  and the United States. The largest present-day population of Acadians anywhere in the world is in Louisiana, where they are commonly referred to as “Cajuns”.  So you have Canada, the French language, and the douchebaggery of the British Empire to thank for shrimp gumbo. Who knew?

Nova Scotia

Province

Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit (Latin) One defends at the other conquers (English)

Capital and largest city: Halifax

Official Language: English (de facto)

Joined Confederation: 1867

Premier: Stephen McNeil (Liberal Party)

Population: 921, 727

Comparable to: Maine

Claim to Fame: Canada’s most penis-shaped province since 1867.

Fun Fact:

  • The birthplace of Ellen Page, Donald Sutherland, Sidney Crosby and Rocky Johnson (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s father).
  • The Rock himself also became a Canadian citizen. Do you need any more proof that fucking with Canada is a bad idea?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!!!