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.
Motto: Multis e Gentibus Vires (Latin) Strength from many peoples (English)
Largest City and Metro: Saskatoon
Joined Confederation: 1905 (Split from Northwest Territories)
Official Language: English
Premier: Brad Wall (Saskatchewan Party)
Comparable to: North Dakota, but prettier.
Claim to Fame: That one time Tom Hanks came to watch the Grey Cup.
- 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.
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”.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Motto: Splendor sine occasu (Latin) Splendour without diminishment (English
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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!
- The birthplace of poutine. See? Maybe life ain’t so bad.
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!
- The most populous province, accounting for forty percent of Canada’s population.
- Home of some of the most mediocre sports franchises in North America.
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.