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7 Things You Can't Say in Canada

Offbeat  (tags: Canada, culture, environment, humor, off-beat, arts, children, US relations )

- 1998 days ago -
Attacking our sacred cows may turn you into a pariah--but it can also be a lot of fun. Every culture has its unacknowledged taboos--the things you are forbidden to say or do in polite company, the accepted truths you are not allowed to doubt.

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Lynn Squance (235)
Thursday August 30, 2012, 10:49 pm
I had to giggle when I saw this. I want it known that recycling works, notwithstanding what the authour says; Canadians love David Suzuki (he is a paragon; a national guru of science) and it was his 12 year old daughter who spoke so well I believe to the UN in the 1990's about climate change; universal healthy care despite it's flaws is the way to go; and yes we do sit here next to the US but we don't have to agree with everything the US does, although at the moment, I think our PM Harper is trying to make us into a US clone.

Here is one of the many comments on the article, one that particularly resonated with me.

On the one hand I have to agree that your list is definitely right on in the sense that these are likely sentences that will get you hated if you utter them in Canada. On the other hand I also have to agree that you will be hated for saying these things because they are wrong. "Recycling is a waste of time and money. ... But don’t tell your kids. They won’t believe you. They’ve been brainwashed."
Well thankfully one day these kids will be the ones who will lead this world and they will have been taught that tolerating that an island of plastic nearly the size of Texas state floating in the pacific ocean is not an acceptable world to live in. But there is no point in trying to discuss this with someone pretending otherwise, you can't teach an old litterer respect for its environment. "Only private enterprise can save public health care. ... The cost to the government would be exactly the same." it may be the same now but you have to be totally ignorant of the most basic principles of economy if you think that changing the rules would not send the price of health care even more through the roof than it currently is.
Being a surgeon or any form of physician is a highly specialised skill requiring years of education and having life and death implications. There is no way you can expect a private enterprise to make a profit while treating poor people. You want to know how much health care would cost if no longer public, then look into how much was charging Michael Jackson's physician, and we all know hoe this ended. The disparity between the rich and the poor is just too big to allow health care to be played by the rule of the marketplace. "A national daycare program won’t do a thing to help poor kids....Few poor parents use the system." Likely it is because less families fall below the poverty line since they live in a country that has a proper social net which includes among other things public health care, education and daycare programs.
"The United States is the greatest force for good the world has ever known." You go tell that to all the countries the USA have bombed since the last WW: China 1945-46; Korea 1950-53; China 1950-53; Guatemala 1954; Indonesia 1958; Cuba 1959-60; Guatemala 1960; Belgian Congo 1964; Guatemala 1964; Dominican Republic 1965-66; Peru 1965; Laos 1964-73; Vietnam 1961-73; Cambodia 1969-70; Guatemala 1967-69; Lebanon 1982-84; Grenada 1983-84; Libya 1986; El Salvador 1981-92; Nicaragua 1981-90; Libya 1986; Iran 1987-88; Libya 1989; Panama 1989-90; Iraq 1991-; Kuwait 1991; Somalia 1992-94; Croatia 1994 (of Serbs at Krajina); Bosnia 1995; Sudan 1998; Afghanistan 1998; Yugoslavia 1999; Afghanistan 2001-; Iraq 2003-; Libya 2011-. The difference between Germany and the USA in their "force for good" effort is that when Germany deploys it, it is called a world war whereas when the US do it it is called peace. If you want to call forcing democracy -or more appropriately capitalism- using bombs and guns a "force for good" well, it is your call. As per Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki and the Group of Seven, well, I am a Quebecer so they are as culturally foreign to me as JK Rowling, Gandhi or Picasso. But I do tend to like them.

Shan D (49)
Friday August 31, 2012, 1:23 am
This list is utter bullshit, and was obviously written by a Conservative supporter (although I will grant that *some* of Margaret Atwood's work is downright unreadable, and I've never been a Conservative supporter). These 7 things are what the right-wingers keep saying, and what the rest of us wish they would stop saying, because they're simply not true.

P A (117)
Friday August 31, 2012, 7:05 am
I think the comments here are considerably more worth reading than the article on Readers DIgest - which wasn't as well expressed or as amusing apart from that comment that Lynn copied - many thanks for that Lynn, alas the computer won't allow me to give you another green star for that yet! Green star to Shan D

Shan D (49)
Saturday September 1, 2012, 9:13 pm
BTW, I've canceled my subscription to Reader's Digest because in the September 2012 issue I found an ad for Cenovus - a company that brags about its FRACKING TECHNOLOGY, and it's currently tied up in a legal dispute over a farm in Saskatchewan that was basically destroyed from fracking. Reader's Digest was very snooty about my explanation about Cenovus and that the ad offended me - they blathered on about how "tree-friendly" their magazine is. Well, that wasn't my point. Even getting attitude like that is enough to make me drop a magazine subscription.

Reader's Digest isn't the same magazine we read in past generations, folks. :/

Michael O (175)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 6:31 am
I'm with Shan on this one. The article sounds like it was written from the perspective of one of the Harper Regime's minions.

Unfortunately, a lot of the mainstream media is inundated with these Harper-friendly messages. The leading English language news radio station here in Montreal has become a laughing-stock in my opinion, as it sounds more like a PR firm for Harper than a serious news station.

TomCat S (130)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 9:15 am
Cute, but how about saying one thing you can say? Good riddance Harper!

Cher C (1430)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 9:22 am

Being a Canadian I have to agree with Michael!

And yes TomCat...... good riddance to Harper!!!

Thnx Lynn!


Past Member (0)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 1:15 pm

Vicky P (476)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 3:08 pm
You can say anything in Canada, it's a free country :)

Anita R (2)
Monday September 3, 2012, 12:29 am
As a Canadian, I agree with Vicky Pitchford that you can say anything in Canada, which doesn't mean that people won't disagree with you and tell you so. Diagreeing with someone isn't in the least stifling free speech because the originator can always reply back. Wente suggests she is trying to stimulate discussion, so her use of the term "can't say" is really hyperbole aimed at getting people's attention. I agree wholeheartedly with the views expressed by Lynn Squance.

Anita R (2)
Monday September 3, 2012, 12:33 am
And just on a personal note wrt the Group of Seven - my younger self was not all that impressed by reproductions in books, but in 2002 I went to an exhibition of the Group of Seven in an art gallery in Calgary where I beheld the real thing in their full-sized glory. I was 52 at the time. It changed my assessment of the Group of Seven totally. Awesome!

M B (62)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 2:44 pm
As TomCat says, "good riddance Harper" !! and what about the "F" word, is it like in the Uk, where you can curse as much as you like, but never use the "F" word, Lol.

Cindy B (61)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 7:30 pm
Well, I can't comment much because my computer's running slow today and I simply CAN'T WAIT for those "7 things" to come up, Of course each of them has to be on a separate page!
Guess I'll die never knowing.

Sheila D (28)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 5:51 pm
Even though I'm an American and I live in the US, I also lived in Canada (BC) for a couple of years. I found all those I met to be very interesting and open to all conversation. I see no reason to start a fight, though, so would probably not want to debate these 7 subjects. Even so, I loved Lynn Squance's remarks. She does have a way with words...

Lynn Squance (235)
Saturday September 8, 2012, 6:33 pm
Thanks all! Yes John, I agree that Canada doesn't have the best of environmental records, especially under Harper and his harlots who have walked away from the Kyoto Accord, are promoting the oil sands which are stripping away the boreal forests for tar sands oil, and trying to shove 2 pipelines through BC by cutting the BC provincial government out of discussions (BC gov't, a pro business gov't also is not standing up to Harper as it should).
Michael, Shan, Cher I agree with you --- sounds like a proaganda piece for the Conservatives. Vicky, be careful. You might be able now to say what you want, but if Harper gets his way, you could find that change, especially when it comes to the electronic venues like the internet. Don't ever take freedom of speech, even though it is in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for granted.
Tom knows how I feel about Harper and IMHO, 'good riddance' isn't nearly strong enough.
Anita, I was a fine arts major in highschool and loved the Group of Seven for their style because it was so representative of Canadians and Canada. Glad you now enjoy them!
Monka, LMAO --- no we are not like the UK in that regard. The 'F' word is still not acceptable in in formal speech, but is in great use. I know people that use it as every 2nd word, although it's not the norm. It is more prevalent among the younger generation. I am 60 and use it but only when I am by myself or if I am really, really ticked off.
Sheila, open conversation where everyone listens and contributes repectfully is always welcome in my book. It would be a dull place if we all agreed on everything and there would be no innovation, no progress even on social issues. That's one of the things I like about Care2. Unfortunately, in this case we are not all of like mind and we do have our trolls and bullies.
Cindy, having a slow computer myself, I can certainly understand. Read the comments and you'll get the gist.

Colin K (0)
Tuesday October 22, 2013, 8:25 pm would appear you are trying to outdo the idiot savant, Ezra Levant…he knows how to stir the pot to get the numbers to surface in the alphabet soup he calls journalism….I want to see your sources...which incidentally your bio says you are best known do you get off saying recycling is a waste of money?…get out and about....ONTARIO is not the world...just the so-called 'centre of the universe' and by whom? —Contrary Ontarians. We don’t all do as Toronto does and collect styrofoam for recycling…that of course, which doesn't escape the blue box with the help of the wind, ending up on the fence at the end of the road...or the ones lining the so-called rapid transit system...aka the GO TRAIN...guess it is an improvement over the STOP TRAIN…not any mans’ idea of rapid dependable commuter transit…thats a topic for another day….when once collected Toronto trashes styrofoam with al the other garbage by driving it down to Chicago at the cost of the toxins from 160 trucks and trailers each if Toronto is your context, I see your failing. As a has been American, I would think you would take exception to dumping garbage in your neighbour’s back yard.

Your study needs a larger pool of participants. Travel west my friend and see how sensible people look after garbage....they don't make it the high point of their bedroom communities by grassing over their sins of excess: dumps....and Oh Yeah....Saint David Suzuki is the closed thing we have to a Saint of any who work out of Toronto...when he is not at home on the sensibly....trying to bring some sense to the 'centre of the universe’ and the rest of the planet.

Margaret, half of your nonsensical forbidden Canadian discussions are the high points of Ontario. Give us some context, sources and studies to back your wild affirmations. I think you left your heart and your mind in the good ol’ USA. Get out and travel and listen to people and their opinions of the Quixotic Americans and their medical and military hegemony. It ain’t just Canajuns who think that way. Americans are as contagious to the planet as their private medical practices, iatrogenesis and nosocomial harm….and let me drone on about collateral damage too…in the news again today…innocents killed…all for the sake of better world wide economy…a BiG Mac in every belly and democracy on every plate…and a humvee in every driveway, a gas pump at every intersection…and lots of doctors willing to take their money and treat their symptoms with a bucket of pharmacy.

I would love to see you debate with RIck Mercer…on Canadian social no-no’s …now there is a real Candian journalist…born and bred in little America, North America, the Rock on Top…the place we used to call home —Canada.
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