Two Cents Worth

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People don’t know us very well, do they? A lot has been said about the people of Canada. It is claimed we are polite, accepting, more co-operative and conciliatory, realistic, friendly and peaceful. They think we are nice. I have no issue with any of that. Some think we are overly focused on the weather and hockey. To that I say, “And?”

Outsiders also give special characteristics to different areas. People out west have defined qualities and traits diverse from folks from Ontario, Quebec and the east coast. We do, so I don’t find any fault in that logic, either.

Sometimes these classifications seem a little stringent even from our own. Watched some of the Calgary Stampede. Contestants come from all those States that relate well to the whole ranch/cow/horse lifestyle as well as our western provinces. There is also a contingent that comes from Brazil. Spectators come from all over the world to watch “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.”

I always enjoy the commentators of this event because they have such a colourful and folksy way to describe what happens during each competition. It’s a cowboy thing.

Morgan Grant of Granton, Ontario won top honours in the calf roping event and placed second in the bull doggin’ or steer wrestling. The Canadian analysts couldn’t quit talking about how an Ontario boy would be competing in the Stampede. Every time he performed it was the same thing.

“Can you believe this boy is from Ontario?”

“And he’s so good, too!”

“He’s from Ontario, can you imagine?”

I think that is carrying the distinction a bit too far. Those of us who live in other parts of Canada, not out west, also know a thing or two about horses and rodeo. We all had horses in my family and so did many of our friends. My sister and I even competed in rodeos so it is not so unrealistic for a cowboy to come from Ontario.

How people in other parts of the world perceive us can be even more unrealistic. Many of our neighbours to the south think we live like Eskimos all year long, regardless of where in Canada we live. I was once asked if we had running water and hydro. So, I guess, with that kind of understanding, it isn’t surprising they think any cold snap is our fault.

Some part of the Polar Vortex is sometimes situated near Baffin Island which does belong to Canada but we are not responsible for how it impacts weather conditions across Canada or into the United States. Some American stations always use wordage like, “The cold is pushing in from Canada,” or “More cold weather coming in from Canada.”

When we suffer the effects of severe weather disturbances I have never heard anyone say, “The high winds from the United States caused destruction in our area,” or “The American hurricane off the coast caused serious damage in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.”

Furthermore, I have never heard anyone in any of our provinces say aboot.



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