Jacques Parizeau, rest in peace

The Honourable Jacques Parizeau, former Premiere of Quebec, who came within 1% of leading Quebec to Independence in a 1995 referendum, passed away June 1st. He was 84.

“Monsieur’s” cause of death was a foot jammed in his mouth, ostensibly placed there by “money and the ethnic vote.”

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Sanford Fleming: Inventor of Time Zones

Sanford Fleming played a key role in the development of a satisfactory worldwide system of keeping time. The railway had made obsolete the old system where every major centre set its clocks according to local astronomical conditions. Fleming advocated the adoption of a standard or mean time and hourly variations from that according to established time zones. He was instrumental in convening an International Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 at which the system of international standard time – still in use today – was adopted.

Fun Canadian Facts: Canada not a “Real Country”

New Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau confirmed that Canada is not a real country when he called Canada an “imaginary country” this week. This confirms this little-known fact, which first came to light when Lucien Bouchard, Premier of Quebec stated, “Canada is divisible because Canada is not a real country,” on January 27, 1996.

Fun Canadian Facts: Beaver Excrement

Contrary to what a certain shopkeeper in Napadogan, New Brunswick will tell you [yes, I am talking about you, Mel Berehowsky of Four Corner’s Beaver Copulation Observation Platform, Gift Emporium and Natural Healing Centre], beaver excrement does not make a “fine organic 2-in-1 shampoo, exfoliant and conditioner.”

Sir John A MacDonald, Canada’s First Prime Minister and Noted Drunk

John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Primie Minister, (1867–1873; 1878–1891), became known as the Father of Confederation. Sir John was as well known for his wit as his love of booze, enough to have been visibly drunk for many of his debates in Parliament.

During one election debate, Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out,saying, “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!”

MacDonald’s reply? “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”

Fun Canadian Facts – The Internet Invents Canada

In a case of turnabout-is-fair-play, the Internet invented Canada when a bored civil servant in Nepean wrote up a history for the entirely whimsical country of Canada and posted it on Wikipedia. Rather than admit civil servants aren’t paragons of industrious labour, there was then no choice but to make the whimsy real.

Poof! Canada was born!