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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Publius Takes the Immigration Test

Jason Kenney, the federal immigration and citizenship minister, has tightened the pass requirements for the citizenship test. The new test is certainly an improvement on the politically correct, rubber stamping process of years past. Amazingly enough, the Conservative Party does occasionally behave conservatively. Provided it doesn't risk alienating swing voters.

Imparting in new Canadians the importance of citizenship is a vital first step to integrating immigrants into our society. Still, one has to wonder how native born Canadians might fare on this new extra tough citizenship test. History and civic education in this country is appalling.

Aside from knowing that we have a Prime Minister and not a President - that was in a beer commercial after all - and that John A Macdonald was a high functioning alcoholic, the typical Canadian knows little about Canada. It's not that Canadians don't want to know, it's that much of the educational class never bothered teaching our history, except in politically correct snippets and slogans, summed up by the chant: Europeans bad, everyone else good. As for civic education, the good Canadian knows that the government does owe you a living.

So from the mouth of well meaning ignorance, how would a typical Canadian fare on Mr Kenney's new immigration test? Thanks to the vast resources of this blog, and its network of agents and correspondents through out the Dominion, we have located the typical Canadian. He's a male in his late thirties and lives in Kenora. Which I think is in Alberta. But from Toronto it's hard to tell. We brought the typical Canadian to our high-tech testing center at the corner of Center St and Universe Ave, in downtown Toronto. Here is the test. And here is the typical Canadian's answers:

- Identify four (4) rights that Canadians enjoy.

The right to complain about the weather. The right to complain about how taxes are too high. The right to complain that the government isn't spending enough money on me or my community. The right to stand in the middle of the cookie aisle at Loblaws and block everybody's way (I know who you are). 

-Name four (4) fundamental freedoms that Canadians enjoy.

The freedom to speak, unless it offends a politically influential minority group. The freedom to own property, unless it offends a politically influential environmental group. The freedom to protest, unless it offends visiting dignitaries. The freedom to bitch about the weather, unless it offends a co-worker who is a ski-nut.

-What is meant by the equality of women and men?

It means I do what my wife tells me to do, though only after pretending I am doing it because I really want to.

-What are some examples of taking responsibility for yourself and your family?

I go and pick up the welfare check myself, rather than having it mailed and wasting the taxpayers' money on the stamp.

-Who were the founding peoples of Canada?

The Indians, the English, the French, the Portuguese, the Greeks, the Italians, the Chinese, the other Indians, and whoever shows up in the next few years and makes a big enough stink.

-Who are the Metis?

They're kind of like Indians, but not really. Their leader guy was crazy or something. Can I say that? I didn't mean to be offensive. I mean he was kind of weird or something. But I'm sure he was a great guy and all. Really, I mean that. I met one of these guys at work once, he seemed really cool and all. 

-What does the word "Inuit" mean?

Eskimo. But like the modern way of saying Eskimo.

-What is meant by the term "responsible government"?

The government is responsible for paying for my health care, education, pension and whatever else I can stick 'em with.

-Who was Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine?

The inventor of that fancy fountain in Shawinigan in front of that hotel near the golf course. You know the one.

-What did the Canadian Pacific Railway symbolize?

That graft, corruption, political manipulation, juvenile anti-Americanism, and screwing over people who don't live in Ontario and Quebec, has been a Canadian tradition since the beginning.

-What does Confederation mean?

Like federation but with more "con" in it. Like transfer payments.

-What is the significance of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best?

That it was discovered in Canada by Canadians and not by foreigners, especially Americans.

-What does it mean to say that Canada is a constitutional monarchy?

It means there is this old English lady on my money. I have no idea what she does, but I guess she is probably a nice old lady and all.

-What are the three branches of government?

The Prime Minister's Office, the Prime Minister's wife's office and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

-What is the difference between the role of the Queen and that of the Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister builds the useless community center in his riding, and the Queen (if available) shows up to open it.

-What is the highest honour that Canadians can receive?

To be appointed to the Senate, or some other cushy job with the federal government. Especially the ones that are unionized.

-When you go to vote on election day, what do you do?

I'm not a citizen yet, so why would I be voting? Look, I was just helping out that Liberal MP with some free pizzas during the campaign. Everything was legit and all.

-Who is entitled to vote in Canadian federal elections?

Anyone who isn't in jail, school or can convince the elections agent he's actually Canadian.

-In Canada, are you obliged to tell other people how you voted?

No, because nobody cares.

-After an election, which party forms the government?

Usually the Liberals, but not recently.

-Who is your Member of Parliament?

Rick Mercer.

-What are the three levels of government?

The federal, the provincial and the police who hand out the speeding tickets in my neighbourhood. I don't know who they work for but they must make a killing.

-What is the role of the courts in Canada?

To uphold the laws of Canada, unless it conflicts with their personal political beliefs. At that point they just make stuff up, and then use some latin terms to cover their tracks.

-In Canada, are you allowed to question the police about their service or conduct?

Yes, but not during the APEC conference, the G20, or if you're living in Caledonia.

-Name two Canadian symbols.

Don Cherry's ties. Peter Mansbridge's hairline.

-What provinces are sometimes referred to as the Atlantic Provinces?

The fish one. The Anne of Green Gables one. The ship on the dime one. The other one that no one seems to remember, the one that's half French or something.

-What is the capital of the province or territory that you live in?


Posted by Richard Anderson on December 8, 2010 | Permalink


Where's the damed "like" button on this site? ;-)

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2010-12-08 6:53:28 AM

Love it!!!!

Posted by: Alain | 2010-12-08 11:48:56 AM


Posted by: Paul Blair | 2010-12-08 12:42:33 PM


Posted by: Goff Tayler | 2010-12-08 7:55:19 PM

Best thing I've read in weeks.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-12-09 3:01:58 PM

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