My friend Julia is getting ready to have her Canadian Citizenship test, as she’s tired of being merely a Permanent Resident, and now apparently wants to have more say in these taxes she’s been paying.
To that end, she’s received and is now reviewing the requisite materials for the test. (I offer you the list of questions she gave to me, unaltered, as a starting point.) As one might expect, the test has a number of questions that, yes, an average born-and-raised-in-Canada Canadian would flunk. (I would imagine the same is true of most countries.) Some of these are taken for granted, as just about everyone just accepts things as they are.
But some of these questions are ... well, let’s say that they just scream for alternative answers.
I’m not going to put up every question because some of them are just darn obvious. Or otherwise boring, and have no particularly interesting answers. Again, if you want to see the original list, follow the above link. As for the answers, well, this is my take on them. So if you’re actually studying for the Canadian citizenship test, please, for the love of the maple leaf, read Wikipedia.
Who are the Aboriginal peoples of Canada?
Joe, Marge, Fred, Little Tom, Kinney, and Wilma.
Why are the Aboriginal peoples of Canada working toward self-government?
If you’ve got the opportunity to not have to deal with the federal government, wouldn’t you?
Where did the first European settlers in Canada come from?
Why did the early explorers first come to Atlantic Canada?
Well, it was pretty bloody hard to go to Pacific Canada, wasn’t it?
What three industries helped the early settlers build communities in the Atlantic region?
Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and Tim Horton’s.
Who were the United Empire Loyalists?
A British football team.
What form of transportation did Aboriginal peoples and fur traders use to create trading networks in North America?
What important trade did the Hudson's Bay Company control?
What did the government do to make immigration to western Canada much easier?
Made living in eastern Canada so unbearable that everyone fled west.
What is the Canadian Constitution?
A piece of paper.
Which was the last province to join Canada?
Newfoundland. (And while this is the truthful answer, it’s a newfie joke all onto its own.)
Name two fundamental freedoms protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The right to bitch about the government and the right to apologise to anyone for no particular reason.
List three ways in which you can protect the environment.
Again, a bit of a serious response — ‘cuz, yes, this is an actual question. I think it’s actually a survey question, because the federal government in Canada clearly doesn’t know how to do this themselves.
What are the two official languages of Canada?
English, and French spoken really poorly by English-speakers.
What does the Canadian flag look like?
Must. Hold. Back. Obvious. Joke.
What song is Canada's national anthem?
Duh! The theme to Hockey Night In Canada!
Which animal is an official symbol of Canada?
Okay, another serious one. The beaver. Seriously. How can you not love a country where it’s national symbol is the beaver. Ahem.
Where are the Great Lakes?
Probably where you last left them.
Which country borders Canada on the south?
Um. China? (Is this to trip up Americans applying for citizenship?)
What are the three main types of industries in Canada?
Beer, hockey, and donuts.
In what industry do most Canadians work?
Based on the NHL players, it’s definitely ice-related.
What is Canada's system of government called?
According to my dad, it’s “A Fucking Mess”.
What are the three parts of Parliament?
“Goofy”, “Dopey”, and “Sleepy” come to mind… (On a serious note: Hey Canucks, did you know there were three?)
Explain how the levels of government are different.
Well, all they tend not to do much. After that, it’s kinda dicey…
What do you call a law before it is passed?
How are members of Parliament chosen?
Usually it’s the only person left after everyone else says: “I don’t wanna do it!”
Who do members of Parliament represent?
Cynical answer: Themselves.
What is the government of all of Canada called?
How many electoral districts are there in Canada?
Again, kinda serious… Are you fucking kidding me? Even the CBC doesn’t know this and has to look it up. I just laughed when I first heard this. Seriously? You want me to know this?
What three requirements must you meet in order to vote in a federal election?
a) Be alive, b) not be totally drunk, and c) be ready to start bitching about the changes
What is written on a federal election ballot?
Kinda like the electoral districts question, I was surprised by this one. I honestly have no idea, beyond the list of names of the people I’m supposed to choose from. Which, when you think about it, ain’t a lot of information to go on.
Man, elections are kinda dumb.
What do political parties do?
Again, I think this is a survey, because the government must be looking for suggestions on this one.
Which federal political party is in power?
Funny, but somewhat true — right now, none. Minority governments mean no power. All of it is pure bargaining.
Okay, those are my (somewhat) interesting responses. I know there are lots more, though. Anyone else care to add a few?