By Bill Fox/Columnist
Probably like a lot of readers, I wasn’t born in Canada. My parents had the wisdom and foresight to bring their young children here in 1950. I was four years old. I have never returned to my birth country because this is my home and where I am happy. On July 1, Canada Day, we remember how fortunate we are to call Canada our home.
Let’s explore some facts about the greatest country in the world that I, perhaps like you, sometimes take for granted, but not on July 1.
– Canada has more lakes than all of the other countries in the world combined!
– We produce 1.5 per cent of the world’s food, but consume only 0.6 per cent
– Forests take up 31 per cent of Canada.
– One fifth of the world’s fresh water is in Canada.
– We have the longest coastline of any country in the world
– The Royal Winnipeg Mint makes coins for more than 60 countries, including centavos for Cuba, kroner for Norway and pesos for Colombia.
– Toronto-based Cervelo builds what have been called the world’s fastest and lightest bikes.
– The world’s best drum cymbals, Sabian, come from New Brunswick, used by Rush, The Black Eyed Peas, the Philadelphia Orchestra and marching bands around the world and sold in more than 120 countries.
Eight years ago on the CBC, there was a show called the Greatest Canadian Invention, where viewers could vote for their top choices. Here is a partial list of inventions made in our great country: Insulin, the telephone, light bulb, five-pin bowling, the Wonderbra, artificial pacemaker, Robertson screwdriver, zipper, electric wheelchair, poutine, cobalt 60 cancer treatment, Java programming language, the bloody Caesar cocktail, the Canadarm, electron microscope, Ski-Doo, Blackberry smartphones, radio voice transmission, lacrosse, birch-bark canoe, basketball, UV degradable plastics, instant replay, goalie masks, pablum, electric ovens, walkie-talkies, alkaline batteries, paint rollers, snow-blowers, electronic music synthesizers, green garbage bags, instant mashed potatoes, Plexiglass, self-propelled combine harvesters, explosives vapour detectors, Sonar, table hockey game, the pager and the caulking gun.
As well, Canadians are responsible for Macintosh red apples, Canada Dry ginger ale, Nanaimo Bars, butter tarts, Yukon gold potatoes and the development of the prosthetic hand. Canada is the home of Trivial Pursuit, IMAX, and Canola.
Can you imagine a world without Canadian inventiveness?
Here are some other UBIs (useless bits of information) about Canada:
– It is illegal to have comics depicting criminal acts in Canada
– Between 35 and 50 per cent of all music broadcast on Canadian radio must be Canadian. – According to the White Pages, Li is the most common surname in Canada.
– You can send a letter to the government of Canada for free
– Our average age is 40.6
– Just less than one third of our population speak French
– 77 per cent of the world’s maple syrup is made in Quebec
– We have more doughnut shops per capita than any other country
– 4 million caribou live in Canada, while only 15,500 polar bears call Canada home!
– We have 1,453 airports in Canada
– 95 per cent of the world’s lentils come from Saskatchewan
– Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, created in 1922 to protect buffalo, is larger than Switzerland!
– Finally, seeing as we are the world’s greatest country, and UFOs are likely to check us out first, St. Paul, Alta., made the world’s first UFO landing pad in 1967!
As always I can be contacted about UBIs or UFOs at firstname.lastname@example.org.