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Canada is a country that works better in practice than in theory. ~ Stéphane Dion

Canada, formerly known as the Dominion of Canada, is a country located in North America consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. At 9.98 million square kilometers in total, Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world's longest land border shared by the same two countries. Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy, constitutional monarchy, and a Commonwealth realm, meaning that it has British monarch King Charles III, the leader of the Church of England, as its head of state. Its head of government is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The official languages of the Canada are English and French.

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When Canada's having its way with you, you know something's gone horribly wrong. ~ Michael Ballaban
If aliens invaded Quebec, the U.S. press would give it two inches in the entertainment section. —Alison Bechdel
We are a nation of immigrants, and not happy in our minds. ~ Robertson Davies
Canada is today the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe, without any doubt in my mind... That is something unique to Canada. It is an amazing global human asset. —Aga Khan IV
Canada is either an idea or it does not exist. ~ John Ralston Saul
The proud, reserved Dominion, with a story of her own. ~ Bliss Carman
Canada has an experience of governance of which much of the world stands in dire need. ~ Aga Khan IV
Geography has made us neighbors. ~ John F. Kennedy
Canada could have enjoyed:
 English government,
  French culture,
   and American know-how.

Instead it ended up with:
 English know-how,
  French government,
   and American culture.
~ John Robert Colombo

The old cliché about having all your eggs in one basket takes on new meaning with Canada. ~ John Ralston Saul
There's a land where the mountains are nameless. ~ Robert Service
This is the law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall survive. ~ Robert Service
The Canadian game is rigged, and has been from the start. ~ Drew Brown and Mack Lamoureux
Canadians are just too damn polite. ~ Peter Zeihan


  • Canada is today the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe, without any doubt in my mind... That is something unique to Canada. It is an amazing global human asset.
  • Canada has an experience of governance of which much of the world stands in dire need. It is a world of increasing dissension and conflict in which a significant contribution is the failure of different ethnic, tribal, religious, or social groups to search for, and agree upon, a common space for harmonious co-existence.
    • Aga Khan IV, address at the Leadership and Diversity Conference Gatineau, Quebec, Canada (19 May 2004)
  • Canada has for many years been a beacon to the rest of the world for its commitment to pluralism and for its support for the multicultural richness and diversity of its peoples
    • Aga Khan IV, as quoted in AKDN press release "Aga Khan Welcomes Government of Canada's Partnership in New Global Centre for Pluralism, Ottawa, Canada" (18 April 2005)
  • Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.


  • Oh God! Oh Montreal!
    • Samuel Butler, Psalm of Montreal; see Spectator (May 18, 1878); a writer in the Dial (Jan. 6, 1916), attributes it to W. H. Hurlbert; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 524
  • "...Right here in Canada, white Canadians have violated the rights of Indigenous peoples in more ways than we can count. One of the most heinous abuses against Indigenous women is forced sterilization, where white Canadians violated Indigenous women's bodies to make it impossible for them to conceive and become mothers....This is genocide. This abuse of human rights is not something of the past. White Canadians have forcibly sterilized Indigenous women just within the past few years in 2017...In the 1960s and 1970s, the federal government learned how expensive it would be to build accessible health services in the north. So instead of building, the federal government decided that these isolated Indigenous women should use birth control, even though birth control was illegal at the time...They broke their own laws because they did not value accessible and safe healthcare for Indigenous peoples...The right to choice must also include human rights and dignity of Indigenous peoples, with whom we live amongst on stolen land....If you believe in the right to choice, for the right to legal and safe abortions, then you must also fight for bodily autonomy for black persons....We have a shameful history in how we have treated black persons. Human rights and bodily autonomy were violated at the hands of White colonists during slavery. black people were auctioned off while chained and likely naked, forced to carry a fetus to term, and were sterilized, all of course without their consent.....Our fight for right to choice must consider the histories of abuses and inequalities, of White bodies controlling vulnerable and marginalized bodies, of White bodies controlling who is vulnerable and is who is marginalized...Your fight for bodily autonomy must be all-inclusive. If your fight for human rights are not universal, it is self serving and it allows unjust harm onto vulnerable and marginalized peoples. One should have full control over their body. Our body. Our choice...."


  • Do I do business with Canadian racketeers? I don't even know what street Canada is on.
    • Al Capone, as quoted in Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada (2009) by Stephen Schneider, chapter Five, p. 206
  • And slowly, very slowly, the gorgeous dream grows bright,
    Where rise the four democracies of Anglo-Saxon might;
    The Republic, fair, alone;
    The Commonwealth, new-grown;
    The proud, reserved Dominion, with a story of her own,
    And One that shall emerge at length from travail war, and blight.
    • Bliss Carman, Ode on the Coronation of King Edward (1902); partly mentioned in Our Empire Story (1903) by H. E. Marshall












  • It is a deep personal privilege to address a nation-wide Canadian audience. Over and above any kinship of U.S. citizens and Canadians as North Americans there is a singular historical relationship between American Negroes and Canadians. Canada is not merely a neighbor to Negroes. Deep in our history of struggle for freedom Canada was the north star. The Negro slave, denied education, de-humanized, imprisoned on cruel plantations, knew that far to the north a land existed where a fugitive slave if he survived the horrors of the journey could find freedom. The legendary underground railroad started in the south and ended in Canada. The freedom road links us together. Our spirituals, now so widely admired around the world, were often codes. We sang of "heaven" that awaited us and the slave masters listened in innocence, not realizing that we were not speaking of the hereafter. Heaven was the word for Canada and the Negro sang of the hope that his escape on the underground railroad would carry him there. One of our spirituals, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," in its disguised lyrics contained directions for escape. The gourd was the big dipper, and the north star to which its handle pointed gave the celestial map that directed the flight to the Canadian border.


  • We shall divert through our own Country a branch of commerce which the European States have thought worthy of the most important struggles and sacrifices, and in the event of peace... we shall form to the American union a barrier against the dangerous extension of the British Province of Canada and add to the Empire of liberty an extensive and fertile Country thereby converting dangerous Enemies into valuable friends.


  • The testing of cruise missiles in Canada proved very contentious. The government explained its decision in both political and technical terms. Politically, testing demonstrated alliance solidarity over the modernization of NATO's nuclear deterrent. Technically, testing the missile over terrain similar to that of the northern Soviet Union would improve its effectiveness, and allow the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) to develop an anti-cruise capability. The tests would take place in a 2,200-kilometre test corridor that included parts of the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Tests could involve either releasing the missile in a "free flight" to its target, or allowing its guidance system to direct both the missile and the launch aircraft to the target in a "captive carry" test. The tests take several hours, and involve a number of aircraft in both Canada and the United States, from tankers to fighters to Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes. After the first few years of tests, attention shifted from monitoring the missile itself to attempting to track and intercept it. In order to simulate the climate of the northern Soviet Union, most cruise missile tests in Canada have taken place in the winter months.
  • The Canadians have the Loonie, and we can have the Ronnie.


  • Canadians love Canada, a lot. Canadians love Canada so much that the title of this essay will make some not even bother to read it. Some will call me anti-Canadian. Some will leave comments about the CBC running "Indian Propaganda" against its citizens. In 2014, when I recorded my last comedy special Red Man Laughing for CBC, there were death threats left on the Edmonton Journal website when they ran a story of our sold out first night. This is the Canada I know well... [C]olonialism is not just a thing of the past — it is ongoing. This country was founded by coercing, sometimes violently so, Indigenous peoples off of their territories to provide access to the rich natural resources that would form this country’s economy... Canada’s economy has also killed Indigenous peoples. So what are we celebrating exactly? We never have — and still don’t — treat Indigenous people fairly. There are too many cases where provincial and federal governments delay and ignore land issues that are destroying our health and well-being.
  • As always, Canada will now bury its war dead, just as the rest of the world, as always, will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does. It seems that Canada's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored. Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance.
  • It’s a unique experience to grow up in Canada, and when I explain it to non-Canadians, I feel like I am describing a dream I had, because the Canadian experience is not well known outside of Canada.
    • Mike Myers, in "My Canada", the introduction to his memoir Canada (2016)
  • Canada may not have put a man on the moon, but it’s been awfully nice to the man on earth.
    • Mike Myers in "A Canadian Future", the sixth chapter of his memoir Canada (2016)


  • For among nations--as within nations-the soundest unity is that which respects diversity, and the strongest cohesion is that which rejects coercion. Over the years, the people of Canada have come to understand these concepts particularly well. Within your own borders, you have been working to bring a wide variety of peoples and provinces and points of view into a great national union--a union which honors the integrity of its constituent elements. It was Prime Minister Laurier who said of Canada's differing components: "I want the marble to remain the marble; I want the granite to remain the granite; I want the oak to remain the oak." This has been the Canadian way. As a result, Canadians have helped to teach the world, as Governor-General Massey once said, that the "toleration of differences is the measure of civilization." Today, more than ever before, we need to apply that understanding to the whole range of world affairs. And to begin with, we must apply it to our dealings with one another.




  • For twenty-one years I have lived in Canada, the country of promise. There is a magnificent air of freedom about this country, a freedom which the winds of all seasons, sweeping through the breadth of the continent seem to carry on their wings-an ideal place of escape for those who have been oppressed and enslaved elsewhere, for those who wish to turn over a new leaf, who hope for change, for betterment, who want to live their lives as they please.
    • Chava Rosenfarb Introduction (1971) to Exile At Last: Selected Poems (2013)


  • After all, in both languages we were dealing in large measure not with English and French, but with Scots and Irish, Bretons and Normans … There could be no more eloquent illustration of the colonial mind-set than a bunch of Celts and Vikings in a distant northern territory insulting each other as les Anglais and the French as if they were the descendants of the people who had subjected and ruined them.
  • Canada is either an idea or it does not exist. It is either an intellectual undertaking or it is little more than a resource-rich vacuum lying in the buffer zone just north of a great empire.
  • The old cliché about having all your eggs in one basket takes on new meaning with Canada and the United States, because there is something even more wrong about having all your eggs in someone else's basket. It is worse still if that country is much larger than you and worst of all if they don't have all their eggs in your basket. This is not a relationship. It is a dependency. Canada's survival will depend largely on its ability to change that dependency back into a relationship. And one of the key factors in doing that will be the redistribution of our trade. But we can't do that if we have no politicians willing to take the lead.
  • This is the law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall survive;
    That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.
    Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
    This is the Will of the Yukon,—Lo, how she makes it plain!
    • Robert Service, Law of the Yukon; as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 924
Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.
~ Pierre Trudeau
  • There's a land where the mountains are nameless
    And the rivers all run God knows where;
    There are lives that are erring and aimless,
    And deaths that just hang by a hair;
    There are hardships that nobody reckons;
    There are valleys unpeopled and still;
    There's a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,
    And I want to go back—and I will.
    • Robert Service, Spell of the Yukon; as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 924
  • Saskatchewan is much like Texas; except it's more friendly to the United States.
    • Attributed to Adlai Stevenson. This was attributed to Stevenson without reference in 1001 Greatest Things Ever Said About Texas (2006) by Donna Ingham, p. 92. It was also attributed without reference in "Reporters' Notebook", The Buffalo News, September 24, 1992. No closer connection to Stevenson has been found.


  • Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.
    • Être votre voisin, c'est comme dormir avec un éléphant; quelque douce et placide que soit la bête, on subit chacun de ses mouvements et de ses grognements.
    • Pierre Trudeau, Addressing the Press Club in Washington, D.C. (25 March 1969) - Audio clip
  • For me, to represent people who represent the future of Canada and the great challenges we will face over the coming decades — this is where I wanted to start. … I'm a teacher; I'm a convenor; I'm a gatherer; I'm someone who reaches out to people and is deeply interested in what they have to say. And people see that I'm not faking it. I'm actually genuinely committed to this dialogue that we're opening up, and this understanding that needs to happen in order to be an effective MP.
  • It's an old idea from the 19th century. It is something that is not relevant to the vibrant, extraordinary, culture that is Quebec as Quebec is an amazing part of Canada. Nationalism is based on a smallness of thought that closes in, that builds up barriers between people, and has nothing to do with the Canada we should be building. It stands against everything my father ever believed.
  • We should be past tolerance in Canada... In Canada, can we speak of acceptance, openness, friendship, understanding? It is about where we are going and what we are going through every day in our diverse and rich communities... Tolerating someone means accepting their right to exist on the condition that they don’t disturb us too, too much.
  • Americans who come to know Canada informally, such as our tourists, as well as those whose approach is more academic, learn that Canada is a broad land--broad in mind, broad in spirit, and broad in physical expanse. They find that the composition of your population and the evolution of your political institutions hold a lesson for the other nations of the earth. Canada has achieved internal unity and material strength, and has grown in stature in the world community, by solving problems that might have hopelessly divided and weakened a less gifted people. Canada's eminent position today is a tribute to the patience, tolerance, and strength of character of her people, of both French and British strains. For Canada is enriched by the heritage of France as well as of Britain, and Quebec has imparted the vitality and spirit of France itself to Canada. Canada's notable achievement of national unity and progress through accommodation, moderation, and forbearance can be studied with profit by her sister nations.



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