Thursday Trivia: Canada

The Peace Tower in Ottawa.

First of all, a belated happy Victoria Day to y’all Canadians! (Also, a belated happy Towel Day to us Hitchhikers –  I completely forgot about it on Tuesday!) In celebration, five bits of stuff about Canada.

The Peace Tower in Ottawa is one of the nation’s most famous buildings. But it’s not just the tallest building in Ottawa and part of the nation’s capitol building – it was also part of the first prospective logo for the return of the Ottawa Senators. NHL officials thought that the logo was a bit…well…boring (I mean, it’s not exactly an incredibly gorgeous tower, it’s just a tower), and they went instead to the Roman Senator logo we all know today.

Four more bits of trivia on Canada after the jump!

  • Ever wonder what the difference was between the Governor General and the Prime Minister? (…no, I didn’t think you did.) The Governor General serves what is technically an unfixed term, but has a de facto length of five years (and rotates between anglophone and francophone Canadians), and carries out the constitutional and ceremonial roles of the Queen in Canada (remember, now, Canada’s still part of the Commonwealth and isn’t 100% independent), including the power to summon Parliament and the power of Royal Assent to laws passed by Parliament (which has always been given in the modern era).The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is a Member of Parliament (generally the House of Commons) and “advises” the Queen and Governor-General on executive matters.
  • The “White House of Canada” is 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, used since 1866.
  • The land border between the US and Canada is the longest continuous common land border in the world.
  • The Canada Act, removing from Canada the legal vestiges of dependence,  wasn’t passed until 1982!

And finally, not trivia, but still funny: this picture of the Canadian Supreme Court:

Now, I knew the justices wore red, but I did not know they looked like Santa.

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