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Ignorant Canadians

21 posts in this topic

Oh Canadians love to exalt themselves above Americans for their lack of knowledge about Canada. Yet Canadians are equally ignorant and arrogant about even their own country. Surprisingly even the CBC seems to agree on this one.

"It's not the first time I've encountered this kind of ignorance. When I arrived at Carleton University in Ottawa to study journalism, some of my classmates wondered if I was there because there were no universities in Alberta. I am not making this up! Others found it curious that my parents would choose such a province to live in. They never spelled it out but it was always, "Oh, you're from Alberta? Really? I thought only cowboys lived there." Then the ha-ha."

Call me a Redneck

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It's hard to battle prejudices, especially when the only people from Alberta Canadians get to see are the likes of Ralph Klein, members of the Alliance party and someone in a cowboy hat getting interviewed for whatever TV program is on.

Maybe it is our private media in Canada that is causing the problem here, creating these stereotypes. Maybe it's time educators had a lot more say in what our media reports on, and how they report it. ;)

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Her experience agrees with my own experience living in Ottawa.

-kimmy

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It is not healthy to generalise about any group of people.

A lot of the problems we encounter in life we bring on ourselves by our own "POOR ME" attitudes. ;)

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Aww..c'mon IMR. You gotta admit that it is really fun to tell Easterners myths about the West. My brother from Ontario is coming out here this month and he is gonna be looking for accents, cowboy hats (and perhaps the odd horse drawn cart). :P

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Albertans love to whine about being stereotyped as rednecks in the RoC. So what do they do? Exalt redneck culture with events like the Stampeded and Big Valley and vote Conservative in droves. Talk about undermining your own cause. Hell, even the columnist admits as much:

It's hard to battle prejudices, especially when the only people from Alberta Canadians get to see are the likes of Ralph Klein, members of the Alliance party and someone in a cowboy hat getting interviewed for whatever TV program is on.

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Albertans love to whine about being stereotyped as rednecks in the RoC. So what do they do? Exalt redneck culture with events like the Stampeded and Big Valley and vote Conservative in droves. Talk about undermining your own cause. Hell, even the columnist admits as much:

Whats wrong with the Stampede and Big Valley Jamboree, have you ever heard of Stage 13.

So let me get this straight in order to stop bigotry every single Albertan must vote for either the NDP and Liberals. We must also start to wear all grey suits, and everybody must act the same, and nobody shall disagree with the current political system that comrade Trudeau erected for us.

Black Dog get off the pot, and your an idiot hippie.

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Whats wrong with the Stampede and Big Valley Jamboree, have you ever heard of Stage 13.

Yeah: it sucks.

Black Dog get off the pot, and your an idiot hippie.

I've already reported you once today. I'd be only too hapy to do it again. Keep it up.

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hey my kid is enroute to Alberta over the next couple a days and she was told to have her cow gears ready and also brushes? so maybe dinosaurs revealed

Alberta is a fun place, and the next best province to live in

:)

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As though the world should spend less time on Math and their OWN history to study the all important, all mighty United States.

You know, if the advice was comming from anybody but an American, I'd take it half seriously.

Enjoy your 27th ranked status in education.

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CTV did a scientific poll around the time the election started and in the end, only 76% of canadians knew who the PM was, that is not particularly great. I woudl wager that canadians knwo more about America then American's know about canada, however How much do Canadians know about Canada, i mean how many people know who our first PM is? this would be soemthing you would expect everyone to know, however i have a fealing that if you went out to a shopping mall and asked you would find a good portion of people wouldn't know. Ask the same about Samuel De champlain, and I think you would get an even worse result. I think this underlies people's lack of desire to learn not only about their history but perhaps their country in general, which coudl lead to these misconceptions. That being said i realise that some people do have great knowledge about are countries history, and most people on this site do aswell, but I think it would be un-realistic to use this site as a demographic for the country.

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A lot of the problems we encounter in life we bring on ourselves by our own "POOR ME" attitudes. ;)

I suppose this is a very good observation, but somehow I think it might mean a little more if it wasn't coming from a guy who was crying to the heavens about the injustice of not having French highway signs in BC just a couple of weeks ago :lol:

This topic was discussed a bit in the "Western Alienation" thread, where some people were saying "Oh no, we in Ontario don't have negative stereotypes about westerners!" I posted that in my experience, many do. Ms. Chua makes the same observation.

While it might not be an issue of earth-shaking national importants, I do find the irony of some Toronto resident sitting on his couch watching Rick Mercer saying "haw haw, those Americans shore are iggernunt" amusing.

As for the Calgary Stampede... well, if combating the stereotype means axing one of the longest-running and most popular annual events in Canada, not to mention a major international tourist draw, then I guess we'll just have to live with what the rest of Canada thinks.

-kimmy B)

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As though the world should spend less time on Math and their OWN history to study the all important, all mighty United States.

You know, if the advice was comming from anybody but an American, I'd take it half seriously.

Enjoy your 27th ranked status in education.

What advice? Who's an American? What's going on? Did this wind up in the wrong thread by mistake? :blink:

-kimmy :blink:

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Kimmy----it all depends on attitude.

I was an Anglo growing up in Quebec and I could have let the French Nationalism of the Quiet Revolution get to me, or I could have celebrated Quebec's progress, with other Quebeckers. I chose the latter.

Quite frankly I am tired of both Quebec separation, and Western alienation. They all sound like a bunch of crybabies to me. Time to get over it.

If some people from Ontario don't appreciate the West be thankful. Can you imagine what traffic would be like if they all liked the West so much they decided to move out here? :lol:

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BTW, I forgot to mention that my favourite event at the Stampede is the piglet races.

Do they still have those piglets racing for that Oreo cookie as the prize? :D

(78)

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The main problem is that a lot of people don't think outside of the box anymore. They really only care about what they see in the mirror each day. Also, the education system does not do an adequate job of teaching a variety of history anymore. People also need to get out there and experience the world. I know plenty of young people (in their 20's) who have never been more than 4-5 hours away from where they were born and raised.

I do agree that others conceptions of a specific region can lead to a bit of fun if you string them along for a while. As for people in Alberta wearing cowboy hats all the time, well I think I was 12 when I gave mine up but it is still a very strong image of Alberta's history and heritage.

I think they still have the porker races at the Stampede MS and that is one of my favorites too. Got to love those little piggy's.

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This topic was discussed a bit in the "Western Alienation" thread, where some people were saying "Oh no, we in Ontario don't have negative stereotypes about westerners!"

Well... we don't.

I've yet to see any evidence of this. An anecdote about somebody's friend in Ottawa who thought that Albertans all wear cowboy hats doesn't cut it. Even if they did think that, such things don't constitute negative stereotypes.

Regional thinking isn't useful anymore. It's a borderless world. You have might have more in common with a call centre operator in India than with a fisheries worker in Nfld.

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This topic was discussed a bit in the "Western Alienation" thread, where some people were saying "Oh no, we in Ontario don't have negative stereotypes about westerners!"

Well... we don't.

I've yet to see any evidence of this. An anecdote about somebody's friend in Ottawa who thought that Albertans all wear cowboy hats doesn't cut it. Even if they did think that, such things don't constitute negative stereotypes.

Dismissing this as an anecdote about cowboy hats doesn't cut it.

The columnist's personal experience, my own personal experience, and a couple of anecdotes from others in this thread all tell me the stereotype exists, at least to some degree. As for whether they're negative stereotypes, I guess that is subjective.

Ms Chua's column mentions people asking her if she moved to Ontario because there were no universities in Alberta, and expressing surprise that her immigrant parents would settle in a place populated only by cowboys. To me, that sounds somewhat negative. It sounds like she encountered people operating under the assumption that we're poorly-educated xenophobes.

Here is a part of my very first message at this forum (which I know you've read, because you replied to point out a grammatical error :P )

Often my classmates asked me things and expressed opinions that showed they didn't have a very good picture of what Alberta is really like. Did my dad work on an oil rig? Were we farmers? Do I listen to country music? Or have a cowboy hat or cowboy booties? Do I own a gun? Ride horses? Were there people who weren't white back home?

I don't think anybody meant any harm, but I think the sorts of things people asked me come from an image that Alberta is a rural, white, Christian place that hasn't been touched by immigration or anything modern.

I also heard a radio personality use "Alberta public school education" to describe somebody who wasn't very smart, and I once saw a TV show where somebody said "hey, go back to Alberta" as a response to somebody who was being culturally insensitive. It was just a couple of isolated comments, but to me it seems like remarks like that wouldn't have been made if there wasn't some underlying assumption that an "Alberta public school education" is a poor education, or that somebody who is culturally insensitive probably came from Alberta.

It might not be a negative stereotype for people to assume Albertans wear cowboy hats and listen to country music-- that's pretty harmless as stereotypes go.

However, I think you'll agree that the perception of poorly educated, xenophobic people living in isolation from other races and cultures is pretty negative.

Or are you going to tell me that since you haven't noticed any evidence, it must all be made up?

Regional thinking isn't useful anymore.  It's a borderless world.  You have might have more in common with a call centre operator in India than with a fisheries worker in Nfld.

Well, that's a very profound thought (or an upcoming Microsoft TV commercial <_< ) however, it doesn't really address the subject, which was that such thinking does exist, right in the heart of Canada among people who think they're so much wiser than everybody else.

-kimmy

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What I found interesting about the article, and indeed, has always fascinated me about Albertans complaining of stereotyping, is how quickly they themselves resort to sterotypesmake their point.

Chua's chracterization of the "rail-thin, latte-drinking women in their early 40s (who) looked like they had never left the confines of downtown Toronto" is a good example.

The sterotype of the wine-drinking, Armani-clad limousene liberal from the GTA is alive and well here in Alberta.

So easterners have sterotypes about Albertans. Albertans have sterotypes about easterners. Everyone has sterotypes, they're an inevitable byproduct of having a small, geographically widespread population.

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So easterners have sterotypes about Albertans. Albertans have sterotypes about easterners. Everyone has sterotypes, they're an inevitable byproduct of having a small, geographically widespread population.

The difference Black Dog, is that our stereotypes about easterners are right while the reverse is not true. Ha!

Many Albertans are "Ontario transplants".

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There are not really stereotypes of Albertans widespread in the East - or centre. It would not be possible when, as someone said, many Albertans are transplants from the East. At this time in Canada's development, there is so much interconnectedness and so many related families all over the country for there to be much misunderstanding.

Where the stereotypes exist is in the character of Alberta politics. We do tend to think all Alberta politicians are greedy, grasping members of the local plutocracy: all neo-libs and regional empire builders. We tend to think of them all as whiners buffaloing a population into joining them in the Provincial whine about not being able to impose their personal hegemony and philosophy on the whole of Canada.

Of course, we know that is not really true and that it is just most of them. We know that there a couple of Liberals and even a few brave souls who embrace social democratic ideals.

I lived in Calagary for almost a year. Couldn't wait to get out but did actually enjoy the time. Most of the cowboy hats and boots I saw were in closets.

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