9 Gifts Canada Has Given The World
Canada's gift to the world: Justin Bieber
Say what? There are 500 million active users
on Twitter, and as of last count, the Biebs was responsible for 3
precent of the site's total traffic. He’s now got 24 million followers,
second only to Lady
Gaga, and he's 3rd on Forbes’ latest list
of the world’s most powerful celebrities. In an era in which swiping
music is the norm, he's sold 15 million albums. He earned US$55-million
Why Canadians should be proud: Because he’s the most popular
Canadian export ever. He’s our Abba, our Beatles, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
rolled into one. And despite all of his fame, and the relentless scrutiny he
surely endures, he’s yet to embarrass us. No Lindsay Lohan crackups,
no Michael Jackson-esque chimpanzees, no public tantrums. A devout
Christian with a relationship with Jesus, apparently, he’s made a
belieber out of us all.
Canada's gift to the world: Nickelback
Say what? I
know, I know--but stay with me. Think of the Canadian greats… Rush,
Tragically Hip, Neil Young, put them together and they couldn’t touch
the numbers of these guys. 50 million albums sold, four albums in
Billboard’s top 10 for the 2000s, Billboard’s Rock Group of the Decade,
winners of the Rock Song of the Decade, 28 Juno nominations, the honours
go on and on. Why Canadians should be proud: We
could say something snarky about their start as a cover band called
“Village Idiots”, or music about lead singer Chad Kroeger celebrating
their success by speeding drunk through the suburbs of Vancouver in his
$175,000 Lamborghini, but let’s look at this from a business
perspective. Nickelback took a tired and derivative rock and roll
formula into an intensely crowded market and came out on top.
Canada's gift to the world: Peanut butter
Say what? Though it's hard to believe, peanut butter--loved by
all, banned by schools--is more divisive than Nickelback. Its
beginnings date back to early 1900s Montreal, when Marcellus Edison
milled roasted peanuts until they were almost liquefied. When the
peanuts cooled, a bonanza was born. Today peanut butter is a US$1.8-billion business in the U.S. alone, where the average kid is said to consume 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches before finishing high school. We’re no less ardent north of the 49th: 92 percent of Canadians keep peanut butter in their pantries.
Why Canadians should be proud: What's more Canadian than the
peanut butter story? We came up with the idea, and then let others take
the credit and develop the industry. Of course, it doesn’t help that our
climate is too cold for growing peanuts. If we’ve distinguished
ourselves, it’s mostly in saving kids from the horrors of anaphylactic
shock. Canadian schools are now so vigilant, even spreads that just look like peanut butter are banned.
Canada's gift to the world: The luggage bag tag
Say what? When was the last time you flew anywhere without your name on your luggage? Not in the last 83 years, because you can’t. The Warsaw Convention, believe it or not, made it the law .
And for that you can ultimately thank John Lyons of Moncton, New
Brunswick, who in 1882 came up with the idea of the separable luggage
tag. One half went with the bag, the other with you. The technology has evolved
from Lyons’ time, but the basic premise – those bags
belong to this ticket – remains unchanged. Why Canadians should be proud: Four
million people fly every day. God only knows how many more travel by
bus, boat, and train. If all these people have nothing else in common,
they have this: When they arrive they want their luggage to be there
too. And if it isn’t, what’s the one thing they will be waving as they
It was invented in Canada.
Canada's gift to the world: CO2
Say what? Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas and a driving force behind global warming. Canada emits over half a
million tons of carbon dioxide a year, which ranks us 9th worst globally, and 2nd worst in emissions per capita.Only the United States is worse.
Why Canadians should be proud: First, the good news: Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997,
committing us to an ambitious fight against global warming--a reduction
of greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below
And the bad news: we’ve come nowhere close to the goals, instead sliding
in the other direction. In December, Stephen Harper
threw in the towel and pulled Canada out of Kyoto. "Proud" is not
exactly the word. Canadians will owe an explanation to their
children--and everyone else's..
And the bad news: we’ve come nowhere close to the goals, instead sliding in the other direction. In December, Stephen Harper threw in the towel and pulled Canada out of Kyoto. "Proud" is not exactly the word. Canadians will owe an explanation to their children--and everyone else's..