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The dictionary contains 611 entries.
Thanks to a unique convergence of Christian conservatism and full-fanged feminism in the chambers of the Supreme Court of Canada, it is now possible to commit the crime of obscenity any time you make a sexual image (in words or pictures) that someone decides to find offensive. The Supreme Court’s R. v Butler judgement of 1992 redefined legal “harm” (previously thought to require, minimally, that you punch someone) to include the “perception” of harm, “especially to women” in the representations of sex. The harm, wrote Justice John Sopinka, in a unanimous decision, consists of people, especially men, acquiring bad attitudes that might lead them to do bad things. The judgment has made our highest court an intellectual laughing-stock in law journals across the English-speaking world.
AKA Ontario Coalition Against Poverty: Foot-in-mouth mostly-downtown Toronto lobby for pretty much everything the Ontario Conservatives would like to eradicate. OCAP’s de facto head, John Clarke is an abrasive working class Brit who has made Lastman and a few others with normally-longer fuses seriously consider taking steroids so can apply Jean Chretien-level choke holds on him.
For many boomers, this date marks the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Kent State killings. October 17th, 1970 was when then-Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, in response to “perceived threat” of a Quebec insurrection by a group of separatists who’d been smoking too much dope, acted tough on television and then sent police and military personnel running loose for a couple of weeks arresting and generally being impolite to several hundred members of the middle classes with known attitude problems. The arrests gave Quebec dissidents the impetus to start a serious separatist movement under Rene Lesvesque, and gave English Canadian intellectuals the moral elan to go out and protest against the Vietnam war like good Americans.
According to the federal government, these are salt-of-the-earth philanthropists generous enough to hold Canada’s public debt for us. In many cases, these people got their investment capital inside Canada by buying majority stakes in Canadian industries, sucking them dry for profits, and then reinvesting the money in extremely generous government bond issues.
Vancouver Futurist and Supermind. Yeah, sure, Frank. Life in Canada probably would be better if everyone owned a Pentium III-based PC and five grand worth of other communications technology. But the big monitors and minitowers don’t fit into a shopping cart, and the Pentium processor has a tendency to crash when you’re trying to be interactive from a cardboard shelter in a mall parking lot during a snowstorm.
Political substance that, talked about while ingesting bourbon or rye whiskey, propels people to the far right edge of the political spectrum. Canada has sufficient oil and gas reserves to turn Alberta’s economy into a small-scale facsimile of Mexico’s.
Cheese factory, costume party, real-estate brawl, media event that backfired on everyone involved except owners of military surplus clothing stores in Kingston and Montreal.
Formerly one of Canada’s prime fruit-growing areas, famous for its good weather, Social Credit premiers and the Ogopogo, which is a tourism industry invention from the 1950s that about four people in the valley still believe in. The Okanagan is rapidly filling to capacity with trailer parks for the elderly, and it is a prime terminus point for sunshine-questers from all across the northern Prairies and the B.C. north, who believe they’ve discovered Arizona.
Shy, gracious poet who became an international celebrity with the transformation of his Booker Prize-winning novel The English Patient into a mind-numbingly fatuous Academy Award-winning motion picture. Ondaatje’s only response to fame was to become even more shy and gracious, and to gain 20 pounds so the starlets wouldn’t hit on him. Twenty-five years from now, he’ll still be famous in Canada, but only amongst young writers, and then for writing a book titled Coming Through Slaughter, which radically widened the boundaries by which young Canadian writers were able to approach their craft.
Canada’s largest and most confused province has at least four distinct regions: 1.) Metro Toronto, which would rather be New York City only cleaner and safer 2.) Southwestern Ontario, which just wants the Auto Pact to live on so everyone can afford to stay drunk on American beer. 3.) Eastern Ontario, where it borders Lake Ontario, which is obsessed with breeding hockey players and ridiculing Quebec-bred hockey players as contact-shy wimps. 4. The northern regions of Ontario, which are distinguished by ridiculously long winters, prehistoric rocks, mercury poisoning, and several glow-in-the dark mining communities which are the result of excessive anti-Communist zeal at the Atomic Energy Commission of Canada a few decades ago.
West Coast investment company head-quartered in Washington State that owns Vancouver’s major sports franchises. Aside from insisting on stealing North West Coast Indian art motifs for its corporate signature and perpetrating the latest in a truly depressing string of horrible hockey uniforms on the poor Vancouver Canucks, this is just the latest version of foreign corporations screwing things up at our expense and keeping us from having to learn from the consequences of our own brands of incompetence.
Following the tradition of 18th and 19th century European centres, nearly every Canadian city larger than North Battleford, Saskatchewan has or is planning to have both a symphony orchestra and an opera company. All are heavily subsidized by both government and the corporate sector, and cater almost exclusively to the tastes of wealthy urbanites, who don’t appear to have noticed that the Twentieth Century has yet to produce any orchestral music comparable to that of the Eighteenth. Nor have they noticed that opera has been replaced as a culturally significant activity, first by Hollywood and Broadway musicals, then by television soap operas, and recently by music videos. On the other hand, why not give the rich a regular excuse to wear their tuxedos and other formal garb?
Citizens the NDP believe will faithfully vote for them in elections. The 20-30% of Canadian workers who have university degees occasionally do.
Mosquito and snow-befouled city located on a defunct canal system thought to lead in the direction of Washington, D.C. In the 1960s and 1970s Ottawa was the Brazilia of the northern hemisphere, but now more resembles Rio. Current population mainly taken up by poultry breeding schemes aimed at perfecting an all-white-meat chicken, and furious paper-shuffling. Current all-party federal government plans are aimed at turning Ottawa into a ghost town by 2020.
ALAN GREENSPAN: Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve Board. He’s the guy who tells the Bank of Canada how to experiment on us next.
BCNI: Business Council on National Issues. Most powerful corporate lobby in Canada. Michael Wilson sat on its knee and clacked his jaw. Paul Martin Jr. is now on the same perch.
MOODY’S INVESTOR SERVICE: Bond rater. When these guys call Canadian governments in for a conference, there is more fear and trembling that if it were the Horsemen of the Apocalypse inviting them to a rodeo.
MARGARET THATCHER: She’s been out of office in Britain for twenty years, but she’s now running Canada and the U.S. in spirit along with Milton Freedman, and may have taken over Europe.
What Canada has progressively less of each year. Instead of serious programs to force alternatives to the use of freon, Canadian governments whine about the problem in harmony with the U.S. government agencies, and set loose a well-funded agency to inform citizens about how dangerous it is to their health to be outdoors without a body-suit, a hat, gloves, a parasol, and #45 sunblock.