Why they might want to kick me out of Canada.



That’s my porch up there!

Photo by Donna Griffith for Canadian Living magazine. If you want to see some STUNNING food photography take a look at her page.

 Read my feature in Canadian Living Magazine now!

Today is Canada Day here in, … well Canada obviously.    We Canadians are a bit low key when it comes to displaying our patriotism, but we’re no less patriotic than any other nationality.  It’s the British in us.  We’re happier for you to guess what we’re thinking based on absolutely no clue or facial expression at all.

I always have a flag on my house and if you look above to the Canadian Living’s June feature on my front porch, you know my Canadian pride is reflected there as well.  You can’t quite see it but under the big pillow there is bootleg VHS copy of the lost Beachcombers episode.  Canadian pride at its best.

I eat maple syrup, poutine and ketchup potato chips, but not all at the same time because that would be gross on account of ketchup chips being a dessert chip.

There’s no one more Canadian than me.

Other than probably every single immigrant that’s passed the Canadian Citizenship test.

If you had to, could you pass the Canadian Citizenship test?  I failed.  I failed a lot.  I failed like Obamacare failed the American people even though I actually have no idea if it did because I’m Canadian and I go to the doctor for free and don’t pay a cent to wait approximately 10 hours in the emergency room only to find out they can’t stitch me up anymore because I’ve already started to coagulate.  Or something.

Where was I?

Yes.  The Canadian Citizenship test.  I have for you on this Canada Day a sample Canadian Citizenship test.   Give it a go.  The answers are at the bottom of the page but don’t cheat just so you can say you scored higher than me even though I’m not telling you what I scored because I’m afraid they’ll kick me out of Canada.

In my defence I was pretty cocky going into it and may have whipped through it faster than I should have.  Also it didn’t have any questions I expected like “What’s a beaver tail or which Canadian model was once married to Kyle MacLachlan after meeting on the set of a Barney’s fashion shoot”.

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and happy “Getting ready for the 4th of July day”  to my American readers.  To everyone else … I got nothin’.

10 Canadian Citizenship Test Sample questions.

(extra points if you pass the test while either a) drunk or b) not a Canadian)

1. Who were the United Empire Loyalists?
a. Settlers who came to Canada from the United States during and after the American Revolution.
b. Aboriginal peoples.
c. Métis
d. Inuit.

2. What does equality under the law mean?
a. Being the same.
b. Being like everyone else.
c. Being discriminated against.
d. Being treated with equal dignity and respect, and having equal rights to speak out and express ideas.

3. Name six responsibilities of citizenship.
a. Getting a job, making money, raising a family, paying taxes, mowing your lawn, voting in provincial elections.
b. Voting in municipal elections only, joining a political party, getting a job, obeying the law, driving safely, picking up litter.
c. Caring for the environment, not littering, paying taxes, obeying the law, helping others, respecting others.
d. Obeying the law, taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family, helping others in the community, voting in elections, serving on a jury, protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment.

4. Which region of Canada is known for both its fertile agricultural land and valuable energy resources?
a. British Columbia.
b. Prairie provinces.
c. Ontario.
d. Manitoba.

5. What do you call the Sovereign’s representative in the provinces?
a. Premier.
b. Member of the Legislative Assembly.
c. Lieutenant-Governor.
d. Senator.

6. When must federal elections be held?
a. About every 4 years.
b. On the third Monday in October every four years following the most recent general election.
c. Whenever the Prime Minister calls the election.
d. When the MPs want a new Prime Minister.

7. Who are the founding peoples of Canada?
a. Métis, French and British.
b. Aboriginal, Métis and British.
c. Inuit, Aboriginal and British.
d. Aboriginal, French and British.

8. What does the word “Inuit” mean?
a. “Eskimo” in Inuktitut language.
b. “Home” in English.
c. “The people” in the Inuktitut language.
d. “The Arctic Land” in Inuktitut language.

9. What is the difference between the role of the Sovereign and that of the Prime Minister?
a. The Sovereign is Head of State, the Prime Minister oversees provincial policies.
b. The Sovereign is the guardian of Constitutional freedoms, the Prime Minister selects the Cabinet ministers and is responsible for operations and policy of government.
c. The Sovereign links Canada to 52 other nations and the Prime Minister is the guardian of Constitutional freedoms.
d. The Sovereign is the symbol of Canadian sovereignty and the Prime Minister is her aide.

10. What is the Queen’s representative in the Territories called?
a. Premier.
b. Governor General.
c. Commissioner.
d. Member of Parliament.

ANSWERS: a), d), d), b), c), b), d), c), b), c).


p.s. To pass the (official) test you need 75%.  I got 70%.  Since we seem to have elections in Canada I really thought we could pretty much have them whenever pretty much anyone wanted one. I’m still pretty sure my answer is right and I deserve 80% making me an official Canadian Citizen.

Thank you.


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  1. billy sharpstick says:

    I think we Americans (The USA ones) should have to pass a citizenship test, too. If we aren’t as informed as immigrants who pass it, we don’t deserve to live here and should be sent back to, Um, somewhere? Maybe Africa. If you trace back far enough, everyone’s ancestors came from Africa.

  2. Mindy says:

    My brother in law is originally from the Philippines and had to take his American citizenship test seven or so years ago. WTF?! I would have failed miserably. Those suckers are hard.

  3. Pam B says:

    Hiya Karen!!! Happy Belated Canada Day!!! From the USA on the Fourth of July!!!

    8 out of 10!!! Not bad for a North Carolina girl. And I’ve never studied any Canadian history or anything else Canadian, lol. Hope you have a wonderful July up there. Love your blog—been reading about a year now. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam

    • Karen says:

      Hey Pam B. Happy Fourth of July! I have an astonishing number of readers from North Carolina. I’ll have to go and visit some time! ~ karen

  4. magali says:

    The election question got you because it’s when *must* we hold an election! The people running our country just never seem patient enough to wait that long and do seem to have them whenever they want!

  5. Ann Brookens says:

    Woo hoo! Honorary Canadian, here! (I live in central Illinois, about 3 hours south of Chicago.) 9/10 correct. I’ve noticed a lot of your readers are rubbing it in, Karen. Including myself, of course.

    Your front porch is lovely and the back patio is so inviting, I hear it calling my name!

  6. Shannon says:

    A question about your climbing hydrangeas: Are they invasive? We inherited several nice but horribly invasive climbers (i.e. woody stems that pull down a porch, runners EVERYWHERE that cannot be stopped), and they are currently the bane of my garden existence. But, I would love a nice manageable climber. How quickly did yours grow? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shannon! The climbing hydrangea isn’t invasive at all. And trust me. I know what you mean. I had a trumpet vine that I discovered growing in my DINING ROOM. It made its way under the house through the foundation and appeared overnight growing out of my dining room baseboard. I cut it down and dug it out 10 years ago and it is still popping up in the lawn. It shouldn’t even be allowed for sale. The Climbing Hydrangea is one of my favourite climbers because it has a beautiful, trunk. I tend to keep the vines picked off of the lower third of the plant so you can see the architecture of the trunk. It isn’t quick to establish (takes 3 or 4 years) but once it does it fills out well and beautifully. I have two of them. ~ karen!

  7. mayr says:

    Ketchup chips are dessert chips!!!!!
    I’m roaring with laughter.
    You is funny.

  8. Cathy says:

    Ok, I can check ” know someone who is a ‘doyenne’ off bucket list.” Done. Great porch. You should have lifetime Canadian privledges based on those 2 things.

  9. Corinna Mulligan says:

    role of the Sovereign?! I’m going to say I don’t remember anything about that because it must have a completely different term en français.. 0_O

  10. Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

    Well, I guessed correctly on 4 questions, but changed my mind on one and ended up with just 3 correct. I apologize for my ignorance. I guess it is clear I have no knowledge of thing further north than Memphis, Tennessee.

  11. Shanelle says:

    8 out of 10 and I’m South African! I just chose the longest answers and they were usually correct 😛

    I think I might relocate…

  12. Sarah says:

    Karen –

    If it makes you feel better, this is Canada’s first fixed date election. See http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/compilations/provinceterritory/ProvincialFixedElections.aspx for more details…

  13. Rondina says:

    Well, with all your US readers, you went and mentioned ObamaCare. This shows you really are Canadian. You get for free what used to cost me $953 US/month—just for the insurance. That doesn’t cover any healthcare. If you can make it work up there, why can’t we down here?

    Happy Canada Day!

    • Karen says:

      Ha! That’s what I mean. I really don’t understand Obamacare. What I mainly don’t understand is why anyone wouldn’t want to have free health care. It seems like a no brainer from someone who has always had it. Although, like I said … we really could end up spending 10 hours in an ER waiting to be stitched up. They see you based on priority and if you’re bleeding out but the next guy has heart pain and the girl who came in last has a possible aneurysm etc. etc … you’re last in line. No priority is given to insurance/no insurance … it’s based on immediately need. ~ karen!

    • Teri says:

      In BC we actually pay for our heath insurance – around $65 per month, I think. one of the few provinces that charges us. We all DO pay for it but not at the rate the US insurance charges, and as Karen says – if you are bleeding like a stuck pig but someone with a heart attack comes in, they get priority. AS IT SHOULD BE.

  14. Jennie Lee says:

    Since I like you, Karen, I like to think that you would be happy to learn that Obamacare is not a failure. It has already saved thousands of lives, and saved hospitals billions of dollars. I have health insurance for the first time in my adult life. At age 62, that’s a good thing, and I am extremely thankful.

  15. lol, very entertaining post.
    I love the porch! Its patriotic, without trying too hard.

    Happy belated Canada Day!

    • Karen says:

      Not belated! Well … technically I guess it is kind of. Happy Canada Day Night works tho. And thanks. ~ karen!

  16. Aspasia says:

    Oh, my history-loving SO just informed me that the first Canadian oil well was in Ontario, so yeah–question 4 needs to be re-worded 😀

  17. Aspasia says:

    I passed but I think Ontario should count as an answer for #4. Okay, maybe our hydro power isn’t quite as valuable as the tar sands, even with Niagara Falls, but at least we grow more than wheat 🙂 Happy Canada Day!

    PS–There actually is legislation for when we’re supposed to have elections, but there are always exceptions…

  18. Marie says:

    6/10; probably not too bad considering I live on the other side of the world. Most of my answers were based on the wording!
    All I really ‘know’ about Canada is that it snows, you play ice hockey, you make maple syrup and Eskimos live there. I did know the French were involved, but didn’t realise the Brits were too. Or that you had prairies. Or chickens. You’re blog is very educational!

    • Teri says:

      We don’t have Eskimos we have Inuit. Alaska still has Eskimos, however. some of us don’t play ice hockey, in fact, because we don’t have ice in the winter (astonishing thought) but much of the ROC (Rest of Canada) does have ice and outdoor hockey. Maple Syrup is mostly an Ontario and Quebec and New Brunswick thing, although Vancouver Island (BC) is starting to make it too, out of totally different maple trees. The Brits and French did a lot of too-ing and fro-ing over Quebec City, in the end the French language rules but the Brits won the final war. It is actually fascinating history… On Vancouver Island I have chickens – more than Karen, I blush to admit. There is even a Canadian Chicken (Chantecler) bred to deal with low light and cold winters……

  19. Jenifer says:

    I got 4 out of 10…but I’m not drunk. I am SURE I would do much better if I was drunk!

  20. Sarah says:

    Just found your blog today and I absolutely LOVE it! I read your feature is BHG – too funny, but also some awesome tips. It’s great to find another Canadian blogger… Sometimes I feel we are few and far between, but NO!

  21. sera says:

    Karen! I love that they let you keep your hilarious voice in the magazine! Let me know when you start freelancing for Better Homes and Gardens too (because I have a subscription and never bother to read the articles because – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).
    I’m a tad worried that the front of my house says “she gave up.” and the back of my house says, “she only gave up the yard part, but the deck looks like she bought some random pillows to sit on, and then gave up.” I’d like to say that if I didn’t have a seven month old baby that I’d be doing better, but I’m not entirely convinced.
    In any case, I love what you’ve done with the front and back of your house. I’ll be right over for margaritas.

    • Karen says:

      “she only gave up the yard part, but the deck looks like she bought some random pillows to sit on, and then gave up.” That genuinely made me laugh right out loud! I wrote for Better Homes and Gardens once … it was a Christmas issue. ~ karen!

  22. Lisa says:

    8 out of 10 in Seattle – I’d start telling people I’m honorary Canadian, but that would be bragging, and not very Canadian of me. 🙂

  23. Shauna says:

    Well, I’m a U.S. Citizen and I got 5 completely right and 2 partially right – in the sense that I knew it was either the a or d and it was d, and another I picked as either b or c and it was c. So, if maybe I actually lived there or knew anything about Canada, then maybe I could have passed. Maybe. I think sometimes living there makes it harder to pass. Not sure I could pass a U.S. Citizen test.

  24. Val says:

    What’s up with question 10? Until then I had a perfect score.

    Bonus question: How do you pronounce the answer to #5?

    Also, Karen, we can have elections any time. The every 4 years in October is true, but the GG can call them in between (not the PM).

    • Teri says:

      but the GG does what the PM asks. so essentially the PM calls them (via the GG). Sigh. We have one soon, and it has now been called.

  25. Kelli says:

    “or which Canadian model was once married to Kyle MacLachlan after meeting on the set of a Barney’s fashion shoot”

    ENGAGED. Not married. Linda Evangelista. 🙂 How do I know? Dedicated follower of fashion (Linda was my fave supermodel); and had a major Dune-crush on Muad’Dib, er, Kyle M for a year or more. 🙂

    Your porch looks gorgeous and cozy, btw! Thought you’d enjoy these two graphics to help you celebrate:

    http://i.imgur.com/KuNBoFQ.jpg AND http://tinyurl.com/nnmor9y Happy Canada day, eh!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hey Kelli, thanx for those 2 links . . . they were freekin’ brilliant! Especially the cliche map, most of it is true eh? I sent it to a whole whack of friends & family around the continent. To be a true Canadian, we have to laugh at ourselves, imho . . .

  26. Debbie says:

    50/50 here. I need to eat keys up on my chips.

  27. Kathleen says:

    6/10…I’m from Boston, and I’m not drunk so there you have it! Happy Canada Day! If they kick you out, you can visit us in Beantown…but you’d have to root for the Bruins!

  28. Sandra says:

    7/10 – lousy at politics, cos I just don’t care 🙂

  29. jessica says:

    7/10, which is better than I would have expected given I’m American.

  30. Patti says:

    8 out of 10 for me and I AM CANADIAN!
    my dad made a swing like that when I was a kid…in fact, I believe he made a few of them through-out the years, everyone of them painted bright yellow. They hung from a steel frame he had made at work.

  31. Karin says:

    6 outta 10, born and raised in ye olde East Germany, migrated to Maine 10 years ago. Not bad, sayz me. Canada is on my list to visit fore shore. Sounds like a dream.

  32. Cindy says:

    My husband got 90% and I got 60% (damn that number 6) together we got 75% does that mean that I can stay? LOL

  33. Liz says:

    Do you happen to know the specific name of your drink dispenser? I couldn’t find it on Indigo… It looks like it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to resemble this one, which I adore and is too many twonies https://www.pinterest.com/pin/254312710178217074/
    Happy Canada DAY!!!!!

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