Am I …

… the last person in the world to notice that ‘The True North, Strong and Free’ – the tagline recently imposed upon the country by Canada’s Still Undefeated Champion Minority Government – has apparently been lost in translation to our other official language? Instead, en Francais, it is transformed into the epic history of our brilliant exploits, which is oddly retrospective, compared to the English version.

Yes, yes; I know both are plucked from the respective versions of O Canada — really, don’t get me started on that; if we’re going to try to be a proper country, could we not at least sing the same words to the same damn song, even if we do so in different languages — but couldn’t they at least have chosen two lines with vaguely similar meanings?

Also, after spending far too long on the splash screen for the Government of Canada website, patiently hitting the refresh button over and over and over and over again to see the entire set of randomly generated background images of Canadiana, I am somewhat distressed to report that not once did a scene from the nation’s capital show up in the rotation. Not Parliament Hill, or even the Peace Tower made the cut. There is a closeup of the Terry Fox statue, but that doesn’t really count, since it could be from anywhere.

Why no love for the O-town, web designers? The rest of the country may not be overfond of our politics (although they do send us the politicians, so it’s not entirely our fault), but surely that shouldn’t be held against our neogothic architectural prettiness, which is every bit as quintessentially Canadian as crab fishers and polar bears.

(Yes, this is what reporters resort to writing about when the federal government is shut down for an extra day of long weekend. Try not to judge too harshly.)

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