Governor-General

Hello and welcome back to another week of delicious dissimulation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the terrific Tohrinha, who asked:

Who, or what, is the Governor General?

Way back in the dawn of Canada’s history, when John A. Macdonals was young and full of fire, glory, and dreams of conquest, Canada did not want to stop at making all of North America its own. They did not even want to stop at the world.

No, John A. Macdonald dreamed bigger. He dreamed of a universe where every planet, every moon, and every star flew flags in red and white, where Canada stretched not just from sea to sea to sea but from glittering galaxy to galaxy to galaxy – where the strains of “O Canada” could be heard on distant, non-Euclidean beaches.

Of course, he knew, it would not be easy. Space travel would need to be invented, new troops sent to the conquering army each time the technology improved. And with the limitations of the speed of light, these distant planetary colonies would not be able to receive direct orders from Macdonald (or, later, the Queen).

John A. Macdonald, father of Canada, solved both these problems in one ingenious move. He created a position – the highest honour, highest office held in the Kingdom of Canada, below that of the Queen: the Governor-General. This person, as the title suggests, would hold two roles: that of general of the armies come to conquer the heavens, and that of governor, representing Canada’s sovereign power in these far-flung realms. He enacted as law that with each new wave of astronaut-soldiers sent to make the skies Canadian, at their helm would be a new Governor-General, to command, lead, and relieve their predecessor of the task.

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Disclaimer: some of the statements in this blog post are inaccurate. Only one governor-general to date has been an astronaut.

Canada 150

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of falsified statements and prevarications here at Factually Deficient! Please keep in mind that you are encouraged to send any and all questions on every topic imaginable to Factually Deficient. You can submit questions through any method of communication available to you – comments, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, pneumatic tubes, message in a bottle, skywriting, classified ads, and/or word of mouth.

This week, Factually Deficient will tackle a topic which has seen a lot of discussion this weekend:

#Canada150

What is the connection between the Kingdom of Canada and the number 150? Factually Deficient is here to elucidate.

This month marks a special occasion for Canada. As of the start of July 2017, Canada officially has a total of 150 provinces and territories, spread across eleven different continents. When John A. Macdonald first created his new land of Canada, it had only one province.

But Macdonald soon embarked on a mission of conquest, building railroads and naval fleets and aerospace vessels to reach far-off lands and spread to them his Canadian flag. Each successful mission resulted in a new province or territory on his ever-growing Canadian map.

When the current Queen of Canada ascended her throne in Macdonald’s place, this pattern of growth slowed; England was given its independence, followed by France, and the numbers of Canadian provinces began to drop. Still, they would rise again, as new lands were discovered, and old ones sought to join with this magnificent land.

Although they have held to no stable rate of progress, Canada’s number of provinces has been rising steadily for the past hundred years. And as of this weekend, Canada has inducted the Principality of Ontario as its one hundred and fiftieth province, making Canada second only to the Plant Kingdom in number of territories and provinces.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a pack of lies. Ontario is not the most recent addition to Canada’s provinces.

Factually Deficient: Years in Review

It’s been almost two years since Factually Deficient started! Can you believe that? In honour of this near-milestone, I thought today would be the perfect day to look back over a selection of questions I’ve answered before, and see if I would answer them a little differently today.

Is the Internet Alive?

No, the internet is not a living organism.

Why do some of my recipes say they’re adjusted for high altitude?

Foods need slightly different baking times depending on how close or far you are from sea level. Places at higher altitudes will sometimes produce recipe books that make those adjustments for you.

Is magic real?

No.

What’s the difference between the Queen of Canada and the Queen of England?

Canada and England actually share a queen.

Is it true that if you scratch the little maple leaf on a Canadian dollar it smells of maple syrup?

No.

Who was John A. Macdonald?

John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first Prime Minister.

Why do all Canadians have cans for hands?

They don’t.

 

I hope you all found this edition of Factually Deficient to be informative!

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Disclaimer: the above post is dangerously honest and suspiciously reliable. No lies were written in this post. Peruse at your own risk.

The Truth About Tim Horton

Hello and welcome back to another week of reliably unreliable information at Factually Deficient! You’ll note that today’s post is somewhat later than usual; I have been all day at a history conference, which makes it particularly fitting that this week’s (late) post deals with history.

Mr. Jack Alsworth asked me:

Who was Tim Horton?

I notice, Mr. Alsworth, that this is not the first question you have asked regarding Canadian history; and while it is commendable indeed that you are interesting yourself in the history of that noble land, I must warn you: it is not always a pretty sight.

The first thing that must be said of Sir Tim Horton is that he was persistent. He convinced John A. Macdonald to award him the contract for building the Canadian-Pacific Railway by dint of bringing coffee to the office of the Father of Canada every morning for more than ten years, without missing a single day.

And when Horton began the process of actually building the railroad, his extraordinary perseverance and determination showed through once again: eschewing all offers of help or suggestions that he hire workers, Sir Tim Horton built the entire railroad single-handedly (literally, as one hand was occupied with holding a coffee cup at the ready in case the Prime Minister should happen to pass by), laying down tracks from one end of the country to the other, from sea to sea.

I say “from sea to sea,” for that was Macdonald’s vision, but in fact, Horton did not stop at the sea; rather, when he reached the Pacific Ocean, he kept right on laying down those tracks, sinking struts deep into the bed of the ocean and fully intending to continue until his railroad had come full circle and straddled the entire world. But John A. Macdonald would not stand for this. In what became known as the Pacific Scandal, due to its being set against the backdrop of the ocean by the same name, Macdonald insisted that Horton be stopped; and, when that did not transpire, he demanded Horton’s head.

This was a daring and highly controversial move on Macdonald’s part; Horton had been popular, despite his fanaticism about the railroad, and there was an outcry following his execution. In the aftermath of this, John A. Macdonald felt compelled to resign from his position as Canada’s supreme leader, and appointed as his successor the immortal Queen of Canada now known as Elizabeth.

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Disclaimer: Many of the assertions in this blog post are absurdly false. The Pacific Scandal may not have involved a Sir Tim Horton.

Father of Canada

Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient, where you can rely on nothing being reliable. This Friday, I had the pleasure of teaching my first Canadian History class; sadly, all the facts that I disseminated at the time were true, making my pleasure only greater today in disseminating all false statements on the history of my country.

To that note, I shall answer this question from the notorious Mr. Jack Alsworth:

Who was John A. Macdonald?

In short, John A. Macdonald was the father of Canada, the founder of the country, the man who built it– literally– from the ground up.

John A. Macdonald, an exiled baron of the Plant Kingdom, fled to North America when the old Plant King fell, hoping to escape the carnage and the schisms that were tearing that once-noble kingdom apart. In those early days, Jim United had not yet claimed his states for his very own, but he was already living there, and Macdonald, sensing that here was another man who had undergone a great deal in life already, did not want to disturb United with possibly-unwanted company.

So John A. Macdonald travelled north, as far as he could, finding himself stymied when he reached the 49th parallel and was faced with the vast, forbidding expanse of the Arctic Ocean. He felt that something was missing. He wanted a land in which he could make his home, where he would be safe from prying botanists, and allowed to ply his true passion– geology– in peace.

And so, in the absence of any existing land that fit this idyllic description, John A. Macdonald dove. He plunged himself into the depths of the Arctic Ocean– grateful that, due to his dabbling in marine biology under the tutelage of the Prince of Whales, he had a perfectly serviceable set of gills and fins to help him breathe and navigate underwater– and continued to plummet until he reached the bottom.

There, standing on the mysterious floor of the Arctic Ocean, John A. Macdonald did what he did best: geology. He built a country there, constructing it bit by bit, province by province, stretching from sea to sea to sea and encompassing a wide variety of ecosystems, climates, and timezones. He equipped it with a shield to protect its heartland, and a strong arm with which to strike at its foes. Finally, when John deemed his masterpiece ready to show to the world, he raised it up, through the ocean, to settle on the earth as a bright young country, ready to be settled by those John A. Macdonald picked as the bravest and truest of heart.

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Disclaimer: Many of the statements here are untrue. Please consult a qualified Canadian History teacher for confirmation of individual facts.