Magazine article The New Yorker

Application for Permanent Canadian Residence; the Back Page by Bruce Mccall

Magazine article The New Yorker

Application for Permanent Canadian Residence; the Back Page by Bruce Mccall

Article excerpt

(Please use a soft pencil.)

1. Did you say you were thinking about coming up to live in Canada? Undecided___ Maybe___ Awfully big step___ Other___

The clearer your intentions, the better our government can estimate how many welcome-gift bottles of maple syrup, etc., to order.

2. Not to be too nosy, but are you mad at all governments or just the one particular government? All___ Just the one___

We ask only because Canada has a government, too, and, if you mean to be critical just on principle, maybe it would be better if you didn't come here. Not that our government is perfect, but we think it runs pretty well, all things considered, so other Canadians might take you for a "troublemaker"--hardly the nicest way to start off in a new country!

3. I want to come and live in Canada because (check all that apply): You can make right turns on red lights, just like in California.___ I missed out on the fifties.___ Curling is my life.___ You can be photographed with a Mountie almost

anytime.___ "Chesterfield" is a better word than "sofa."___ You can fly hassle-free from there to Cuba for wild weekends.____

These may seem to be minor reasons, but they look better on paper than strident political opinions--important to us because, that way,

if this form were to fall into U.S. hands, it would avoid hurting anyone's feelings.

4. I like to (check all that apply): Play loud music___ Wear immodest bathing attire___ Drink straight from the bottle___ Joke about Canadian football___ Drive over 60 m.p.h.___ Show off___

These American-type life-style choices are fine, but, if you do come here to live, we wonder if you'd be willing to "tone it down" a bit.

5. If you were let in, what would you sing at the start of hockey games? "The Star-Spangled Banner"___ "O Canada"___ Both___

You can sing whatever you like. We just want to get an idea of whether you would embrace being in Canada strongly enough that you'd still be here in a few years, so our health-care system could prepare your free hospital bed.

6. I am fully prepared to (check all that apply): Spell "color" "colour" and "check" "cheque"___ Observe Boxing Day___ Switch over to the metric system___ Not laugh when somebody says "Medicine Hat," "Moose Jaw," or "Coboconk"___

These are just for-instances meant to gauge the chances of your assimilating. If you want to stick to your American way of handling these things, that's perfectly all right. One thing about Canada: everybody says that our tolerant attitude "just knocks them out. …

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