Can you match an eight-year-old’s view of our country?

Mary Bailey grinned at me this winter as she ushered me to my seat at Gryphon Theatre. Mary has been a loyal usher and theatre guild volunteer since its inception in 1973. Tireless, friendly, and always pleasant, Mary had a story to tell.

She was amazed at an assignment given to her grand-daughter Marla and shared how it involved the entire family to research and record the answers.

I thought I’d share a few of them with you today, as our country lights the candles on our 133rd birthday cake.

Let’s try a few of these questions:

1. What does Confederation mean?
2. Where did the name Canada come from?
3. In what year did Canada become a country?
4. What are the three main groups of original Canadians?
5. Which group of aboriginal peoples make up more than half of the population of Nunavut?
6. From where did the first European settlers in Canada come?
7. Who was Canada’s first prime minister?
8. Which four provinces joined together first in Confederation?
9. Which mountain range forms the border between Alberta and British Columbia?
10. Which territory shares a border with another country?
11. What are the names of the Great Lakes?
12. Which province is the biggest producer of metals?
13. Which province is the biggest producer of pulp and paper?
14. Which province is Canada’s major producer of oil and gas?
15. Which province is Canada’s leading wheat producer?
16. Which produces the country’s most hydro-electricity?
17. Which province has the largest dairy farming industry?
18. Who is Canada’s head of state?
19. Who represents Queen Elizabeth in Canada?
20. Who represents the Queen in Ontario?
21. Which animal is an official symbol of Canada?

Now, young Marla Bailey answered many more questions than this, but I thought you’d like to put yourself to the test as we light the candles on our birthday cake. How many can you answer? How many can your family answer?

It might be interesting to know that these are just a few of the questions put to new Canadians before they take their oath to become Canadian citizens.

I wonder if the “old” Canadians are up to par.

The answers are below. Happy Birthday, Canada. And, thanks. As my father-in-law said to me at the end of one of my taxation tirades… “such cheap rent Donna, for such a good country!”


1. A union of all the provinces and territories.
2. Canada got its name from the inuit word meaning “a group of huts”
3. 1867
4. Aboriginal groups are Natives (with five XX) Inuit, Métis
5. Inuit
6. France and England
7. Sir John A Macdonald
8. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.
9. Rocky Mountains
10. Yukon
11. Huron, Erie, Ontario, Superior, Michigan.
12 Ontario
13. Quebec
14. Alberta.
15. Saskatchewan
16. Quebec
17. Quebec
18. Queen Elizabeth II
19. Governor General Adrienne Clarkson
20. Lieutenant Governor Hilary Weston
21. The Beaver