Smokeless - East and West?

photo: home of loons, lake

This western lake could be a habitat of Loons if it were
in the east.

How To Pronounce 'Dollar' In Canadian

Email from Jim Auman. Sent via the Internet: Friday, 21. July 2000:-

Bonjour Rick!

I enjoyed your article about smokeless western Canada.

Eastern Canada, at least Ontario and especially Quebec are not smoke-free. About three years ago we went to Niagara Falls, both in the US and Canada.

Once over the Canadian border, just about every store was selling Cuban cigars. Since they are not allowed in the US, business to the Yankees was brisk. And expensive. A cigar about the size of a pen cost about $10 CDN.

Also, when going through the duty free shops in Canadian airports, there is a door in the room that goes from floor to ceiling. Behind it are more Cuban cigars. Again, business was good.

And about the same time as our visit, the Canadian government introduced the $2 coin - called a 'Twoney' - pronounced 'too-ney.' It keeps companyphoto: dollar looney with the $1 coin - the 'Looney' - so named because of the Loon on one side. Any references to politicians are not mentioned.

In Québec the snack machines are labelled in French and English. The French is rather prosaic: "Les pieces de $1 Cdn seulement" but in English the sign says, "Loonies only."

I'm enclosing an article from the Montreal Gazette about the newest leader of the 'Alliance of First Nations,' Matthew Coon Come. He has been elected to a three-year term as, "Head of Canada's largest aboriginal lobby group, representing 633 communities, or more than 600,000 of the 1.4 million aboriginal people living across the country."

There was an article in last week's 'L'Express' that suggested the 'First Nations' may not have been the first ones. A skull was found in Washington State that is about 8,000 years old and is not native American.

A bientôt,
Jim Auman

Jim Auman©2000
I Thought They Were Looies

Bonjour Jim,

Paris:- Saturday, 22. July:- This is a welcome message because my recent trip to Canada was so swift - except for the airplane part - that I managed to miss many subtleties of recently invented local lore.

I am not actually certain that Western Canada is really smoke-free, because a lot of trading posts had obscure corners liberally plastered with dire warnings - where I believe cigarettes were for sale to anybody 99 or older.

The Cuban cigars I did not see - these were out-of-the-way trading posts, you understand, in Oliver - and I used to get mine in Spain; and at Spanish prices at that. I gave up on the cigars years ago when I ran out of the time required to smoke them.

I do vaguely remember somebody explaining the new one and two-dollar coins to me, but I guessphoto: ticket circus, osoyoos it seemed so farfetched that I thought I was being told a 'story.'

Unused free ticket to Canadian cultural event in Osoyoos - which is not the name of any money in Canada.

So I have dug through the debris that returned with me from Canada and what-do-you-know? Sure enough, the coin that looks like an old-style British penny, is actually a big 'Loonie.' And I was throwing them into the beer and pop-can recycling bins!

Your mention of the 'Alliance of First Nations' had me confused until I read the piece you attached. While I was in Canada some other political party was choosing a new leader.

Luckily this had started some time before my arrival, so they had the vote, somebody won, and the story disappeared from the snowed-in TV news without my finding out the name of the party or of the candidates or who they are.

Paying visits to Western Canada can be interesting. While there is a lot of 'new-age' stuff out west like getting a nickel for used beer and pop cans - so long as you sort them beforehand - a lot of everything else seemed to be very traditional, such as the GMC pickup trucks - some of which seem to have been made before I was born.
signature, regards, ric

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