Everything a newcomer needs to know
Le ministre Jason Kenney
Minister Kenney has a small perfect guide
It's called "Welcome to Canada, what you wanted to know."
The new guide cuts back on Canadian history and slips in a lot more on Queen Elizabeth and the British monarchy, two of Harper's favorite subjects.
It devotes a full page to the constitutional monarchy but only four paragraphs to Canadian history. The 2009 guide had at least four pages on the history of Canada. Maybe Canada has less history today.
"This new guide is twice as long as the 2009 version, with a lot of practical information" says Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The 148-page guide cost $ 400,000 to make.
It tells you how to get the documents you need before you get here, how to improve your French or your English, the realities of employment, of education, housing, health and finance.
It explains how to rent an apartment or buy a house, the education system, the recognition of skills or academic qualifications, and the list of rights and freedoms.
The guide also outlines that are pension plans, savings plans, study, health insurance, the tax system, automobile insurance and the rules of conduct in the country among others. All worthwhile stuff.
So what's lost? The 2009 guide told about the founding of Canada and its French, English and First Nations people, the arrival of the first French settlers, the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the abolition of slavery, the War of 1812, Confederation in 1867, the westward migrations and the construction of the railroad, the two World Wars, and the right to vote for women in 1917.
Four other pages had "modern Canada," the country's international role, its arts, culture, inventions and discoveries. All this is no more.
The new guide discusses our founding peoples in four paragraphs, telling us "Quebeckers have preserved a language, a culture and a unique identity.
It adds that in 2006 the Canadian Parliament recognized that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada. '
Queen Elizabeth II is gets a full page, with her official portrait during a visit to Toronto with her husband in 1951. There is also a picture of grandson William with his wife Kate in Ottawa in July 2011.
So where's the other son, the heir to the throne? Is he gone forever?
The 2013 guide denounces human trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse and multiple marriages.
The guide says that Canada does not tolerate "barbarian" cultural practices such as "honor killings, female genital mutilation," or forced marriages
Newcomers must be asking: "Is this what Canadians think of us? Are we barbarians to be notified in advance?"
The guide does mention gay marriages are legal in Canada, but multiple marriages are not.
The words of the national anthem are no longer in the guide.
Maybe the government wants us to sing "God Save the Queen!" instead.