Canada: Poutine Pandemonium and Productivity Plunge

This week in Canada, it’s essentially National Poutine Week. What was once a mere “Day” has now blossomed into a full-fledged, week-long celebration, courtesy of overzealous restaurateurs and food enthusiasts. For an entire seven-day stretch, the entire country is twirling around the name that the majority of humanity refuses to pronounce.

This is unprecedented for the Great White North – a land where the mere hint of political incorrectness is swiftly and severely punished, with consequences rivalling even the gravest sin of being indifferent to ice hockey.

Not long ago, we were busily removing monuments to historical figures like Sir John A MacDonald and James McGill, all in the name of ensuring the safety – not of the monuments themselves, but of the people defacing them. And yet, this week, millions of my fellow countrymen are gleefully celebrating Poutine – the moniker of the world’s worst living dictator, albeit in French transliteration, because that’s what’s required by our language police.

And all of this is set against the backdrop of a recent Bank of Canada report, which suggests that labour productivity in Canada has declined in 12 of the past 14 quarters. Apparently, we’ve just noticed with surprise that the average Canadian worker produces a mere 70% of the output of their American counterparts.

How, you may wonder, could this possibly be related to Poutine?

Well, my friends, cheese – the key ingredient in our maple-infused delicacy – may just hold the answer.

Consider the staple foods of other leading nations. The American hamburger has more components and requires more effort to produce and to eat than the humble poutine. The German currywurst, while limited in ingredients, is more labour-intensive, falling somewhere between the burger and the British fish-and-chips.

Even the revered Italian pizza, a few steps down the rankings, is still more complicated than Canadian poutine.

So there you have it. We may not be the first, nor the best, not the most extreme in anything. But we certainly get the cheese.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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