Sixty-one years ago today, the nation of Canada launched their first TV station. Which means today is as good a day as any to talk about Canadian Heritage minutes.
In Canada, radio and TV broadcasters have to abide by a Canadian content quota system. The law mandates that a certain percentage of what goes on-air air has to be "at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from Canada." Which is where Heritage minutes come in. They're short, unintentionally hilarious commercials for Canadian greatness that run during ad breaks.
For instance. Did you know that Standard Time was invented by Halifax's own Sanford Fleming?
"Between Halifax and Toronto there's five different time zones!"
"What the world really needs is a system of STANDARD time zones."
"But sir! Cities set their time zones by the sun. They'll NEVER agree!"
And did you know that modern water pumps designed by Canadian engineers for the developing world are based on DESIGNS BY MENNONITE CANADIANS FROM THE 1800'S?
"It was in our own backyard! Mennonite resourcefulness, eh?"
And finally, on this historic day, it's worth re-enacting the moment when French-Canadians first learned to harvest maple syrup from the native Atikamekw.