In France, at a fairly large conference, Prime MinisterÂ Stephen HarperÂ was asked by a French cabinet minister if Canadian involvement inÂ Afghanistan was just an example of “empire building”.
Mr HarperÂ answered by saying, ‘Over the years, Canada has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.’
You could have heard a pin drop.
A Canadian Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the Canadian, US, English, AustralianÂ and French Navies.
At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learnÂ many languages, North Americans generally learn only English. He then asked, ‘Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?’
Without hesitating, the Canadian Admiral replied ‘Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.’
You could have heard a pin drop.Â
When Robert Whiting, an elderly Canadian gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane at theÂ French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
‘You have been to France before, monsieur?’ the customs officer asked sarcastically.Â
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.Â
The official replied, Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.Â
The Canadian said, The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.Â
Impossible, Monsieur.Â Canadians always have to show passports on arrival in France !Â
The Canadian senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, Well, when I came ashore on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I could not find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.