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article imageOp-Ed: Harvard students don't know capital of Canada

By Ken Hanly     Nov 20, 2013 in World
Cambridge - The Harvard Crimson, the newspaper of the Ivy League School, asked Harvard students on camera what was the capital of Canada.
Only one student interviewed gave the right answer, Ottawa. It turns out that she was Canadian. Some said they did not know or had no idea. One person felt bad about not knowing saying: "Oh my God, it's really bad I don't know" Another person said: "I'm sorry Canada.
Some were unable to distinguish Canadian provinces from cities. One person said the capital was Alberta but at least decided that was not right. Some thought Ontario was the capital and one person thought it was Quebec. Others still simply had the wrong city with one person thinking it was Toronto and another Vancouver. Ottawa was chosen as the capital in 1857 by Queen Victoria. The Crimson probably would have had much better results if it had asked who was the present mayor of Toronto, that is Rob Ford.
After noting all the wrong answers this article asks Canadians: "Who is the president of Mexico?"- just to show that perhaps we aren't that smart. There were four choices and I got the right one. Try it.
The appended video already had 19,000 views last Monday evening. The Ottawa Citizen, located in the capital Ottawa as you know, notes that the interview is reminiscent of Canadian comedian Rick Mercer's television special Talking to Americans in 2001. Mercer talked with Americans who among other things congratulated us on legalizing VCRs. Probably no one knows what they were by now! They also congratulated us on reaching a population of one million. He also had numerous Americans sign a petition against the Saskatchewan seal hunt.
Even Al Gore did not correct Mercer when he referred to Toronto as the Canadian capital. Maybe that is where some Harvard students got the idea. Many of the Harvard students at least expressed regret at their lack of knowledge.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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