Friday Fun Link – Newfoundland vs. Saskatchewan

We head for home tomorrow and after 10 days in Newfoundland, I’ve managed to confirm my long-held belief that Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are two of the most unexpectedly similar provinces in Canada.

  • In Saskatchewan, we farm the land.  In Newfoundland, they farm the sea.
  • Both provinces have reputations for extremely friendly, welcoming people.
  • To be honest, both provinces also have reputations for having citizens who are slow or rubes (which might connect to that last point?)
  • Both provinces were long-time “have not” provinces.
  • Both provinces are now leading the country in economic growth with Sask as #1 and Newfoundland #2.
  • For both provinces, this nation-leading position is mostly due to oil and mining-related activity.
  • In Saskatchewan, you may see a majestic bison by the road.  In Newfoundland, you may see a majestic moose.
  • In Saskatchewan, a big chunk of the population drinks Pilsner as a “unique” local brew even though it’s brewed by one of the country’s largest brewers.  In Newfoundland, a big chunk of the population drinks Black Horse as a “unique” local brew even though it’s brewed by one of the country’s largest brewers.
  • Newfoundlanders have dealt with (and continue to deal with) the cod moratorium.  Saskatchewanites have dealt with the BSE Mad Cow outbreak (though I freely admit these are in no way comparable unless Saskatchewan was required by the government to all but completely abandon its beef industry for 15 years.)
  • Saskatchewan had Tommy Douglas.  Newfoundland had Joey Smallwood – both of whom had a massive impact on the country, much beyond the size of the provinces they led.

There are some differences too…

  • Saskatchewan’s lifestyle and culture are heavily influenced by Eastern European immigrants.  Newfoundland’s lifestyle and culture are heavily influenced by Irish immigrants.
  • As I’ve written about before, they have a musical culture that I think we lack in Saskatchewan.
  • I notice stupid things like how, in Saskatchewan, stop signs at an angled cross-road will have a piece of tin along the edge so there’s no chance that the driver with the right-of-way will think the stop sign is for them.  They don’t have that in Newfoundland.
  • Related, our roads are basically straight lines as our our city streets.  Here, not so much.
  • We have gophers. They have seagulls.
  • Newfoundland is about as far from Hawaii as it gets yet somehow they have Pineapple Crush soda pop and Saskatchewan doesn’t???

I’m sure there’s lots more I’m missing.  I’ll add others as I think of them.

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