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From Value One, Spring 2009 No. 24
Metal One Canada Corporation
Where Summers Are Short and Temperatures Fluctuate Wildly in Winter
In Canada, days of delightful blue skies and lush greenery follow one after another in summer. People in short-sleeved shirts and shorts enjoy the brief summer by relaxing in parks and swimming in lakes. This changes completely in winter. Sometimes, the temperature would drop below -20ºC on one day and rebound up to zero the next. Apparently, this swing in temperature is what yields delicious maple syrup, but it can be a bit physically trying for someone who was brought up in Japan.

High-priced Canada?
Consumer goods are so expensive! Compared with that in the United States, Canada's neighboring country, the price of gasoline, among other items, is 20 to 30% higher on average. In addition, consumption tax here is 13%, approximately twice that in the United States and 2.6 times that in Japan, adding to the impression that things are expensive. However, products deemed essential to daily life are not taxed. For example, milk is tax free, but potato chips are taxed. Moreover, because medical care services are provided completely free of charge, you have the feeling that the cost of living might actually be reasonable.
The World's Oldest Baseball Field
I live in London (Ontario), midway between Detroit and Toronto. The city has a semipro baseball team and was full of excitement this summer when the domestic league championship was on the line. The championship slipped away with a bitter loss in the final game, but I was able to observe the enthusiastic cheering of a few London baseball fans. This year's Guinness World Records features downtown Labatt Park as the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world. This baseball field was built in 1877 and retains a very nostalgic, old-fashioned atmosphere, right down to the wooden doors on its restroom stalls. There are even game-time activities for fans, such as races for pizza coupons, sessions where kids can get players' autographs, and baseball giveaways.
Ice hockey is a sport even more popular than baseball. You generally feel that there is not much product choice in Canada, but when it comes to hockey goods, there is an overwhelming assortment.
Labatt Park, certified by Guinness World Records
World-Famous BlackBerry from Ontario Province
The BlackBerry is a wireless handheld device that businesspeople around the world find indispensable. It is made by a company headquartered in the suburbs of Waterloo, Ontario. I have heard that it has recently become popular in Japan. I have also heard that the new U.S. president, Barack Obama, is a dedicated user and unable to put his down. There were rumors that the President was going to have his BlackBerry confiscated for security reasons, but after strenuously objecting, it seems that Mr. Obama will be allowed to use it subject to certain conditions. Perhaps we should call it a BarackBerry?
The Popularity of Poutine in Canada
French fries are clearly eaten differently in different countries. Poutine, which is popular in eastern Canada, is French fries topped with cheese and covered in hot gravy. I like crisp potatoes and thought, what have they done? However, they are pretty tasty for what they are. I have recently been concerned about metabolic syndrome, but the sight of men and women, young and old, who are at higher risk of developing this syndrome than I am gorging on heaping helpings of potatoes is really amazing. Dousing potatoes with vinegar is a different way of eating them, and this is thought to be a vestige of British culture.
Richly flavored French fries
Excellent Living Environment
I should no doubt make special note of how fine Canada's living environment is. London has the University of Western Ontario, one of Canada's leading universities, at its center, and even though it is a country town, it is full of energy because there are many young people there. The natural surroundings still remain here and there around the city, and it is not unusual for deer, raccoon dogs, or other wild animals to amble through a backyard. Additionally, Canada is a nation of immigrants and has diverse ethnic groups compared to other countries.
The GM 2010 Equinox, a new model from CAMI Automotive Inc., one of Metal One Canada's customers, is scheduled to start production in May of this year. (Photo shot at North American International Auto Show)
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