Monday, November 20, 2006

#11. Why else would Big Sugar write a song about it?

I've been reading Raymi's site for about three months, but this post finally propelled me from just lurking to commenting.

Bagged milk is, in fact, a strange thing that only Ontario does. The entire first year I lived here, I just thought it was a strange coincidence that all my friend's parents bought milk in bags. It wasn't until my roomates brough home a jersey-cow spotted milk container that I realized Ontario is confused and thinks it's an old woman.

When I tell Albertans that Ontarions drink milk from bags, they think it's just some elaborate lie that I say to make Ontario residents seem more screwed up than they already are.

Sorry, milk bags really bother and confuse me.
Jess Homepage 11.20.06 - 6:06 pm #

It was mainly the title of the post that got to me. Seriously, they should send out a memo to Ontario residents: you are the only province that uses milk bags. And it's weird.

WOAH please offer up a top ten list why ontarians are screwed up and the rest of the country isn't. seriously canada should just get it over with and be called ONTARIO.
raymi Homepage 11.20.06 - 6:27 pm #

Ten Reasons Why Alberta is Superior to Ontario in Every Given Capacity

10. No milk bags. I don’t think I need to explain this further. I seriously just don’t understand it. Prior to moving here I thought it was only something that old ladies did.

9. No PST. (Yah, sure, PST theoretically goes back into infrastructure, but unless you consider “infrastructure” allowing the LCBO to put out a glossy magazine every four months, that’s complete bullshit and Ontario misallocates and wastes its tax dollars.)

8. And speaking of the LCBO, why the hell does it close so early and why is it impossible to find? It's like a treasure hunt for alcohol every time you're in a new neighbourhood, but by the time you find the magic "X" on the map, it's like, "Oh, sorry, we close before my 10-year-old niece goes to bed." Why can't you buy all your beer and liquor at once? Why do you have to make a seperate trip to the very unimaginatively named "Beer Store"?

Alberta has liquor stores on every corner that are accessible at nearly every hour of the night. And let's not forget about "Dial-A-Bottle" for all those times you're just much too lazy or drunk to go out in the frigid cold and get another 40 of rye. We don’t try to glamourize our alcoholism, instead we embrace it for what it is- dirty, disgusting, and often involving drunk old men with excessive body odour.

7. The fact that southern Ontario has built up this mass conglomeration of urban dwelling and suburbs to the point where Ontario residents have to go to “cottage country” to “get away from it all” is incredibly disturbing. In Alberta, you’re always “away from it all.”

6. You can only swim in the Great Lakes on certain days due to e.coli count and pollution problems. I just don’t understand the math here--some of the biggest lakes in the world, yet they are so polluted that you can’t even go swimming in them? That’s just fucked up.

5. Alberta has a no-rat policy. That’s right—no rats. See, just like I said—Alberta is clearly superior in every given way.

4. Superior beer on tap and awesome microbreweries (Big Rock vs. Steamwhistle? It’s no competition.) I’m seriously missing Kokanee. I mean, for a shitty draft beer, it doesn’t have any crappy aftertaste like the terrible beers they have on tap here. (What’s up with Blue? Again, I had no clue what this is even existed until I moved here.)

3. As my fellow Albertan now living in Ontario, Monique, pointed out, Albertans have better geographical knowledge as a whole. Quick lesson: Calgary is the capital of Alberta in the same way that Toronto is the capital of Canada. And no, everyone from Alberta isn’t from Calgary. (In fact, offhand I don't think I know anyone who is from Calgary. Not one single person, and I lived in Alberta for 20 years.) Also, every place in Alberta is not next to one another. And finally, to everyone who keeps asking about my plans for the holidays: why the fuck would I fly into Calgary when I live in northern Alberta? Seriously, now. (Speaking of geography, did I mention that Alberta has so many unique climate zones it's ridiculous: the foothills, prairies, the Rocky Mountains, desert, tundra, and boreal forest. It's like a utopia, really, when you think about it.)

2. Sure, our government sucks, but at least the province knows where it stands politically. There’s none of this “last week I was Progressive Conservative but this week I’m Liberal to suit the popular trend” bullshit. You’re either PC or you’re kicked out the province. (Which, for the record, is kind of what happened to me.) Klein may have been a drunk bastard who threw pennies at homeless people, threw books at pages in the legislature, plagiarized a university term paper while in office, and told disabled people to get jobs, but last year he gave us all $400 to shut us up. And that's what really matters.

1. And the top reason Alberta is superior in every way:

We’re fully aware that we’re just a bunch of small-town hicks with a backwards government that is surviving solely on the luck of having a lot of fossil fuel in our near perma-frost ground. Just by acknowledging that we're screwed up, we are superior to Ontario residents, who seem to have this insistant belief that they're not messed up, too. And that's the most screwed up thing of all.*

(Also, if it counts for anything, we have really, really pretty sunsets. Alex Dodd will attest to this fact.)


Some guy created a website dedicated to Milk Bags. He's also miseducating the public into believing that everyone in Canada uses milk bags. My favourite part is his FAQ:

Q: How is the milk bag better than the milk carton or jug?

A: I don't know. It seems as though they are easier to recycle, more enviromentally friendly.

Easier to recycle? Huh? Can someone offer me solid proof of this please? Because this seems to be everyone's argument.


*Totally acknowledging props to Raymi for not necessarily fitting into this category since she quite clearly stated in her comment that the entire country is screwed up.


  1. Anonymous11:38 PM

    Alberta's superiority is pretty much due to the fact that I stayed here and didn't leave for warmer winter climates. You're list was good too though.

  2. Oh, right. #12: Jacob lives in Alberta. How could I have possibly forgotten?

  3. okay

    I actually had to take notes to remember all the stuff that I would say.

    1. Ontario is not the only province in Canada that has milk bags at all. Pretty sure Quebec and the entire maritimes have milk bags too.

    2. The ontario cottage country thing is gay, I agree.

    3. They had dial a bottle when I was teenager in Ontario.

    4. I strongly STRONGLY disagree with you that people in Alberta are better at geography. Basically half of everyone in Alberta thinks that everywhere in the maritimes is somehow Newfoundland when in fact Newfoundland isn't even part of the maritimes. I also met a number of maritimes seperatists in Alberta which really pissed me off. Seriously people who want to kick the maritimes out of the country because we are too poor. Which is gay because one day Alberta will probably be poor.

    p.s. If I remember correctky Milk in Alberta is absurdly cheap which is why they probably dont bother with milk bags. Milk bags are like moreso the affordable alternative to boxed milk. (I also want to mention that I think bagged milk was more popular in the 80's-but then maybe its just because my family was poor in the 80's).


  4. oh yeah also in the maritimes we have triple milk which is the real ghetto milk. I will telll you about it later.

  5. I have no idea what in the world you're talking about in most of those assertions, but the Great Lakes pollution is really fucked. I remember that from living in New York and Ohio. Crazy shit. Maybe they need MORE zebra muscles to clean those things up?

    For the record, I'd much rather roam the wilderness of Alberta than Ontario. No question.

    Believe it or not, I've met more Canadians since moving to California than Californians. One of them even hipped me to Big Sugar's cover of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" -- not a bad cover!

    But you all still talk funny, damnit -- I don't care where you're from!

  6. Bagged milk uses less plastic I think as well.

    PST is bullshit.

    I've been to BC and had a hard time finding the liquour store there. Everyone pretty much knows where the LCBO or Beer Store is here. Thats the only benefits they offer.

    Umm I lived in the south part of 'cottage country' and went to the city to get away from it all...

    The state of the Great Lakes is the fault of both the USA and Canada. Also really poor planning in regards to cities and farming (yes farming, ruined many good days to go swimming for me back home. I'll win this argument any day of the week.)

    Politicans are rats. Enough said.

    Never had Big Rock. Steamwhistle is a pilsner and pilsners suck. Beer is beer when you come down to it. Just drink Trois Pistoles, that shit will make anyone a man.

    Geography... Most people don't travel outside of Ontario. They think Toronto is the center of the universe.

    Politians are rats. They'll do whatever is necessary to survive.

    The number one reason is BS. Im from a hick town, where gay guys actually get gay bashed by the local straight guys. You're basing this mostly on people from Toronto who think they are from New York. Second its the politicans fault and they are rats as I have previously stated twice.

    Now lets all fuck off about what place is better than the other, have a few drinks (if your so inclined) and have a good time (you must).

    The best place is where your friends are. So Ontario, Manitoba or god forbid the States, thats the best place to be is. With your friends.


    PS Im moving to BC when Im done school. So screw both Ontario and Manitoba!

  7. Dude, how could milk bags use less plastic than a milk CARTON, which is made from cardboard?

    Also, I'm ignoring everyone's comments except for Melissa's, because she is the only one who has done some cross-country field-work and has any sort of factual experience to base this on.

  8. Anonymous11:18 AM

    That means that you can't ignore this comment. I've got some cross country living over here.

    First of all, I am appalled that you would attach my name to such a blasphemous and ignorant blog post.

    I *do not* stand for the Albertan superiority complex.

    Milk cartons aren't recyclable in 95% of the country because the number inside the triangle of arrows is one of those rare ones that isn't actually allowed to be recycled in most places anyway. Plus, recycling paper (the same process a milk carton goes through) is one of the least efficient forms of recycling as well as is recycling plastic. It creates more pollution with the energy used to put it through the recycling process then is saved. Recycling is just a multi-million dollar fallacy created to suck the taxpayers money anyway, so while you're not used to our milk bags, get over it. It makes no difference.

    There is nothing wrong with steamwhistle, you just lack the appreciation of a variety of beer. And just because we have Blue doesn't mean that we don't get our delicious Moosehead on tap too. And any beer can be found anywhere in the country. You can thank globalization for killing that argument.

    To say that Albertan's have better geographical knowledge is just ignorant. You try navigating through Northern Ontario without a map and then talk to me about geography. This is just another example of the Alberta superiority complex, the worst part about this province. Just because you are isolated in the concentrated evil of all of Ontario doesn't mean that you can generalize the knowledge of all Ontarians based on whether or not the scenesters at the last concert you went to knew that Edmonton was the capital of Alberta or not. Not all of us are ignorant. Also, drive through northern Ontario in the fall and tell me it's not absolutely stunning.

    Murder the government. Seriously, when did anyone start taking them seriously enough to use them as an example in an argument as pertenant as this.

    And if you haven't even been to a cottage, them don't diss them. You can't make a call for field work when you haven't completed your own. While the sunsets are beautiful here, Georgian Bay gives them a run for their money. To pick a winner would be futile.

    While you are fully aware of your position in the Canadian psyche, most Albertans are not. The people here are, as you said, "just a bunch of small-town hicks with a backwards government ". The majority of the people here are as ignorant and self-centred as a lot of Ontarians and both are caught up in this superficial battle between two provinces that, in reality, have a lot in common. These are two of the three most populated provinces in Canada, with a huge major resource (forestry/oil) and most of the countries money and political influence.

    On the topic of oil, why does Alberta give over half of what it extracts to America? It reminds me of the conservative government they helped elect. What will be Alberta's claim to fame in 20 years when world oil has peaked and profits are plummeting? What will all of those friendly small-town hicks do when their livelihood is gone and little towns like Fox Creek have no reason to exist. I see a bleak, cold and scenic future of ghost towns and sweet nostalgia for Alberta.

    The real problem here is that you are comparing apples to oranges. This is small town Alberta, versus the downtown core of the biggest city in the country. And don't tell me that small town Ontario isn't the same. Live there before you truly judge. While I do not truly pride myself in where I dwell, I do have a problem with people trying to publicly bring down my hometown.

    Written by a true Ontarian.

    - Alex

    Longest Comment Award Candidate

  9. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Not to mention the fucking snow.

    What's the temperature in Toronto right now?

    I'm going to go build a snowman.

  10. Its 3 degrees right now Alex.

    I dont mind the cold, but its better with snow.

  11. I like how Alex Dodd just enforced about all of my tongue in cheek arguments.

    As for why Melissa gets cross-cultural authority, it's because she's lived in the Maritimes, Alberta and Ontario.

  12. Anonymous12:36 PM

    so canada is the only country with milk bags then?

    i gotta say i've lived pretty much right across the world and i've never seen a milk bag.

    then again i have yet to visit canada so :P

    i have seen juice bags tho :|

  13. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Your arguments may keep your tongue where it belongs but you seem to make room for your foot in your mouth when trying to come up with any *real* arguments as to why Alberta is so much better than Ontario.

    With a belief in Albertan superiority as strong as yours, I would have expected a more solid argument.

  14. I don't have a belief in Alberta's superiority--I have a belief that it's ridiculous that Canadians seem to think the country is uniform in nature from coast-to-coast.

    Although Alberta does have really, really pretty sunsets.

  15. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Yeesh. Break out the foam bats why don't you all?

    For the unamused, see below, then
    get one.

  16. please tell me you are being tongue-in-cheek as i was in my dear americans/milk bag post cos if yer not this is way too irritating to address at the moment, each of yer points and how naive they come across. no rats? what's good about that? granted if you weren't born and raised in ontatio YOU DON'T GET IT all of canada hates ontario they think it/we that we think are too big for our britches or whatever and that's sad, the rest of the world acknowledges that canada has a self-esteem issue and even within our country we're haggling over who is gayer than the other provinces. seriously if we were to go toe to toe on a strictly who is cooler you know who would win that aside can you just shut up and make out with me already?

  17. oh ok tongue in cheek now that i read the comments by the by im sorry my milk bag post got the internet in a fight.

  18. Anonymous7:11 PM

    in the lcbo's defence, the damn thing is almost completely independent from the government. their makeover from ~10 years ago has made them a huge financial success -- the best kind of liquid-giving cow the province has to offer.

  19. Canice- Hmmm. That's the first somewhat valid defense of the LCBO I've ever heard. But I don't know if its accurate. I'm only taking it as slightly credible because you are a well-informed individual. (Otherwise I wouldn't associate myself with you.)

    Fun Fact: In 2002 the Ontario govenrment's net revenues from liquor retialing came to $0.93 per litre of alcohol sold. In 2002 Albert'as came to $1.77 per litre.

    The November 2004 issue of Saturday Night magazine has a really good article on it called Hard to Swallow by Philip Preville.

    Lauren- I'm happy your milk bag post got the Internet in a fight. I just think it's funny that everyone is taking both sides so literally.

    Although, I am serious about the rat thing. Rats carry disease. And I think it's pretty special that Alberta doesn't have any. Then again, I really like the rat guy who stands at the corner of University and Queen. His rats seem friendly and relatively disease free. They're kind of cute.(And also, I really do hate the LCBO, but they do have a wide nice selection of wine. They would be in my good books if they also sold mix, I think).

    Andrew- I think it's specifically because we have the same genetic make-up that you are usually the only one who totally gets that I'm joking every time.

  20. Anonymous8:27 PM

    To my knowledge milk comes in platic jugs in Alberta, perhaps it's just an Edmonton thing. I haven't seen milk in a carton in a while, with the exception of those small cream cartons of half-and-half or whipping cream. I may be blind, but you don't have to take my word for it.

    And Albertian superiority is complete bullshit. Alberta is no more superior then anyother province in Canada, I live in Alberta and I will admit to this. (except for maybe Quebec >.< sorry Quebec) IMO all the provinces are equal, with their own specialties and shit like that (again, except for Quebec).

    However, if you are looking at this froma Hockey stand point then yes, Alberta is superior. And once we get rid of Calgary's wannabe hockey team everything will be as it should be.

    On a side note, Raymi is le hot and makes me giggle all out of control like when I read her blog. Huzzah!

  21. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Milk bags "really bother and confuse" you? Seriously... it's just milk. Relax.
    If you hate Ontario, the fat cow of Confederation, for other reasons, that's different, and fine. But don't blame it on the milk! Milk is just milk!

  22. Anonymous8:40 PM

    I'm sorry I had a memory laps. I forgot about Beatrice milk. Theirs still comes on cartons but only cause they are behind the times. After milk bags but before the revolution of the plastic milk jug.

  23. Dude, think whatever you want about milk jugs vs. cartons vs. bags, but

    a) read between the lines (look up in the comments: "Jess said...
    I don't have a belief in Alberta's superiority--I have a belief that it's ridiculous that Canadians seem to think the country is uniform in nature from coast-to-coast")

    b) if you're going to randomly comment about the hotness and hilarity of a fellow female blogger (and I agree she's hot, but that's beyond the point) it doesn't belong in my comments section since we're *clearly* arguing about milk recepticles here

    c) if you choose to ignore the rules and randomly comment about girls' hotness in a completely out of context forum, you have to be generous with compliments to others as well (ie- author of this blog) for example, you wouldn't randomly comment in Raymi's comments section about how hot and hilarious I am, now would you?

    d) I lived in Edmonton from 2002-2004 and never once bought milk in a plastic jug, I always bought it in a carton. Unless they've outlawed milk cartons in the last two years, I think you're crazy

  24. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Just to chime in: in New Brunswick we do indeed have bags of milk.

    And! If you're on the hunt for late-night drinks, try


  25. Anonymous9:25 PM

    All fine points Jess, and I applode you. But you have to remember I said "To my knowledge milk comes in" and "I may be blind"

    A) I read everyone's comments, and I was simply giving my two cents on the issus. I agree with what you said about the provinces eh.

    B)Why does it not belong when it was a simple and innocently intended shout-out to someone I am a fan of. Last time I checked, admiration wasn't against any rules. Furthermore, I too was arguing about milk recepticles here in my own absent minded way.

    C)Yes, I would. If I saw you made a post on her blog about something that I felt I wanted to respond to and I felt the same way about you I totally would. But in all fairness I will admit I have never visited your blog until today, and to prevent myself from become a jerk I will send some more time here and read yours as well, perhaps I will even say the same about you. Because, honestly, I know nothing about you and to make such a comment so blindly would be foolish and ignorant. Fair enough?

    D)I am born and raised in Edmonton, perhaps one of the rare people left in this city that is a native to Edmonton. (Seeing as everyone else from every other province has taken it upon themselves to invade Alberta's streets and now every 2nd licence plate I see it not Albertian and when I do see an Albertian plate it's surrpunded by out or province plates about to murder it ina rage of invasional glory...sorry ranted a bit.) Maybe they sell milk in cartons still, maybe I simply have not seen any while I have been out shopping for my groceries. For this I would like to refer you to point A.

    I am crazy, don't tease me.

  26. What on earth have you started.. I couldn't start an internet war like this if I tried!

  27. newfoundland uses bagged milk too!!!

  28. Mon,
    I had no idea milk bags would be more contraversial than a rant about feminism combined with sexually provocative pictures of myself.

  29. Anonymous11:46 PM

    As a displaced australian...i have to agree with jess. milk bags confuse the hell out of me.

    The milk carton is perfect milk receptacle why would you use a bag which is so easily punctured and you need a special jug for...

    someone please illuminate me.

  30. Anonymous12:17 AM

    Milk cartons are NOT the perfect milk receptable. Milk cartons allow smells to penetrate - the milk can end up smelling and tasting like cherry jello, or pasta alfredo, or delicious pad thai. This has never happened to me with milk in a bag... despite the fact that there is a hole in the bag. You'd think the smell could get in a lot better that way, but it doesn't.

    Milk cartons are awkward to pour! Jugs have a convenient handle!

    To be honest, I think the real reason they sell it in bags is that it allows you to buy a lot more at once. Buying 3 1L cartons is annoying, a lot of wasted space in the fridge. 3 1L bags, however, fit into many fridge spaces, even into the crisper drawer, if you don't have vegetables in there.

    There is nothing wrong with milk bags!!!!!!

  31. there is more bountiful information in my comments regarding this turns out milk bags are modern and friendlier to the environment and other provinces that you didn't know about use them too.

  32. Anonymous6:12 PM

    junior the great lakes are fine except for the zebra mussel

    i mean the southern lakes might be fucked up but those are the smallest ones

    huron and superior are fine the 6th great lake (nipigon) is a provincial park now and no one will touch that one

    northwestern ontario rules and coolest province award goes to manitoba until we get our own or join theirs

    this argument should keep up i think

    where you are is very important. i don't know how calgarians find the will to do anything because no matter what they do, they're doing it in calgary.

    you hit a nerve if they can flare up so much about a milk bag.

  33. See, now you're just trying to get me riled up by claiming I'm from Calgary. And that's just not fair.

    That's like calling someone from Thunder Bay from Toronto. Inappropriate uncalled for behaviour and a low-blow.

  34. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Low indeed...but still, it's Calgary >.< I mean, ewwwww!

  35. Anonymous6:40 PM

    As a former Albertan now living in Montreal (don't ask why)... I agree with the milk bag comments. They use them here in Quebec too. I hate them. When you open them they spill, they flop all over the place. Give me a carton or a plastic jug anyways.

    On another inter provincial quirk in Quebec margarine is white. There is a law that requires it. I guess so we don't confuse it for butter, which gets dyed yellow.