Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More on Metric Conversion


A long while ago I proposed that we here in Dried Salmon County should lead the nation and go metric: Dried Salmon Metric Article.

Since that time I came across a piece that Moosehead shared with me. Moosehead is Canadian, and by the way, I am so please that I have so many of you neighbors to the North checking in daily, (Auntie L called me "A Touqe Magnet"). Anyway, it seems that the Canadian metric conversion has yet to be completed and it seems they've run into some snags along the way. Moosehead sent me this site, Metric Timeline Site from which I copied this the text below.

Canada's Metric Conversion Timeline

April 1871 Use of the metric system in Canada legalized by Act of Parliament

June 1951 An act passed establishing metric standards for Canadian (Imperial) units: 1 yard = 0.9144 metre and, 1 pound = 0.45359237 kilogram. The Weights and Measures Act was passed.

January 1970 Liberal government introduces White Paper on Metric Conversion which is supported unanimously by the house leaders of all parties

June 1971 Metric Commission Canada established organizing over 100 different sector committees

January 1975 Product labelling begins metrication

April 1975 Weather forecasts use degrees Celsius

September 1975 Ontario elementary and secondary schools begin to teach metric exclusively.
Rainfall and snowfall given in millimetres and centimetres

September 1977 All new cars required to have metric speedometers and odometers.
All road signs were posted in metric

1978 Timetable established for full metric conversion in retailing of gasoline and diesel fuels
Timetables established for full metric conversion in retailing of individually measured foods (either by the kg or per 100 g), metric scales, and for home furnishings (floor coverings, etc.)

January 1980 Deadline for full metric conversion in retail sale of floor coverings & home furnishings passes without enforcement. In 2000 the inch, foot and yard are still used.

December 1980 Fabrics sold by the metre and centimetre.

January 1981 Gasoline and diesel fuel sold by the litre.

January 1983 Two Ontario gas station owners charged under the Weights and Measures Act for selling gasoline by the gallon.

July 1983 "The Gimli Glider" makes national news as Canada's most notorious metric conversion mix-up. See the CBC Archives for video.

November 1983 Moratorium on enforcement of metric regulations requiring retail sales in metric following acquittal of two Ontario gas station owners. Decision moves to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

January 1984 Deadline for full metric conversion of retail scales passes without enforcement. In 2000 the pound and ounce scales are still used.

October 1984 Aquittal in gas station case overturned by Ontario Court of Appeal. The litre must be used in the sale of fuel.

November 1984 Consumer and Corporate Affairs, the ministry responsible for the Metric Commission announces it will not prosecute violators of metric laws despite the recent court ruling in Ontario.

January 1985 Consumer and Corporate Affairs Minister, Michel C�t�, announces that regulations requiring use of metric measurements alone will be revoked and replaced by new provisions

March 1985 Metric Commission Canada disbanded and replaced by a small metric office in the Bureau of Policy Co-ordination within Industry Canada. New provisions were not introduced and re-implementations of metric regulations delayed.

October 1985 Metric Office became the Measurement Information Division with a significant decrease in staff

January 1986 Deadline for full metric conversion of advertising and signage for individually weighted items passes without enforcement. In 2000 the pound and ounce are still used.

April 1988 Measurement Information Division was abolished.
New provisions for metric conversion were never introduced

Today, 2000
Grocery stores post prices by the pound. If metric is present it is much less obvious.
Lumber and home furnishings are sold by the inch, foot, and yard.
Houses are sold by the square foot even if the original floor plans were in metric units.

Ironically, automotive fuel is sold by the litre. Consumers preferred litres and the apparent lower price. When Edmontonians were given the option of gallons by one service station owner soon after the court case they chose to buy by the litre at other stations. This may be an option for grocers who can legally sell meat and produce by the 100 g (i.e. hg) measure.

No official effort on the part of Measurement Canada is being made to complete metric conversion.

18 Comments:

Blogger Auntie L said...

Hey - thanks for remembering my 'touque magnet' comment!

It's so true, you do collect those northern bastards, it seems.

5:56 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Just so all you Canadians know, I love you all dearly, and Bastards is a term on endearment form Auntie L, except in Mooseheads case where it may have more of a traditional meaning since he is trying to mock me for my early to bed life style. Auntie L is very protective of me, so watch out Moosehead.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Auntie L said...

Guy, you just let me know when it's time to open up the can of "auntie L's special whup-ass" to take care of those canucks for ya.!

6:16 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't consider the fact that complete conversion to the metric system has yet to take effect (in my country) as a failing. I see it as dealing with a reality, a compromise. There are those of us who have never got the hang of it. We are forever converting back to "the old way."
And even kids who were taught metric in public school still use pounds re: weight and feet and inches re: height.
And grocery stores (in my city) do post prices in grams and kgs. I know - I'm forever converting.
We're an easy-going bunch here. And so is the Government when it comes to this particular issue.

6:25 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

No L, we love the Canadians here at Rust, even the rye and cranky Moosehead and he knows it.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

This just in! "Metric system legalized in Canada." ...sounds like a code name for some illegal drug. Hehe, so that's what they're calling pot now. ;)

I buy pop in liters and milk in gallons, and I'm okay with that. As long as the measurement standard doesn't change, why does it matter?

9:50 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, I wasn't trying to say that it was failing. Somewhat confusing, yes, but I wish the US was as far along as you Canadians. It is somewhat a waste to have all these systems of measurement. We should just convert, take our lumps and move on.

Jaggy it maters when a mechanic has to buy tools in both standard and metric. It matters when NASA sends a probe to Mars and loses it because of a conversion problem. It too Americans little time to convert to the leter beverage bottle, and I think it is again time to move forward on the concept again untill everything is metric.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

Geeeeze you guys - it's tuque...tuque!! Not touqe or touque - which I think is what you do with your balls when you are barreling down a ski slope like a cruise missile equipped with a TUQUE on your head. Aim for the fat lady with the hot dogs for a soft landing - hitting the garbage cans will only make it easier for the ambulance attendants when picking up the pieces.
Nuff said...I'm off to smoke some metrics.

10:13 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That would be toking in your tuque, wouldn't it?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, moosehead......Don't know you but thanks for the spelling lesson. Guy really needs it.

11:19 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Oh, now they're turning on me. I knew it would come to this. It will all end in tears I tell you. But I admit, my spelling is poor. For this I confess I am a sinner of spelling and I'm sure I will end up in a spelling hell where words that end with "or" will be spelled with "our" just to drive me mad.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous THartill said...

Well now.... guy can tell all the ladies he's 10 cm....

OMG! REALLY!

Nuff Said, I off to smoke some....fish....

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Guy. Now it's TH giving you crap.

Damn fish-smoking kid, anyway huh?

6:02 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Damn they're turning on me left and right today. Maybe I should take a few days off and let y'all collect your thoughts. Rat Bastards!

6:53 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Oh WE have a right to be high and mighty as we cling steadfastly to our preeminence at holding onto our outdated measurement system!

Can it be long before WE have a province wanting to speak another official language??? I think not.

7:26 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I love it when you get fiesty, Mo3 ; )

7:31 PM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

Those damn conversions.

A number of years ago, I was in Canada and realized I needed a haircut. After walking all over Vancouver BC, looking for a barber shop ... finally found one. But they didn't speak much English. Hey, how many tourists go to a barber shop? I think they were speaking French, but it could have been Greek for all I know. So after I thought I got my point across to leave a 1/2 inch length, through hand gestures and the interpretive help of an older gentleman, the barber got to cutting.

During all this time, my wife (who's now my ex) was standing by, not saying a thing - though she supposedly had taken French in high school.

Anyway, something must have gotten mixed up in the conversion to metric. Because I walked out with the equivalent of a "5 oclock shadow" on my head. I think that cost me 15 Canadian dollars, too. Though I did get a nice scalp massage out of it.

Laugh it up, knuckleheads. I know you are. I did too. I think Ray Stevens has a song about the dangers of getting a haircut away from home.

Lessons learned. Never get a haircut where you don't speak the language, and don't know the measurement system.

2:05 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Walt, great story! I know you lean toward the ploitical story on Tryan's site, but you should really post this story on his site so people will read it. Most people don't go back and read comments on posts that are days old. I'm going to call them here so some will see it.

2:15 PM  

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