Last week saw revelations that Canada has been spying on Brazil’s mining ministry, but it is as yet unclear exactly why. The following audio transcript, recorded at the secret headquarters of Canada’s spy agency, located in an abandoned Zellers in Moosejaw, may shed some light…
Good morning, Webster. What have we got today?
Good morning, sir. We’re hearing a lot of chatter on the Mongolian border.
No, it’s just really cold.
What’s the latest intel on China’s resource development?
We’ve run a long tail matrix field sweep with the CanSpy D21 for all usages of the word “mining” within the relevant Chinese ministries.
We’ve learned that Mi Ning is a Chinese pop star who is currently number 3 on the state-television countdown show “You Will Like This Music” with her song, “Wǒ de kùzi shì zīběn zhǔyì,” which means “My pants are full of capitalism.”
I can also report that it’s very catchy.
Nothing else on mining?
I’m afraid we only have the trial version of the CanSpy D21. Budget cuts, I’m afraid. We’re waiting to accumulate enough Air Miles points to purchase the full program.
Damn that Jim Flaherty… What’s the latest from Brazil?
Well, sir, our efforts have been somewhat hampered because we can’t find anyone on payroll who speaks Brazilian.
No, Webster, they speak Portuguese in Brazil.
Why, those crafty sons of guns! Anyway, sir, we have managed to learn that Brazil has a current GDP per capita of $12,000 and the sixth largest labor force of over a 107 million.
This is through our operatives in the field?
No, sir, through Wikipedia.
We’ve obtained these photos of Brazil’s foreign minister cavorting on a topless beach.
Let me see those.
It’s an all-male topless beach, sir.
Never mind. Look, Webster, this is ridiculous. Weather reports, pop singers, shirtless diplomats… this is not why this agency was established. Our mission is to supply our government with information that matters, information that they absolutely need, namely: Does the rest of the world take Canada seriously?
I, uh, I do have some data on that, sir. We’ve learned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a recognition rating of 80 percent.
Unfortunately, 68 percent of those think they recognize him from a real estate lawn sign.
Also, only 3 percent of worldwide media refer to Michael J. Fox as “the Canadian-born actor.” On the plus side, 100 percent of Canadian media consistently refer to Michael J. Fox as “the Canadian-born actor.”
You know this government doesn’t care what Canadians think! What else have you got?
Well, the Japanese think we’re cute, the Russians think we’re adorable, the Brits think we smell like maple bacon, the Dutch think we’re boring, which is saying a lot, the Australians think “Regina” is just about the funniest word going and the Americans don’t think at all.
No, about anything at all, sir. Also, as national symbols go, we’re not doing ourselves any favours by hanging on to the beaver. In fact, sir, if we crunch the numbers, we have a seriousness rating of 2.3 with a niceness index of 9.6.
What? How can that be? Our government has done everything in its power to transform Canada’s image from nice guy to a climate-change-denying, United-Nations-shunning, dirty-oil-producing, Nickelback-inflicting badass. And still we don’t get any respect! What does Canada have to do get noticed?
Well, sir, it’s just a thought but we could leak information to the media that Canada’s been spying on other countries for no real reason other than because we can.
That’s genius. Surely, we’ll be the cool kid — er, country then! Webster, you’ll go far in Canadian intelligence.
Thank you, sir.
And while you’re at it, see if you can’t get Nickelback to release a cover version of “Wǒ de kùzi shì zīběn zhǔyì.”
The above originally aired on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway.” You can listen to the original in sneaky audio via the widget below.