Stephen Colbert Takes The Canadian Citizenship Test. Sort Of.

By Pace Law | October 24, 2016

In this clever video from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the show’s host tries his hand at passing a Canadian citizenship test.

Stephen Colbert: Gordon Lightfoot Expert

The results don’t go so well for Colbert, though they are entertaining. Note that you will not be required to sing Gordon Lightfoot songs during a citizenship test. Or at least we’ve never heard of that happening:

If you are interested in what is actually on the test, the Canadian government says that all of the questions on the test come from the book Discover Canada. You will need to study what’s in this book before writing the test. The test itself consists of multiple choice questions and answers.

Canadian Citizenship

In the video, Colbert is asked to name a couple of responsibilities of citizenship. Protecting children from wandering polar bears isn’t really one of them (though that is a good idea). Discover Canada outlines some of the actual responsibilities as:

  • Obeying the law — One of Canada’s founding principles is the rule of law. Individuals and governments are regulated by laws and not by arbitrary actions. No person or group is above the law.
  • Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family — Getting a job, taking care of one’s family and working hard in keeping with one’s abilities are important Canadian values. Work contributes to personal dignity and self-respect, and to Canada’s prosperity.
  • Serving on a jury — When called to do so, you are legally required to serve. Serving on a jury is a privilege that makes the justice system work as it depends on impartial juries made up of citizens.
  • Voting in elections — The right to vote comes with a responsibility to vote in federal, provincial or territorial and local elections.
  • Helping others in the community — Millions of volunteers freely donate their time to help others without pay—helping people in need, assisting at your child’s school, volunteering at a food bank or other charity, or encouraging newcomers to integrate. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain useful skills and develop friends and contacts.
  • Protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment — Every citizen has a role to play in avoiding waste and pollution while protecting Canada’s natural, cultural and architectural heritage for future generations.

Discover Canada is available online. If you wish to study for the citizenship test or just want to know more about Canada, you can read the book here.