After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Canadian stereotypes are true

Rick Mercer outside Science World during his visit to Vancouver for The Rick Mercer Report. Photo source: Rick Mercer Report Facebook page.

Rick Mercer, known as the Canadian Jon Stewart, says Canadians aren't just polite--they're dangerously complacent.

"It’s not Stephen Harper’s fault that he loads his budget full of things nobody has heard of or debated," Mercer said about the last 400-plus page omnibus bill C-38, noting that the bill made hundreds of changes to environmental regulations that most Canadians know little about. "If we don’t react, then we can expect more of the same. Our complacency will be used against us."

Mercer is the host of The Mercer Report, a weekly series launched in 2004 on the CBC and best known for Mercer's rants in which he tackles topics ranging from bullying to the Canadian government's online spying bill.

 Rick Mercer explains Everything You Wanted to Know About Canada But Were Afraid to Ask. Source: YouTube.

Asked where he gets the ideas for his rants, Mercer said it's rare that he watches a newscast without feeling a rant come on.

"Heck, this week we found out that Canada was going to “merge” embassies with the UK," he said. "Once again this is presented to us as a done deal, no debate, no nothing. Everything we learn about the situation we learn after the fact."

Mercer, whose top-rated show draws more viewers than any national news broadcast, said that he always gets a kick out of what rants people react to.

"I did a rant about people who don’t know how to use escalators, people who get on elevators before letting the people inside get off first and it went viral all over the world. You never know what will touch a nerve."

Mercer has "no interest" in having a beer with Mitt Romney

Mercer also weighed in on Mitt Romney's latest gaffe about the 47 per cent of Americans who don’t pay income tax who feel "entitled" to government services and benefits.

"It's about as offensive as anything I have ever heard," he said.

"He is talking about senior citizens, the disenfranchised, the unemployed and the underemployed, he is talking about the disabled, he is talking about veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries fighting a very long war for the United States," he said.

"I would have no interest in having a beer with that guy."

More in 5 minutes with...

Musqueam councillor Wade Grant's intercultural outlook

On an overcast day, Musqueam councillor Wade Grant greeted The Vancouver Observer at the Musqueam Community Centre with an easy smile. In jeans and a windbreaker, the 34 year old father of two said...

A Liberal spin doctor on how to fight the right

Self-declared Liberal spin doctor Warren Kinsella lays out what he thinks Canada's progressives need to do to prevent another Conservative majority.

Irshad Manji’s moral courage

At four, Irshad Manji arrived in Montreal with her family, wearing clothes so unsuitable for Canadian weather that the immigration agent sent the family to Vancouver. “The closest thing we have to a...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.