CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2001-03 > 0986097657
From: "James Pearce" <>
Subject: Re: [CHS] Re: Old English Money
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 23:00:57 -0500
Well Gayle, now we know....into the list you go!
Canada was made "officially metric" about 1978, under the arrogance of a
Prime Minister for whom to this day, many, (perhaps a majority of those who
lived in his years) do not have
a kind word.
Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, businesses, the public, were forced
to adopt the metric standard of litres, metres, pascals, whatever else. The
reason given was that it would facilitate trade with Europe. Of course,
Canada's largest "customer" was and continues to be the U.S.A. which is
There was a good bit of resistance but the government thumb was heavy on the
scale and most Canadians seemed to accept the new standards law. A notable
exception (bless them) was the buildings trades and building supplies
manufacturers which refused to change to mm, cm, metres from inches, feet,
yards, and continues to this day to work in the English scale. A "2 by 4"
is still approx. 2" x 4" x 8 ft. standard measure. (Actually it measures 1
1/2" x 3 1/2" x 8 feet.)
Over a short time, a year or close to, prices of measurable commodities such
as gasoline, meat, canned goods, began to climb at an alarming rate.
Gasoline, which had been selling for under 50 cents a gallon, was now being
sold by the litre (liter ?) and the price jumped to 25 cents a liter, about
$1.10 a gallon.
Meat was sold in kilograms and went from $1.50 - $2.00 a pound, for
instance, to $5.00 - $6.00 a kilogram.
The general public was very much confused by the changeover and slow to
react. They did, however, know that everything was costing more under this
new enlightened system.
Today gasoline is costing upwards of 80 cents a litre...about $3.40 an
Imperial gallon (we produce vast quantities of it in Canada you know).
There was a backlash about three/four years ago by the shopping public,
which was appalled by and began to resist the high prices of "kilogram"
products posted in stores. The public wanted to know what the weights and
prices were in English, that is, in POUNDS.
The retail giants soon realized it was to their disadvantage to continue to
post prices only in kilograms and began to price in both Imperial and Metric
measure. After all, the public would be more amenable to buying a POUND of
meat for $3.00 than it would be to paying at the rate of $7.50 for a
Meats are now widely priced in kilos and pounds with the pound price usually
being the more prominent displayed. Prices vary from approx. $4.00 lb
(cheapest cuts) to $16.00 lb, and more..
A last illustration of the double standard made necessary in order that the
public can readily understand. The Police publish descriptions of wanted
fugitives in Imperial measure.
But, on our Driver's Licenses the measure is in cm.
Thus I am noted as being Ht.191 (I assume that's 191 cm).
But if I were to go missing they'd be looking for a male, 6'3", weighing 205
Television and radio stations would describe me similarly.
By the way, the temperature right now in east/central Ontario at 11:00 p.m.
(non-metric ) is 33' Fahrenheit.