It's Canadian, eh! INTERAC(R) Tests the Nation's Knowledge of All Things Canadian



    TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - What do a goalie mask, a zipper and INTERAC have
in common? All three are Canadian innovations. Just in time for Canada Day,
INTERAC tests Canadians' knowledge of their country, its unique heritage and
common Canadianisms.
    According to a national survey commissioned by INTERAC, and conducted by
The Strategic Counsel(1), the majorities of respondents knew the goalie mask
(80 per cent) and telephone (77 per cent) were Canadian inventions, however
less than half (49 per cent) were aware that INTERAC was a Canadian
innovation.
    "The INTERAC network was developed by five financial institutions that
had a vision of a single national debit network to serve the nation as a whole
and it changed the way Canadians live their daily lives," said Caroline
Hubberstey, Director Public and Government Affairs, Interac Association.
"Today, INTERAC is a successful, world-class payment system that connects
Canadians to their money at the ABM, at the store, or online."
    Other inventions that fewer respondents could identify as being Canadian
included the light bulb (47 per cent), paint roller (46 per cent), garbage bag
(41 per cent) and frozen dinners (37 per cent).
    The one fact that Canadians across the board seemed to know was that
Canada has both the longest highway and the longest street in the world. The
majority of respondents (59 per cent) selected Canada from a list of five
countries.
    "From highways, to railways to financial services, our unique land mass
relies on systems to keep Canadians connected and innovations like INTERAC to
provide Canadians access to their money from coast-to-coast," said Hubberstey.
"This is no easy task for a country that ranks second in the world in land
mass, but 200th in the world by population density."
    Canadians are also well versed on their distinct vocabulary. The
majorities of English speaking respondents knew that "poutine" (77 per cent),
"washroom" (71 per cent) and "two-four" (70 per cent) are words used by
Canadians. Fewer knew that the terms "knapsack" (53 per cent) and "chocolate
bar" (52 per cent) are also part of our lexicon.
    "INTERAC is another Canadian term - one that represents simplicity and
direct access to your money," said Hubberstey. "The INTERAC network is
ubiquitous, reliable and secure, and that's why Canadians are among the
highest users of debit compared to other countries around the world."

    
    Across Canada and Across Genders
    --------------------------------
    
    Responses across Canada and across the genders were consistent with some
exceptions.
    Fewer Quebec respondents (37 per cent) identified Canada as having both
the longest highway and longest street in the world compared to respondents in
other regions.
    Not surprisingly, more males (85 per cent) knew the goalie mask was a
Canadian innovation compared to women (76 per cent). However, more women (44
per cent) knew the garbage bag was invented in Canada, compared to men (37 per
cent).

    
    Results and Facts
    -----------------

    Innovations identified as Canadian:

    Goalie Mask - 80 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... Montreal Canadiens' goalie Jacques Plante helped invent
    the modern day goalie mask in 1959.

    Telephone - 77 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... Alexander Graham Bell made history in 1876 with his
    first, famous telephone call from Brantford, Ontario.

    Zipper - 53 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... The world's most famous fastener was dreamed up in 1925
    by Swedish-Canadian inventor Gideon Sundback.

    INTERAC - 49 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... Canada's national debit network was invented in 1984 by
    five financial institutions that had a vision of a single national
    network to connect Canadians to their money from coast-to-coast.

    Light Bulb - 47 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... After they patented and tested the light bulb in 1874,
    two Canadian inventors sold the patent to Thomas Edison, and the rest is
    history.

    Paint Roller - 46 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... Toronto inventor Norman Breakley introduced the roller
    back in 1940.

    Garbage Bag - 41 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... Winnipeg's Harry Wasylyk and Larry Hansen invented
    polyethylene bags back in 1950.

    Frozen Dinners - 37 per cent among all respondents
    Did you know... Ontario marine biologist Archibald Huntsman was the first
    to introduce packaged frozen food in 1929.


    Terms identified as Canadian:

    Poutine - 77 per cent among English speaking respondents
    Did you know... Quebec truck-stop owner Fernand Lachance first invented
    poutine when he tossed cheese curds, gravy and fries into a paper bag and
    termed it a "mess."

    Washroom - 71 per cent among English speaking respondents
    Did you know... The term washroom is standard in Canada; whereas a
    bathroom generally needs to include a bathtub.

    Two-four - 70 per cent among English speaking respondents
    Did you know... Two-four stands for a package containing twenty-four
    bottles of beer.

    Knapsack - 53 per cent among English speaking respondents
    Did you know... Knapsack was used before the word backpack was coined in
    the United States in the 1910s.

    Chocolate Bar - 52 per cent among English speaking respondents
    Did you know... Until the late 19th century, candy was sold by weight
    only, and chocolate was primarily used for cooking, not direct eating.
    But as England started selling chocolate-covered candies, a small candy
    factory in New Brunswick started launching the chocolate bar.


    Country Identified as Having Both the Longest Highway and the Longest
    Street in the World:

    Canada - 59 per cent among all respondents;
    United States - 15 per cent among all respondents;
    Russia - 7 per cent among all respondents;
    Japan - 6 per cent among all respondents;
    Australia - 6 per cent among all respondents;
    Did you know... The Trans-Canada Highway stretches 7,821 km and Yonge
    Street, which runs through Toronto, Ontario, and its northern suburbs, is
    the longest street in the world at 1,896 km.


    About Interac Association
    -------------------------
    
    A recognized world leader in debit card services, Interac Association is
responsible for the development and operations of the INTERAC network, a
national payment network that allows Canadians to access their money through
Automated Banking Machines and point-of-sale terminals across Canada.
    Interac Association was founded in 1984 and is comprised of a diverse
membership that includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses
populaires, merchants, and technology and payment related companies.
    Other INTERAC-branded and related services include: INTERAC Online, for
secure online payments directly from a bank account, INTERAC Email Money
Transfer, for the transfer of money from a bank account to anyone with an
email address, and Cross Border Debit, for point-of-sale access at more than
1.5 million U.S. retailers.

    
    (R) Trade Mark of Interac Inc.

    (1) The omnibus survey was conducted by The Strategic Counsel from
        June 4th to June 10th, 2009, among a representative sample of
        1,000 adult Canadians, 18 years or older. The margin of error for a
        sample of 1000 is +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
    





For further information:

For further information: Rebecca Crittenden at Strategic Objectives at
(416) 366-7735 or rcrittenden@strategicobjectives.com; Tina Romano at Interac
Association at (416) 869-5062 or tromano@interac.ca


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