In the Huffington Post, Sun TV producer Miranda Frum questions Canada’s image as America’s “polite hat”:
Yes, Canadians are famously polite. But as I have found as an American living in Canada, this may just be a very convenient stereotype. Politeness does not automatically mean you are also kinder, or more generous, or a generally better person than another.
Recently, I was on a flight departing from Washington D.C. to Toronto. Sitting behind me were two businessmen; from their conversation I gathered that one was American and the other was Canadian. The Canadian asked the American if he had been to Canada before. The American replied that he had not yet had the pleasure of visiting Canada, however, he was very excited to visit Toronto as his Canadian business partners had been so polite and wonderful. The Canadian businessman laughed (in my opinion, rather nastily) and informed the American to “be careful” as Canadians saw Americans as “extremely rude.” The American took this insulting generalization good-naturedly, and even chuckled.
But to me this exchange struck me as a perfect example of Canadian rudeness. It is the very opposite of politeness to keep pointing out to others how polite you are and how inferior are their manners.