'EH!POCALYPSE NOW!' Americans blame Canada as haze from northern fires continues

File - Masons work during hazy conditions in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 7, 2023. The haze from Canada's wildfires is taking its toll on outdoor workers along the Eastern U.S. who carried on with their jobs even as dystopian orange skies forced the cancelation of sports events, school field trips and Broadway plays. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

By ROB GILLIES Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — The front page headline of the New York Post screamed “BLAME CANADA!” The Boston Herald has “Thanks Canada,” and the Dallas Morning News front page said “U.S. caught in a Canadian haze.”

A thick, hazardous haze of wildfire smoke loomed over daily life this week for millions of people across the U.S. and Canada from over 400 Canadian wildfires. Canadians are unaccustomed to getting the attention of millions of Americans, let alone drawing their ire.

Americans quickly poked fun as the smoke-clogged air eerily silhouetted skylines in New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

The New York Post also used the headline “EH!POCALYPSE NOW” in reference to Canadians’ frequent use of the word “Eh” and went on to say “It’s the unhealthiest thing to come out of Canada since poutine.” Poutine is the popular dish north of the border of french fries, cheese and gravy.

“Sorry!,” Canadian meteorologist Anthony Farnell tweeted in response to the Post headline.

American composer Marc Shaiman rewrote his tongue-in-cheek song he co-wrote for the cartoon South Park, “Blame Canada.”

“Blame Canada! Shame on Canada! For the fog and the smog, the haze from the blaze. The Ontario smoke that is making us choke,” he sang.

Nelson Wiseman, a political scientist at the University of Toronto visiting upstate New York this week, said his wife heard an unusual theory from one American.

“A U.S. truck driver told my spouse yesterday that the wildfires are a product of Canadians caring more about protecting wildlife than managing their forests,” he said.

Daniel Béland, a political science professor at McGill University in Montreal, said some people on social media quipped that, finally, Americans will know where Canada is on the map.

“My comment to a friend was, they’re so excited they even got the provinces right,” said Robert Bothwell, a Canadian historian.