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Strange news from up north

Published January 12. 2013 09:04AM

Forget the recent news at home. The really interesting stuff is happening way up north.

While we teeter on the edge of a fiscal cliff and express frustration over a dysfunctional Congress, Canadians have been dealing with headlines and issues far more intriguing.

First off, someone stole several million cans of maple syrup and it might be sitting on grocery shelves near you.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers says this is a major crime and Canadian police arrested four men several weeks ago in connection with the robbery. Crooks allegedly took 6 million pounds of maple syrup from a warehouse in a pilfering spree that took several months.

The maple syrup - it's stolen so that makes it hot syrup - is worth $18 million.

The four men arrested are part of a gooey-but-slick ring of culprits and several more are being pursued.

They ran a vertical operation stacked as high as a pile of pancakes.

Police recovered two elevator carts, four kettles of syrup, forklifts and six electronic scales - items used during the heist.

"At the beginning we knew it had been done by a very organized group because it's impossible to steal that amount of maple syrup without being organized," says Simon Trepanier, representing Canadian maple syrup producers.

Cops agree that the syrup might be on store shelves in the New England states. But nobody has given us a way to figure it out.

The thieves will be charged with conspiracy to commit theft and possession of property obtained by crime and fraud.

There is no word if Aunt Jemima will offer testimony against the men. But we can be sure the charges will stick.

And if you think the syrup news is crazy, just wait. It gets better.

In Montreal, city council is looking to pass a law that says all dogs must be bilingual.

Yes, that's right. Puppies will be required to learn two languages.

Why? Well, some say public parks in Montreal are becoming chaotic because certain dogs understand commands in English while other dogs obey commands spoken only in French.

"The various dog commands are incomprehensible to each other," says a council member.

The new law will require doggies to know both languages equally.

The council member said he was visiting a park when a dog began to lick his face. The dog in question did not respond to French commands.

"Our alienation from each other was absolute," said the councilman, expressing outrage and frustration. But his bark is probably worse than his bite.

Still, he wants all dogs in the city to learn at least 80 to 90 commands in both languages. This, of course, means that dog owners themselves will need to know two languages as well. He says all canines will be tested by a city employee to confirm the animal's bilingual comprehension. But what happens if a dog flunks? Will the dog be fined or go to jail? It's becoming a dog-eat-dog world out there.

Plus, it's unclear if a dog's bark has been determined to be French or English. Or is a bark simply doggie language?

Apparently, there are still some hoops to be jumped through before all pups are required to go to school. I'm still trying to understand all of this.

I wonder which mutt will graduate as valedogtorian?

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