Unlike several of my colleagues in our accounting publications group, I did not attend a college where football was king. No, at my alma mater in the Rockies, hockey was the marquee sport, and during my well-documented overstay there, the school regularly imported Canadians to play - many of whom graduated to lucrative careers in the National Hockey League.And as I got to know several of them personally, I was sort of taken aback at just how little I, like many Americans, knew about our neighbor to the north - both geographically and culturally. I learned about such Canadian traditions as "socials" and what "frost shields" were, learned to translate the words "oot" and "a-boot" and got into a number of arguments with a hulking player from Manitoba who insisted that a little eatery in Winnipeg served the best french fries in the world.

But for all the differences between the U.S. and the Great White North, last month's report from the Canadian Public Accountability Board revealed a troubling similarity.

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