So this is Christmas...

on 10:15 pm

Oops, meant to write "Canada Day".

Well, tomorrow is Canada Day. This got me thinking of what I miss from Canada, and something that I miss is the lack of consideration given to pets here in Portugal. At least the impression that I get is that pets here are rarely considered part of the family. You see examples of this every year, families abandoning pets during the summer in order to go on vacation without any worries, hunters abandoning packs of dogs after the hunting season, etc.*

Since I’m still traveling a lot between Coimbra and Lisbon, I’ve been unable to adopt a pet. So in order to do my part I recently joined BIANCA, which is an association that helps abandoned animals. You can visit the site here (or the English version). A word of warning though, you’ll most likely cry after seeing the pictures (especially the “In memory of…” part).

The legal situation of pets in Portugal is actually quite interesting, in a sad sort of way. As you may or may not know, according to Portuguese law, pets are considered “res” - things, property, mere objects.

This leads to a very unfortunate lack of legal consequences for abuse and abandonment.
For example, if someone abandons his or her pet, there is no legal consequence. The property is theirs, they may do with it as they wish. It may constitute a violation of a municipal statute though, since it may be considered littering.

Killing or abusing your own pet also has no practical consequence, for the same reason. The same applies with killing or abusing abandoned animals. While they did have owners at one point, the act of abandonment constitutes the owners renunciation of the property right over the “res”, making it “res nullius”. Nobody’s property.

Killing another person’s pet is another matter, and is punishable both criminally and civilly. Criminally, the offender can be charged with “damages to a third party’s property”, which is punished by a fine or up to 3 years in jail.

Of course, the owner can sue for damages in civil court. With a lot of luck the indemnity awarded by the court just might cover legal costs. I haven’t had much luck finding case law on these situations, which isn’t very surprising considering they never go to appeals court. To be honest, I doubt they go to court at all.

Whoa.. quite the rant. Sorry.

Long story short, I suggest that you help out these associations, even if it’s just by offering a bag of dog food during their charity drives, usually held at the big shopping malls.

*Of course some Portuguese wise-guy will say “at least we don’t club baby seals to death!” 
To him I say, “touché”.

Encontro/Gathering Canadians, Luso-Canadians, former residents of Canada, etc

on 11:16 pm

Hello all, the following is from our beloved João Sardinha, he's currently in the process of contacting as many canucks as possible in order for us to organize some kind of shindig.

Dear Canadian and Luso-Canadian friends,

I'm João Sardinha and along with Gabriel Sampaio, we are trying to contact as many Canadians and Luso-Canadian people living in Portugal as we can. The reason for this is because we are interested in finding out to which extent people might be interested in doing a Canadian or Luso-Canadian get-together somewhere in this country.

We are also putting together a mailing list of as many Canadians,Luso-Canadians, former residents of Canada, etc., as we possibly can  so if you know others who fit the description, please pass this message on to them or send us their e-mail and we’ll do it for you.

So what we ask is would you be interested in joining us in a future get-together? If so, please let us know of your interest and we’ll keep you updated. Any recommendations, etc. are also welcome.

Lastly, Gabriel has set up a website "for Canucks in Tugaville" (his words) which you can find at It’s a great platform for all who may be interested in all things Canadian.

So with that, we thank you for your interest, remember to let other Canadians, Luso-Canadians, etc. know of this initiative, and hope to hear from you sometime soon.

Drop us an e-mail: João - / Gabriel -

Now in portuguese:

Caros amigos canadianos e luso-canadianos,

O meu nome é João Sardinha e junto com o Gabriel Sampaio estamos a tentar contactar o maior número de canadianos e luso-canadianos a viver em Portugal. A razão desta iniciativa deve-se ao nosso interesse em tentar discobrir quem teria interesse em realizar um encontro informal entre canadianos, luso-canadianos, simpatizantes do Canadá, etc. algures neste país.

Também estamos a tentar criar um lista de contactos de canadianos, luso-canadianos, antigos residentes no Canadá, etc. Por isso, se conhecerem outras pessoas que possam estar interessadas, pedimos o favor de lhes enviar este e-mail ou então envie-nos os e-mails deles e faremos nós o contacto.

Se tem interesse em juntar-se a nós para um encontro, de-nos a saber do seu interesse e no futuro teremos todo o gosto em mante-lo a par de futuras iniciativas. Quaisquer recomendações, sugestões, informações são também bem-vindas.

Por último, o Gabriel fundou um site 'para Canadianos em Tugaville'(palavras dele) que pode encontrar aqui: É uma exelente plataforma para todos interessados em tudo o que é canadiano.

Agradecemos o interesse. Não se esquçam de dar a conhecer esta iniciativa a outros canadianos, luso-canadianos, etc. Esperamos notícias vossas em breve.

Contacte-nos: João - / Gabriel -

Thanks a bunch João!

Food and disappointment

on 9:25 pm

Well, a few months after moving to the capital I have finally started to get things organized.

One important question that has been bothering me lately is where would a Canadian get-together be held? Any Canadian restaurants in Portugal? Some-place where we could drink Blue and eat wings? Or poutine? Of course, it does not have to be “traditional” Canadian cuisine.

I am open to suggestions.

On another note, I am a bit disappointed with the Canadian Embassy here in Portugal.

Two months ago, after being encouraged by João Sardinha, I sent them various emails asking to keep me informed on cultural events promoted by the Embassy so that I could promote them to the Canadian population in Portugal.

Months past and no one replied. Not even a "get lost".

I’ve sent a few more, hopefully they’ll end up saying something.