Canada is a Constitutional-Monarchy in North-America founded in 1867. It is composed of british colonies that already existed at the time which united as a confederation of provinces. Starting with 4, further provinces joined with the 10th and last province, Newfoundland, joining in 1949.

In addition to its british past, part of Canada also had a french colonial era predating the british one with a majority of Francophones living in the province of Quebec as well as sizable minorities in the provinces of Ontario & New Brunswick and smaller communities elsewhere.

From its begining until the end of World War 2, government sanctioned uniformed services in canada largely folowed their british counterpart when it came to their uniform and insignias to the point that the presence of the word "canada" was often the only way to tell that they were canadian and not british troops, something which became a problem during the Suez Crisis during which canadian peacekeepers had to operate as a neutral force while the United Kingdom was one of the beligerent involved.

In the 1960s, the canadian armed forces were unified and new green uniform was adopted at the same time as insignias for all personnel regardless of branches, these being modified army ones for enlisted personnel and navy inspired stripes for officers. Despite this, non military uniformed services (except in Quebec) continued to use british style insignias although their uniforms became influenced by US trends. British style insignias were re-introduced for officers in the armed forces in 2014 only for generals to revert to those previously used less then 2 years later and for the "pips" set to be changed to a slightly different design in 2017.

No specifically canadian pattern can really be said to currently exist in term of rank insignias with most organisation having a british inspired system. Uniforms on the other hand have developed a more distinctive look to them due to a mixture of US and UK influences coupled with a need to keep the wearers comfortable in canada's sometime extreme weather.


Due to the availability of north american native english speakers as well as architectures and nature that can stand-in for many parts of the USA, a lot of movies and TV series were filmed over the years in various parts of Canada. Altough US-backed productions simply disguised filming location as specific US cities by the use of props and costumes, canadian producers who intended to sold their products to US networks often needed to be a bit vague.

The reason was 2 fold, on one hand shows and movies which did not take place in the US and whose main characters were all foreigners were notoriously hard to sell to networks and movie distributors south of the canadian border. On the other hand, pretending that the characters were from the US and the story took place there would have made it harder to have the show calssified as "canadian programing" making ineligible to count toward the 60% canadian content that canadian tv networks are required to show. While the certification has more to do with whether the producer is canadian and how much creative input comes from canadian citizens, the certification was and still is a process that requires an amount of subjective judgements on the part of government employees thus requiring the need for ambiguity by some producers to ensure it pass.

For this reason, a number of shows and movies kept the exact locations ambiguous though clearly north american with uniforms and insignias that were often minimalistic to prevent them looking too much like either canadian or US ones. Badges and patches were often ommited altogether or contained vague terms such as "metropolitan police". Similarly, reference to the RCMP or FBI were avoided in place using terms like "the feds" or simply ommited. Most films in the "Scanners" movie franchise and the tv series "orphan black" are 2 examples of works that fall under this category.

It should be noted that some shows have managed to workaround the problem by filimg in canada with a canadian team but having both canadian and US elements intrinsict to the plot. This is the case for "Due North" about a Mountie working at the canadian consulate in Chicago (though actually filmed in Toronto) or "Bordertown" about a 19th century town that straddle the US-Canada border which was filmed in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Works in this category will normaly present uniforms and insignias accuratly or at least, not purposfully ambiguous.