As a Canadian, I feel that our spelling tendencies—sometimes British, sometimes American—fit quite well with our geographic, historic and cultural placement between these two bigger countries.
I have enjoyed this question about differences between Canadian English and American and British English, especially the quite extensive answer given by user @ghoppe.
But @ghoppe's answer got me wondering why there are some quite consistent tendencies to American or to British spelling in Canadian English. For example, why do we tend to standardize on -ize endings rather than -ise? Why do we tend to favour -our endings rather than -or endings?
I took to the internet to find if there are historic reasons.
On this blog post I found the following comment by a reader:
the fact is, Canadian English was rapidly becoming American in the early 19th century, thanks to massive immigration into Canada from the States […]. Prominent Canadian cultural authorities intentionally re-established some British norms as standard, most notably -our and -re words, partly for patriotic reasons […].
That's a start, although it is not referenced. Wikipedia's page on Canadian English has another tantalizing little detail:
Canadian spelling conventions can be partly explained by Canada's trade history. For instance, the British spelling of the word cheque probably relates to Canada's once-important ties to British financial institutions. Canada's automobile industry, on the other hand, has been dominated by American firms from its inception, explaining why Canadians use the American spelling of tire (hence, "Canadian Tire") and American terminology for the parts of automobiles (for example, truck instead of lorry, gasoline instead of petrol, trunk instead of boot).
As you can see, Wikipedia has determined a citation is needed on the first part (the second part comes from the Canadian Oxford Dictionary).
I'd love to know more than just these little details. Is there an article or book out there that lays out more comprehensively the whys of Canadian spelling?