#72 – In Memorial to the 49 Lost Canadian Rangers

Fucking eh, Canada. How do you suck this badly?

Since 2011, Canada has lost 49 members of the Canadian Rangers. These units, often staffed with Inuit troops wielding Lee-Enfield rifles whose obsolescence came and went shortly before the Moon landings and for which parts are growing scarce, are tasked with patrolling and watching the sparsely-populated lands that Canada claims. Never mind that the Inuit are using their rifles to hunt – they can wait a few decades for a gun. They also do not have access to the basic rights and services that Canadian Forces receive unless they are injured in active combat; the likelihood that they’ll get said services considering that a majority of their 19 trainers are medically unable to do their jobs isn’t that high anyways.

This bears repeating: 49 troops with ancient equipment have died in 4 years of peacetime. By contrast, 22 members of the Canadian Forces were shot in Afghanistan after 13 years of involvement. Fewer people in an active warzone were killed by direct fire, suicide attacks, friendly-fire incidents, and suicides combined than were lost in a non-hostile territory. How do you even do that? While Stephen Harper is out traipsing along in the North, the primary defensive system for this entire area is dying.

Canada has a responsibility to those in its employ. Those responsibilities include ensuring that people don’t die on the job. This is understandably tough in a war-zone, and no doubt hostile terrain in the North makes things difficult, but that just means that Canada is responsible for properly equipping its troops. It doesn’t matter that they’re “not real soldiers” – they’re employees and they deserve to be treated with dignity. Part of that dignity is, again, not dying at work. This responsibility compounds given the relationship that the State of Canada has chosen to forge with Indians and Inuit. You just can’t do half-jobs.

So, whatever killed them, this blog would like to honor and respect those 49 people lost on the job. Treated like props and with replacement for their ancient survival equipment being once again delayed because Canada, these men and women nevertheless attempt to do the thing with which they are tasked by their employer, who clearly doesn’t even begin to care about their well-being. That these people work for what behaves like an occupying power – one which prides itself on being modern and well-heeled, no less – is a bitter irony. This is truly a tragic, horrific example of government mismanagement and a lack of planning leading to death and sorrow.

But the hockeymans are on so that’s more important.

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