#202 – Folks

I feel like I’m announcing a monster truck rally here, friends. The leftist iteration of caker self-narrative has been replaced by the rightist iteration of caker self-narrative here in Onterrible, land of the wretched and home of the formless. The false self-narrative of Canada as a welcoming, upwardly-mobile utopia of magical diversity unicorns has been banished to the wilderness. Quite literally – 1/7th of the Liberal caucus is from a wasteland. And returning to power from the political cold is the false self-narrative of truck balls, Don Cherry, and buck-a-beer Canadiana. Meanwhile, absolutely nothing changes in the underlying rot of the province except that I’ll be able to buy overpriced beers at convenience stores, which is an improvement in my immediate living conditions that government has failed to give me for many years. I’ll take it.

The whole campaign was a disgusting election with cringeworthy moments galore, but pants-on-head retardation on the campaign trail is hardly unique to Canada. I mean, don’t those links tell you everything? Antiquated memes, massive accounting errors, Hot Topic-esque edge. Fuck, man. That post isn’t even worth writing. Nah, what we’re going to do now is simple – we’re going to celebrate the fall of the technocracy and its replacement by a retarded form of the same thing, because there is absolutely nothing on this earth that I celebrate more than the Liberal Party failing except for Canada failing. So without further a-fucking-do, it’s time to introduce the star of our show, the guy who toppled Ontario’s weaselly aristocrats and left them quite literally without Party status in the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.


Welcome, motherfuckers, to Ford Nation.

Yes, with a blistering 58% of the population deigning to give enough of a fuck to go to one of Canada’s myriad decrepit, fading pieces of civic infrastructure and draw an X in a circle we have decided that the man smiling at you will be the new government. What does this entail? Beyond the ability to buy booze without going to a government agency, auditing the shit out of the Wynne government’s books, the embarrassingly useless stylings of caker business nakedly shitting on this province, and providing an unending source for the hand-wringing shit-peddling that passes for journalism in this country, I don’t really know what Folks will specifically do to make Ontario even worse than it already is. But I can tell you that I’m fucking stoked for it.


Because that gearning slickback iceberg of a man just kicked Canada in the goddamn teeth. Prince Selfie just went from having a pliant lapdog to a guy who is going to take Ottawa to Hell in a Cell over carbon emissions taxation, and there are two more friends of the federal Liberals on the chopping block before the 2019 federal elections. In Quebec, a scandal-ridden Liberal government with a Wynne-like approval rating among the Francophones of Quebec got fucking steamrolled by the CAQ, and Alberta’s anomalous Notley government is also slated for the ash-heap. The incoming governments all spell bad things for #RealChange: Ford’s populist appeal, Legault’s deployment of Quebecois nationalism, and Kenney’s…well, Kenny’s everything each offer Justin challenges that he frankly has no clue how to face.

In other words, Canada is looking mighty bloody frail internally at a time when it desperately needs to be able to present a unified front against Donald Trump, who has clearly seen through Canada’s bullshit and wants to rough this place up something fierce. Has anyone else watched Aggretsuko? The Don reminds me of Ton, the chauvinistic boss character from that show. Actually, this entire event reminds me of Ton’s callout of Retsuko, which is probably helped by Ford looking more than a little like Director Ton. Between a fraying provincial fabric and international pressure, Canada’s going to be sweating at precisely a time when it can’t afford to.

For someone who hates this fucking shitheap, this is the best show I have seen in years. Already we’ve seen Folks’ unique brand of caker politicking: friends getting promotions they aren’t qualified for, lunatics in high places, an obscene and frankly bizarre obsession with alcohol, and an overabundant interest in Toronto that overrides the pitiable state of the rest of the province and that, of course, entrenches retarded ideas by megaproject into the urban fabric. And he apparently wants to gut the already-dysfunctional healthcare system.

At the same time as all this, though, there’s a dirty truth that needs to be set out into the world. Folks is what Ontarians expect. And he’s what Ontarians deserve. But most of all, he’s really nothing more than a grosser, fatter, more retarded version of the same idiocy that has governed Canada’s “best” province for as long as I have been alive. He is the rightist version of Kathleen Wynne, who was guilty of the same styling but with a bizarre obsession over green energy instead of booze. At least getting wasted is familiar to these worthless cretins.

To wrap up a post that I should have fired off a long time ago: Folks is a wrecking ball that will govern Ontario like a sixth-grader’s idea of a Mafia outfit. He’ll rip out idiotic leftist virtue-signalling and replace it with idiotic rightist virtue-signalling. He’ll continue to see the Premiership as a “Turbo-Mayorality of the Greater Toronto Area” as the rest of the province sinks like a Lada on a Siberian “highway”. And for all of that meddling in Toronto that miserable stinkhole of a city won’t get any better.

But at least he’s scaring Socks, and anything that makes the shittiness of this wretched hive of a country more apparent is something I can get behind. Swing on, Folks. Not like I’ll be living in this miserable province for much longer anyways. Fuck it – at least failure can finally be entertaining instead of merely being an inducement to drink.


#200 – The Genocide Appreciation Day Post

One-hundred and fifty years ago today, a motley collection of toadies led by a drunken, genocidal doofus were forced by their colonial overlord to unify a bunch of uncertain, tenuously-related colonies into a single colonial governing apparatus which would be cheaper to run. Three of these colonies were so unimpressed that they had to be bribed in; another was tricked into Confederation and had no way to reverse the trickery. Since this impossibly auspicious start, Canada has evolved from an unsteady collection of self-loathing economic has-beens to a larger collective of self-loathing economic has-beens. Truly, nothing could be more worthy of celebration!

For shit’s sake, King Tim Himself has deigned to bestow another Roll up the Rim upon the land! When you roll up that rim and discover that you won nothing, the rim reads “Happy Canada 150th”. Which is a great launching point, because 150 is all about idle expenditure and Potemkin displays of grandeur that leave Canada ultimately with nothing except the bill. Why use the opportunity to build lasting projects with celebration funds, thus enshrining the significance of the event for decades to come, right?

Believe it or not, Canada once used an arbitrary event to procure funds for useful projects. Coincidentally, Centennial ’67 remains a pivotal point of Canadian national identity. Canada’s cultural bankruptcy is even more apparent when you look at how shamelessly the (admittedly pretty kickass) Centennial logo has been aped for Canada 150. It’s not even a try at anything new, leaning instead on revisionistic nostalgia to appeal to cakers.


Where do I see the lingerings of Canada’s Centennial in Canada today? Ottawa’s high arts scene, largely esconced in the halls of the National Arts Center, was a gift from the federal government. Indeed, Ottawa was spending $100 million as of 1964 investing in concrete manifestations Canada’s cultural and social fabric. As per the above-linked report, there were over 2000 projects completed. Most Canadians don’t even realize how prevalent Centennial buildings are – if there’s a major arts center in your city, it’s probably a gift from Ottawa back when the federal government recognized that it has a semblance of responsibilty and isn’t simply an exercise in sock-wearing and selfie-tweeting.

The unique funding model for these developments saw a dollar per person given to every municipality and federal funds matching provincial dollars going towards needed public infrastructure. Montreal’s Metro system grew as it did because of the pressures stemming from Expo ’67. In a rare instance of valuing literacy and public availability of knowledge Canada even deigned to create boom of library funding. Dare I say that these kinds of investments are the investments of…a civilized people?

Alas, in cakertown all turns to mediocrity, and the goals and missions espoused by Centennial (which was itself largely the brainchild of John Diefenbaker, who was again buried out of caker history by way of revisionistic make-believe as to the merits of a caker business project) were no exception to the rot. Where once Canada used milestones to build libraries and to create major public infrastructure, Canada now uses shittons of money to fund.

1) Counterfeit, huge-ass rubber duckies!

(S) Duck and a battleship – perfect selfie-mates!

Of course, nothing could ever leave Canada with the lasting benefits of public betterment quite like a large rubber ducky! The oversized bath toy was inexplicably dragged into Toronto Harbor (did I mention that Toronto’s Waterfront was a Centennial project?) at a cost of…wait for it…$200,000. What a large bath toy has to do with Canada is beyond me, but in the article I linked there the justification provided is that it has lots of selfie-potential and is “fun”. That rumbling you feel is Diefenbaker rolling in his grave.

And that’s not even the whole story! See, this giant-ass, unrelated novelty project is apparently a counterfeit. You can’t make this shit up, folks. Even better – the counterfeiter is a profiteer, as the Dutch firm responsible for the original duck has stated that their giant rubber duckie was not-for-profit and was effectively stolen by the guy Ontario chose to do business with. Even though I personally think that a giant rubber duck is a silly investment in the first place I respect the vision of the original designer. Immediately gravitating to the most corrupt option is quintessential Queens’ Park, though.

2) Basic maintenance that any reasonable government would have dealt with ages ago!

One of the key elements of the Centennial projects is that they were major civic improvements undertaken for the sake of lasting legacy. Instead of trying to make Canada’s squalid cities slightly more interesting by way of major public works, Ottawa for Canada 150 is selling basic maintenance like “re-roofing hockey arenas and resurfacing trails”. Problem with that, though: you’re supposed to maintain your shit as a matter of course. Here’s one pivotal, memorable Canada 150 project – fixing broken roofs and floors in a community center! Because in Cakerstan doing the bare minimum required to avoid having your infrastructure overtly collapse is only achieveable during celebrations.

Credit to P.E.I, though – a bunch of tall ships is a much cooler harbor addition than a fucking rubber duck. Oh, and what’s with Pravda refering to 1 July as Canada’s birthday? What vagina did Canada come out of again? At least call it an anniversary, guys.

3) The biggest Canada flag for Greatest Canada on Greatest Canada Day!

(S) Cracked stroad, massive flag. Says it all, really


Windsor, Ontario is jokingly referred to as “south Detroit” by cakers wishing that their worthless suburban sadsack shithole of a city had even a sliver of the pride and ferocious commitment to self-improvement found in Detroit proper. The place could use some fucking help, a marquee project that isn’t a casino that might contribute to the city being known for more than a mediocre university and a casino that still thinks Dadcore from the 70s is worth putting on stage. What does Ottawa agree to give Windsor money for but…the largest Canadian flag ever.

I think I’ll just leave this quote from Nineteen Eighty-Four here and move on:

“About a quarter of one’s salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them. ‘For Hate Week. You know–the house-by-house fund. I’m treasurer for our block. We’re making an all-out effort–going to put on a tremendous show. I tell you, it won’t be my fault if Victory Mansions doesn’t have the biggest outift of flags on the whole street!'” (pg. 59)

4) Providing space for a U2 Concert!

Who the fuck wants to listen to U2 in this decade? Seriously – they couldn’t even give an album away for free, and you’ve decided that a group of self-important Irishmen are worth hosting front-and-center on Canada 150? They aren’t getting paid to be there, but the opportunity cost – having an actual, novel Canadian act perform – is a telling one. Apparently #RealChange doesn’t think a Canadian act is worthy of taking the timeslot. Then again I can imagine few people getting on with Justin better than Bono, an egoistical fruitcake with nothing to bring to the table trying to squeeze himself into the center of attention. So I guess Bono does represent the spirit of 150 even if it isn’t exactly the kind of spirit Canada wants promoted.

5) Endless fucking chances to “tell the world” what Canada means to you!

(S) Come, comrade! Speak of how much you love best country Canada!

Nothing is creepier about Canada than its insistence on having people speak on camera as to how much they love Canada. Naturally, these useless recordings are valuable only as propaganda; the factors that made the filmed caker love Canada are transient and subject to change over time, but we never see that kind of longitudinality in these surveys.

It’s also really creepy when adoration is demanded from not one, not two, not three, but four separate entities on Canada’s “signature projects” page. Give it a fucking rest, people! We get it, you’re desperate for people to like you and unable to put in the kind of effort that would actually get people to like you. During Centennial “signature project” referred to major infrastructure investments (which as we’ve seen have been replaced by basic maintenance, reflecting Canada’s squalor and the low bars which Canada sets for its own self-validation). Here, a signature project is a means of inflating the Canadian ego through digital recording in a way that is designed to be transient and pointless.

Oh, and here’s my #Wish150


Legit, though. It’s not just me – this is all really sketchy in the “would be a huge red flag if this were an interpersonal relationship” way to you too, right?

6) Junk historical research from a junky institution!

(S) Costume budget: $0.15 and the mudpit outside the parking lot where this was filmed

Oh, Pravda. Wouldn’t be a Canadian Canada Celebration of Canada without the CBC stepping into some kind of cowpie. And indeed they did, launching the epic (and ahistorical) television series “Canada: the Story of Us”. No less than #RealChange himself gave assent to this project, which has been decried as being written with “alternative facts” that cast an English pall over the entire story. Vollmann, the fiction author, has written a better, more nuanced take on Canada’s history with the Ice Shirt than the CBC did with the resources of the entire Canadian government.

What kinds of inconsistencies are present, you ask? Well, it portrayed the Quebecois as shabby turdmunchers who don’t even speak their own language properly because Pravda failed to hire native Francophones (which is an incredible oversight), ignored the province of Nova Scotia entirely while underplaying the significance of Indigenous Peoples and glorifying the English colonizers who, I remind you, ultimately would culminate in a drunken retard trying at genocide by kidnapping children and starving whole populations. The entire affair, which I remind you was headlined by the Prime Minister, has the feel and pomp of an African dictatorship trying to justify itself in cinema.

No take-backs! No corrections! No refunds! #SavetheCBC

Well, that’s a smattering of the stupidity that is Canada 150. Fuck this whole project, fuck the concept of a Canada 150, fuck Canadian revisionism, fuck cakers, and fucking fuck does it suck living in a real-life version of the Nineteen Eighty-Four Victory Parade. I think I’m going to keep working on editing the old shit for a while. Progress is still happening, but you’ll have to follow the Table of Contents to see it. Don’t you worry – posts #201+ are coming on up! Expect to learn about the RCMP’s terrifying “fruit machine”, some more comments about poorly-built buildings, maybe a major-city focused shitshow extravaganza?

Shit about Canada wishes you and yours a critical, tolerable Genocide Appreciation Day!

(S) Fuck yeah.

#198 – La Belle at the Ball

Let me disclose this at the very beginning – if there is any Canadian province that I don’t profoundly hate, it is Quebec. I have enormous respect for the Quebecois, a people who I find to be more cultured and interesting than the caker swine who so hypocritcally malign them. Rene Levesque’s Memoirs and his principled response to the terroristic endeavors of the followers of Pierre “White Niggers of America” Vallieres (yes, this is the name of an influential book in Quebecois political thought) influenced me and my political thought profoundly. But Quebec is in Canada, and therefore it is a province with myriad issues.

I need to stress at first that French Quebec has been horrifically mistreated by English Canada. The whole Quiet Revolution thing, which cakers tend to summarize as “grumpy French people who won’t learn English”, was in no small part about the economic disparity on display along linguistic lines. Until the 1960s, English people were almost the entirety of the Quebecois bourgeoisie. Quebec’s siege mentality, I believe, is the result of a real culture having to live next to cakerdom for centuries. Instead of issuing a broad-stroke condemnation of Quebec that I really can’t give (having never really lived with the Quebecois), I’m just going to outline some of the more spectacular incidences of brutality and awfulness lurking in la belle province.

Let’s start with Montreal’s mob and road problem, which the Parti Quebecois accuses the ruling Parti Liberal of stonewalling investigation into because the politics of Quebec are far beyond fucked. It’s estimated that the Italian Mafia in Montreal controls 80% of road construction contracts, and boy do the roads look like it. Oh, and it’s worth noting that among the reasons Montreal is collapsing is the fact that the city raced mindlessly and practically planlessly to finish construction for…Expo ’67 and the ’76 Olypmics! Among the tragic results of this reckless construction, which came with a heaping side order of corruption and Mafia connections within the construction industry was the de la Concorde overpass collapse in 2006. Read the Commission of Inquiry’s findings as to how the overpass collapsed and killed six people and take note of the sheer mass of technical construction issues associated with it.

As anecdotal evidence, I submit that having driven through Montreal in a late 90s Toyota Camry that couldn’t hit 100kph without at least 30 miles of open road, fuck everything about the state of Montreal’s roads.

(S) Round One of “Canada or Kazakhstan”!

So as to not give cakers any ammo with which to hypocritically attack the French, let’s spend the rest of this post here writing about the familiar bugbear of this blog – Indigenous Affairs! For what it’s worth, Quebec does have the lowest rate of child poverty on reserves in Canada. I only add this to make sure that cakers don’t go and take my condemnations as somehow vindicating English Canada. Right, so let’s talk about the Val D’Or problem. Starting in 2015, Indigenous women reported systemic sexual and physical abuse from police officers in the town of Val D’Or. The consequences of this savagery for the police officers was…nothing. This understandably creates what Pravda refers to as “a climate of tension and mistrust” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This is being discussed in a Quebec-wide inquiry, which speaks to the prevalence of cruelty within the province’s policing system.

And heaven help you if you live in the North of Quebec, known properly as Ungava. Despite having a bitchin’ name that would do well in any Tolkien-esque high fantasy novel Ungava is in fact a miserable place to live. Ungava is frankly a world apart from Quebec, and cartoonization of the Inuit is a rampant problem. Child and youth suicide is a big problem here as everywhere in Canada; in Quebec the incidence of suicide among these Inuit communities was twenty-five times greater than among Quebecois and three times greater than Indigenous rates in the rest of Canada. Granted, that data is from 1995 – but by the looks of it not much has changed.

So I hoped I pissed on enough cakers by providing a rough sample of Quebec’s failures without giving English Canada ammo to use against the Quebecois. Because frankly, there is plenty of overlap in the problems Quebec has and the problems that the rest of Canada does.

#174 – Caker Business in Powder Form

McIntyre Powder is fucking nightmarish bullshit that pretended to be therapeutic. I learned about it from the mighty Chuck Angus who has been commenting on the stuff on social media. I’ll let him describe the effects that caker business had on his grandfather:

My grandfather was forced to breath this shit for his entire working career and he died of severe neurological damage. The company told him that filling his lungs with aluminum every day would somehow protect him from silicosis. I found my grandfather’s silicosis medical card after he died.

Silicosis is a wicked disease that comes from breathing in silica particles. Like asbestos silica dust gets in your lungs and proceeds to wreck your shit like knuckle-dragging hockey moms who just discovered the Travelodge minibar. Except unlike asbestos which prefers giving you hell-cancer, silicosis merely hardens your lungs until you can’t breathe without help. Who needs lungs, right? Lungs are for chumps. In Canada the air is so polite that it will find its way into your bloodstream without needing lungs at all!

Anyway, silicosis was a serious problem for miners.  But it was an even bigger problem for caker businesses working in mining. Imagine – having to pay for the sick, maimed, and injured workers. Oh, the horror! Think of all the money that would cost that could be going into an oligarch’s holding company! The caker way to get around this is cheap, quick, and stupid. And cheap, quick, and stupid is what Canadian miners got, because fuck medical supervision, consent, or sense. If it’s cheap it’s in here at Cakers ‘R’ Us.

Armed with a cheap (and totally absurd) solution, the radium, gold, and uranium mines of Northern Ontario (among others – these were the worst offenders) forced their workers to breathe in aluminium powder at the start of their shifts and cough it up at the end. Wait, seriously? That sounds retarded to anyone who has figured out how to put on and wear pants. Indeed it was so, because from 1943 to 1979 miners were forced to regularly intake a substance that causes – wait for it – severe neurological damage! Of course the government has valiantly stepped to the rescue by doing its usual shitty job. Were you seriously expecting anything else?

Ontario Provincial Parliament, Queens Park, Toronto
(s) The statue of the genocidal Macdonald in front is seen here giving as many shits about Ontario as Queens Park

Now Canada wasn’t the only one to pull the primitive-nerve-gas technique. It also appeared in Western Australia and in the United States. But in Canada the conversation has taken place before. And there’s another hint of trouble in the video there. Starting at 2:23 in the video, let’s take a listen to the number of businesses in Schumacher, ON that had a single family name associated to them. McIntyre Road, McIntyre Community Building, McIntyre Arena, the McIntyre Coffee Shop, and the McIntyre Curling Club. Enough McIntyres for you? There’s one more – the mine itself. Can’t find much more evidence for a single-industry town than that, folks. The whole thing is named for caker business!

McIntyre Powder and the story of disability and illness that comes with it isn’t a story that’s unique to Canada. But the importance of caker business in Canada’s one-industry towns and the earth-shattering stupidity of most of those businesses combine poorly with a government that can’t be bothered to help in the face of damning evidence. McIntyre Powder is a story deeply rooted to Canadian history and the silence around the stuff despite occasional coverage is a testament to Canada’s neglect and contempt for Canadian labor and towards the elderly who suffer from the consequences. Just as government and business in the past failed so many, so those forces continue to screw up and neglect labor because hurr durr short-term profits you guys.

It’s hard enough to learn about events in rural Ontario and the suffering wrought by uncautious caker business only to be confirmed by uncaring Toronto beetlecrats. Lord only knows the horrors that lurk in towns and communities that are too distant for Canada to even pretend to care about. We can only hope for more Charlie Anguses-

Oh, wait. We voted the useful people out because #RealChange. Oops.


#173 – Refu-Jesus Christ, Part 4 – A Mounting Problem

The RCMP is goddamn useless. This is a common theme on this thing and there’s a good reason for it. The RCMP has proudly failed to resolve cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous women. They failed during the shooting in Ottawa – and then tried to rewrite history to make themselves look less ridiculous. They enjoy putting on potentially PTSD-inducing spectacles at events that are billed as being for tourists and families. They fucking murdered puppies, for Christ sakes! If these chest-pounding idiots were capable they’d be terrifying; as it is, their make-believe Canadiana schlock and piss-poor policing is a combination of gratingly moronic and almost spitefully hilarious.

The RCMP is a timeless source for me because it fails regularly and reliably. It’s practically the only reliable thing about this place save for the turgid state of Soviet decay that permeates the country like a steaming stack of turds on a bedsheet. Sure enough, after a brief departure to make fun of some other points of this, a country whose Internet is shittier than Mongolia’s and whose national culture is consumptive fantasy, we return again to the RCMP.

And what are the Arses up to these days? How about not communicating with other departments! Or neglecting to update databases such that caker criminals could elude their criminal records for two years or more? Not enough for you? How about the RCMP missing the fact that 50 people used the same address at overlapping times for their citizenship documents – and it worked for seven of them? Like I said before – these fuckers fail like hurricane shelters made of Styrofoam. And this is on top of the pervasive problem that the Mounties have with low-level corruption and commissioner Bob Paulson still being in charge of the force despite being in charge as the Dudley Do-Wrongs got dinged with labor code violation…after three Mounties died.

Oh, you miserable bastards. Welcome back to Shit About Canada. We missed you.

(s) I missed writing about you like you miss criminals

We have Michael Ferguson at the Office of the Auditor General to thank for this iteration of the Mountie Stomp. The connection to the Potemkin Refugees is through the agencies that the RCMP is failing to work with – agencies that recently had to coordinate amongst one another so as to deal with the intake. The RCMP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada are uncoordinated and failing to properly address fraudulent citizenship applications. Presumably the Syrians would like to get their caker-papers (though I have no idea why), and to do so they’re going to go through a system that doesn’t work. Amazing!

Now, there’s plenty of poo to fling there, and the RCMP isn’t alone on the firing line. There’s the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the line too! The RCMP gets to eat a faceful of cowpie for their assertion that they and CSIS could handle the refugee intake only to then almost immediately be demonstrated shitting the bed on a related file (i.e.: this one). Their contributions to the Syrian refugee intake were decidedly hit-and-miss, and it’s not like CSIS is terribly skilled either. Yeah, guys – if you get caught while pulling Cold War-era tactics and can’t figure out when you should destroy critical documentation your institution may not be the most skilled. Two groups known for not following documentation policy are hardly compelling evidence for the two working even remotely competently together.

So to recap – the citizenship system is fucked and isn’t getting information, the RCMP is as useful as it always is, CSIS is allergic to keeping information and still lives in the world of Get Smart, Canada Border Services Agency isn’t getting information to such a pitifully comical degree that a 29-year old was able to play high-school basketball for over half of the school year before anyone (read: AmeriKKKa) noticed, and we’re supposed to trust this lot with screening 25,000 people from a warzone in neither official language. It’s a good thing Canada doesn’t matter because avoiding these folks sounds as easy as wearing a disguise out of Boris Badenov’s playbook.

And why did I specifically attack the RCMP when the Carnival of Mystery Migration has so many other attractions? Because fuck ’em, that’s why.



#171 – Broadband Blues

Cakers have shit Internet. One of the few things approved for bitching at in Canada are cable, telephone, and Internet service providers in this country. That said few Canadians go further into the problem, where profound disorganization and confusion marry claims and promises of a Fourth Industrial Revolution powered apparently on Care Bear Stares and Feels because fuck if Canada has any sort of coherent broadband strategy or ambition to do better. Pravda’s sadsack attempts to tell Canada that they get what they pay for from shitty oligarchs belies the fact that Canada has fallen from second-best at connectivity in 2002 (behind, of course, South Korea) to its current position, described unironically by Canadian media as “third world access”, hanging out in the bottom third of countries as regards overall speed and in the top 5 when it comes to prices.

What’s in play here is some pretty standard caker business practices. Caker companies like Bell have whinged over and over that they just can’t afford to not gouge customers; their attempt at Canada-baiting when the threat of competition was raised was so bad that even cakers saw through their bullshit. Not even the threat of AmeriKKKa makes Canadians any happier to be under the digital thumb of a collective pile of assholes who basically wanted to kill off the then-new notion of streaming television by way of usage-based billing. When Canada’s telcos were called out for being shitlamps they went and cried foul about how studies of their inferior service are mean and the data was wrong you guys we’re great. So great that even the ultra-nationalist caker population which generally has no issue with oligarchy hates your guts. Obviously with providers like these  #RealChange and his plans for a digital kum-bah-yah Canada are destined for greatness!

When you take the country and break it down into regions broadband connectivity and speed becomes even more obviously broken. Certain areas of the country have tolerable (not even good – tolerable) Internet connection speeds. The Canadian government’s standard of 5mbp up/1mbp down is ridiculously slow considering that the Europeans are calling for 30mbp access by 2020. But even that listless goal is not likely to happen in much of Canada. British Columbia has speeds lower than those found in Iraq, and it’s not even the worst. Even the best-off Canadian provinces don’t meet European standards:

(s) In textbook caker fashion Yukon’s Northwestel responded by crying foul

The pitiful speed of Canada’s Internet access is made even worse by the insane prices that Canadians pay for their subpar “service”. Caker businesses Rogers, Bell, and Telus now blame the low dollar for rising costs despite this being a long-standing problem that was present during the days when the Canadian dollar was at par. Canadians spend nearly 3% of their yearly income on Internet that in many cases can’t even get up to the speeds exhibited in such e-heavy states as Mongolia and Kazakhstan. I cited those two specifically because those two are both sparse as fuck, which is a common apologism for caker-net.

The implications of shitty Internet are clear. How on Earth can Canada claim to have advanced infrastructure when we have numbers like these? And what about rural Canada, which is notoriously slow even by our weak standards? Enjoy your Netflix and waiting, Cochrane! E-mail? Nah, that’s not going to matter. And forget only having access to reasonably-priced Internet in the form of last century’s dial-up connections; nearly 1 million Canadians aren’t even hooked up to the Internet. It’s a bit tough to build the e-conomy of #RealChange’s dreams when we haven’t even gotten to the e-part yet. Of course the Indigenous are particularly slammed by the suck-hammer with 37% of remote communities being told to fuck off and forget about being able to participate in the modern world. Dial-up doesn’t cut it for conducting business, but 15% of Canada’s rural communities aren’t able to ride the e-wave. How inclusive of #RealChange and his economic policies!

But with whinging oligarchs and sadsack, piecemeal planning Canada continues to backslide. A digital divide looms over the country whereby what has been presented as a basic human right is de facto denied because Canada can’t be assed to bring the pain to its garbage ISPs or to plan in such a way that a coherent broadband strategy is even possible. Piss-weak lobbying laws in general reflect on the regulatory body overseeing this clusterfuck and contribute to the flaccid response of the Canadian government to inferior Internet access.

When you’re getting outstripped by Honduras and Rwanda it’s probably time to take a step back and think. Or you could be Canada and LOL WHEEE your way to the future on feels and #RealChange selling an impossible economic prescription.



#167 – The Cost of Caker Business

Caker businessmen hid $270B from the taxman last year while crowing about Canada’s social services and supposed liveability as a reason to come to this country and work. Think about that for a minute. Canada sells itself as a place where social services are strong and liveability is high while the businesses and people benefitting the most from politicians embarrassingly hawking Canada like a $2 whore stash money in tax havens and thus contribute to the decay and failure of those services. It’s almost as if infrastructure requires upkeep and that the primary way to keep systems going is to fund them. If we’re missing that part of the equation in caker business land I shudder to think what future awaits the pox of shoddy condos in Toronto.

Taxes suck. I get it. But they’re also kind of important to maintaining the government, and us broke bastards in sweatpants can’t make a healthcare system work on minimum wage and price hikes. Too bad the dangerously-unsafe CRA has been kneecapped and can’t prosecute cases properly anymore. After seeing nearly a quarter of #RealChange’s deficit ($6-7.8B) fleeing the country every year the CBC valiantly shit the bed on the Panama Papers story and the issue has disappeared from the caker media. Recall that the CBC also relies on tax money and you’ll see why this is so amusing and awful. It’s hard to close the $3B Indigenous education funding gap when at least double that amount is effectively removed from play every year. Moral quandry that contravenes the national identity and narrative? Ah, fuck it – more yachts please! Not like the CRA is going to do anything about it even if they do nail you.

(s) But it’s a progressive yacht with maple syrup on it so it’s better than AmeriKKKa

The combination of weak punishment for tax-related crimes and the ease with which offshore accounts and other tax avoidance tactics can be opened and maintained is a perfect storm for scummy activity. Are we surprised that we attract scummy wealth when it’s so easy to get around paying taxes? When wealth parking is displacing the kind of people you actually want to live in a community (i.e.: those that pay taxes and participate in civic life) and the people who do park leave the country as soon as citizenship papers appear it’s hard to feel any less than taken advantage of.

Why would Canada leave open loopholes to bring in wealth that clearly doesn’t care about Canada outside of its ability to park money and hide? Why are Canadian firms able to effectively stonewall the government for over two years? How is it acceptable to have a de-facto two-tiered tax system wherein only the absolute richest get to pay far less and are treated much more kindly than the rest of us? Is it fair that reporters can’t even attend scheduled meetings with bankers in tax havens? Oh, and did I mention that #RealChange’s Finance Minister is one of those ultra-rich folks, with a personal value of around $30 million and a portfolio of who-knows what?

When Canadian wealth uses tax havens and the like as a way to avoid being sued to their last pair of boxer shorts, you know something is very wrong. Typically lawsuits are the result of someone feeling so aggrieved or wronged that they’re willing to try their hands at caker-law. If you’re that scared of losing money from lawsuits, you might want to consider how tenable your business is in the long run. And it’s not just business that doesn’t buy into Canada; the list of fuckup shitlords includes relatives of Canadian senators, lawyers who once worked for the CRA, former MPs, the pension plan for civil servants, and the fucking Irvings. You know, the sort of people who are intimately and profoundly connected to both caker mythology and to the levers of power. What does it say when people taking public money for doing a job encourage others to avoid putting money into the public pot? It tells me that caker aristocrats don’t see any value in Canada outside of using it as a personal piggy bank, that to them even Canadian citizens – the people these fucks hire to run their businesses and the folks who can’t run to AmeriKKKa whenever they have the sniffles – just aren’t worth caring about.

And if the people spouting caker mythology and Canada-wank won’t put their money where their mouths are, why should we believe in them or this country?






#165 – Duffing It

The Crown has once again flubbed a major case in recent memory, and just like last time this story has been spun in a direction that shields obviously failed systems from meaningful inquiry. That the “vindicated” beneficiaries in both Ghomeshi’s and Duffy’s trials happen to be bodies of Laurentian patronage is rather interesting, but hey – why question the CBC’s human resource team or the assembly of failures that produced this verdict when you can blame misogyny and Harperites instead? If we’re honest about Canadian institutions they could be sad and we could be forced to admit that Canada’s elite are not in fact übermensch and that its institutions beget corruption and vice. Don’t the rich and connected sacrifice enough to make this place the miserable den of lunacy that cakers know and love?

(s) Truly, this is the face of altruism

In the case of Duffy, the innocent verdict came with calls to stop trials against other members of the Senate, namely Patrick Brazeau and Marc Harb. Pamela Walin, who was also in question but never charged despite the RCMP handing files to the Crown is already back to doing what the Senate does best – getting paid. Don’t think for a second that I’m giving the RCMP an all-clear – those losers didn’t exactly search high and low and even Pravda in a rare case of solid journalism notes the failure of the RCMP to do their job in between piles of the ponderous “Harper is le Hitler you guyz” swill that is apparently the only vein of thought allowed within the Canadian media. The single most critical piece I’ve seen on the Duffy Debacle (by Terry Milowski) goes to the point of calling the Senate “embarrassing” but even he makes the problem out to be the Senate’s staffers and lawyers as opposed to a failure of governance and institutions or Canada’s inability to revise its own shitty Constitution.

The RCMP failed because that’s what they do. The Senate is a failure of a chamber crawling with failures; at least thirty Senators were flagged as owing money to the government after filing inappropriate expenses. I get that the rules are vague and that they aren’t often followed, but when 35% of the 85 Senators in June 2015 are suspected of having improper claims the next step would typically be, you know, changing them. Is it not outrageous that for so long such a valueless body was costing so much with so little public oversight? Nah, that would suggest that there’s a problem in the way Canada governs itself. Can’t have that! And certainly can’t do anything about it even if we do note that it’s bad, because doing is hard.

I am not exonerating Harper or his staff here, let’s be sure. But let’s not pretend that the myriad exposed screwups – from the RCMP’s ponderous review of Pamela Wallin’s expenses to the Crown’s inability to put together a coherent case to the fact that a staffer in the Prime Minister’s Office can exercise so much power, Duffy’s trial reveals a sea of stupidity in which even the Senate itself is but one part – are somehow resolved only within the Senate or better off viewed in isolation to one another. This is indicative of an entire culture of slack-jawed laziness and lack of clarity shot throughout Canadian civics. Whinging about the Senate being useless without calling for it and the culture that birthed these problems to be fundamentally changed (if not outright eliminated) is both taking only one part of the problem to account and even then doing it badly.

And it’s not like Trudwater’s solution, the brilliant idea to jettison Senators from the Liberal Party (and thus clearly removing them entirely from the social circles and elite institutions where high-powered Liberals would lurk) did much of anything. Seriously – this is the plan to reform the Senate. This is all they’ve got put to paper. The solution to elites running roughshod with a badly-designed, extraneous, aristocratic body with little in the way of transparency and less in the way of excuses to exist? Why, put a gatekeeper body of more elites together to decide which elites are the most elite! Amazing!


#62 – AmeriKKKa, Part Six: Pro-Choice, Anti-Access

People like Rick Mercer love to use abortion access as a way to highlight differences between Canada and the United States. According to these special souls women in the United States live in a state of being not unlike the Handmaid’s Tale. Without any knowledge of their own history regarding abortion, cakers will point to (ridiculous) new anti-abortion legislation in a backwards American state as evidence that the next generation of American women will all be named Offred. Typically, the American judiciary will do what it is constitutionally charged with doing and block stupid legislation from stupid places. But cakers ignore the finely-tuned instrumentation of the American system in favor of screeching like apes so as to mask their own ignorance of their own systems. Having said all of that, let’s take a walk through Canadian history to talk about how abortion access works in Canada, shall we?

We start with a woman named Emily Stowe, who was the first case I could find of Canada bringing the hammer down on an abortion provider. Stowe, who was Canada’s first (not-really but it’s complicated) licensed female doctor couldn’t even get into medical school in Canada, so she had to be trained in New York. In 1879, Stowe provided a minute quantity of a drug that could cause a miscarriage to an “annoying” 19-year old. By minute quantity, I mean “too little to actually do anything” minute. The result was a raucous trial which eventually saw her acquitted on the basis of her prescription being too small to do anything. Abortions would remain illegal under Section #251 of the Criminal Code of Canada until 1969.

It was in that year that the Great Liberator of Canada, Pierre Trudeau would take steps to decriminalize abortion pursuant to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Only a year before Hawai’i legalized abortion on request, California and ten other states legalized access to abortion by writ and Washington state held a public vote legalizing abortion access, Canada finally passed some kind of “permissive legislation” regarding abortion access. The “permissions” required for a Canadian woman to have an abortion performed were strict, to say the least. Remember that Commission that recommended legalizing abortion? Yeah, that was only up to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. By contrast the “stupid legislation” I pointed to from Mississippi is a ban after fifteen weeks.

And the horror of Canada’s “legalization” doesn’t stop there. In order to access abortion legally under Pierre Trudeau’s regime, you had to get approval from a Therapeutic Abortion Committee, or TAC. The role of the TAC was to effectively judge whether a woman could bypass the existing criminal prohibitions on abortion. TACs were given tons of wiggle room because of the wording of the legislation, meaning that decisions were often arbitrarily in the negative. A TAC that was too lenient was often shuttered and replaced by the hospital in question with one that was harsher. This cockamamie system would remain in place until 1988, which you might recognize as really not that fucking long ago and also recognize as 15 years after the permissive ruling of Roe v. Wade (we’ll get into the difference between permissive and non-permissive rulings in a bit) To this day, hospitals are still notoriously shy about the provision of a service cakers pretend is elementary and regularly available.

The province that actually forced Canada to confront its Victorian attitudes regarding abortion was of course Quebec, the only province in this shithole with the stones to stand up to obscene regulation. Enter Henry Morgentaler, who actually served jail time and endured a firebombing of his clinic in Toronto in this country of unending tolerance and respect for women’s rights. Morgentaler’s tireless work providing abortions where hospitals refused (and still refuse) to earned him unending legal troubles until the infamous R v. Morgentaler ruled that the arcane insanity of the TAC was unconstitutional.

After that, we get an attempt from Brian Mulroney to pass new legislation regarding abortion which would entrench restrictive bureaucracy and penalize women who are so desperate that they seek to self-abort. A tie vote in the Senate killed that first and last attempt to legislate abortion in Canada. And here’s where I talk about the difference between permissive rulings and the Wild West that Canada lives in. Roe v. Wade sets in law the right to have an abortion; R v. Morgentaler merely cancels Canada’s abortion legislation. Since then, Canada hasn’t bothered trying to pass any kind of ruling on the issue.

The problem with this is that the Wild West mentality tends to restrict abortion access. New Brunswick doesn’t allow for abortions broadly speaking, and there’s not a goddamn thing Canada can do about it. Outside of Ontario barriers and restrictions to abortion are common, especially in rural areas. Even with rule changes the lack of ultrasound machines coupled with a non-medically-necessary requirement to have an ultrasound before medication inducing abortion can be provided still hampers access in rural Canada. Without legalized abortion in Canada training for abortions is still haphazard and often wanting. If #RealChange gave a shit he could fix this mess, but he won’t because that’s hard…and because Canadians on the whole aren’t particularly liberal on the matter themselves.

#60 – The Job Fairy, Part Three: A Poverty of Sense

We’ve touched before on how shitty Canada is at collecting statistics. Now we’re going to talk about one facet of this problem: namely, the fact that Canada has no official definition of poverty. Instead, what it has are three obsolete, obfuscating measures, two of which are used in Canada and nowhere else. One of these metrics, the Low Income Meaure (LIM), wasn’t even designed to catch the poverty rate and relies on ten-year old data. Other metrics like the Market Basket Metric (MBM) has been developed almost entirely without public input and thus can be used to artificially lower the stated poverty rate in Canada. And the old stalwart, the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) doesn’t account for differences in rent between major centers and rural communities. Spoilers – it’s a bit more expensive to live in Toronto than it is to live in Bumfuk Falls, Alskatchetobador.

I’ve got a super-handy chart of the types of poverty metrics that Canada collects instead of following the Irish lead and just…having a poverty rate that makes sense. Fuck sense, am I right?

Shit About Canada Poverty Metrics.png

Check out the variations in play here! Anywhere from 9-14% of Canadians by these measures are living in poverty, though every metric we used stands accused of understating poverty in some way or another. Despite Statistics Canada warning that LICO should not be used as a “poverty rate”, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for decades. Genius! Oh, and did I mention that the practically-useless LICO is the only consistently-collected metric of poverty in Canada? Gotta keep that useless, antiquated statistic running. Then again, it’s not like Statscan is prepared to accept any other metric that it produces as an actual indicator of poverty. It’s like watching a shitty golfer constantly call mulligans after slicing a ball into the water hazard again.

With such spotty data collection and a lack of ways by which Canadian figures can be compared to global ones, there’s no real way to tell if Canada is meeting domestic or international obligations regarding poverty reduction. Our data collection is designed to create a situation where comparison is impossible. The one metric that we do have that we can use to compare with the rest of the world, the LIM, can produce counterintuitive results because it is pegged to average income. If average income falls, the threshhold for poverty does too, reducing the stated number of impoverished people. And as for the MBM, Statscan consistently whinges about how expensive it is to produce.

The upshot of all of this bullshit regarding statistics is that Canada flies blind in terms of poverty reduction strategies and that our governments can arbitrarily declare success by lying with numbers. Just like with the Quadriptych of Death, poverty lines and metrics can be bent to bury practical realities under political spin. We also don’t account for poverty relative to assets held. If you own a house outright, your required income is different than if you rent. Even if you do have a mortgage, a house can in theory be liquidated in a way that rent can’t. But nuance and careful consideration of societal needs is too complicated and expensive in Canada, so the timeless strategy of declaring endless victories while stressing that “more must be done” (while, of course, nothing is done because we have no yardsticks to work with) continues apace. As we continue to ignore serious catastrophes that loom in Canada’s future, the entire country is allowed to drift on with vague platitudes and do-nothing make-believe.

Clearly, hoboes and the underemployed just need to be dynamic team players and they too could ride the Job Fairy’s Magic Job Carpet to Jobland and out of poverty…however that’s defined.