#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.

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(S)

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

ks0hqdp

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!

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(S) Fuck yeah.
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#183 – #RealChange Muzzles the Past (for Make Good People of Greatest Canada)

All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.” – Not a good government (actually, this line is from Nineteen-Eighty Four)

Today in cartoonishly-idiotic activities by our one and only Senor Hairpiece we have the erasure of history. Wait, that’s basically all Canada does. Well, here’s an example of Justin doing what Canada does best: erasing its past to ensure gearning smiles for the future. Remember Stephen Harper? Well, Google doesn’t anymore. Wanna learn about why Harper was a hated Prime Minister through first-hand evidence? Well, fuck you. Who needs evidence when you have Justin and that magical, magical hair?

The hilarity of the new government erasing history after (rightfully) accusing the last government of doing just that leads to the darker realisation that this is the modus operandi of the country. Consider this remarkable piece of caker commentary:

Yeah, that’s it! The last guy didn’t save data, so it’s totally normal for this guy to do the same! Except that both instances are bad, Skeezix. Remember the whole “hooray for unmuzzled scientists” theater that we got? The one that culminated in Trudeau playing My Little Dear Leader at an embarrassingly scripted Q&A in Waterloo? See, the shit that the government is “archiving” (and that a professor at Waterloo can only find parts of) is the research material for the social sciences. I’m trained as a political scientist; I need to see what the old government did to look for changes and new patterns of thought emerging from the new regime. In removing the previous government’s data so hap-hazardly we are effectively being muzzled.

And people are pretty okay with that:

Hey, asshole – “partisan PR stuff” is the bread and butter of political science in Canada. You’re basically saying that it’s okay to not have a grasp of political history in Canada because…because why again? And speaking of, why do people have a problem with Stephen Harper’s communications existing on the Internet? Is it because cakers fear any recognition of Stephen Harper, as if the man is some sort of political Beetlejuice? mean, here’s my Google Search for a list of news releases by Stephen Harper while he was Prime Minister:

Note that none of these are about Stephen Harper. Indeed, the only press release I could find on the first page of search results that had anything to do with Harper’s reign was a bit about investing in a memorial to the Irish. Not exactly the kind of stuff most people need, but potentially useful information for someone writing on, say, Irish-Canadian relations or the preservation of Irish-Canadian history. And you’re okay with that disappearing, cakers? “Durr, it’s standard practice” – no shit, and that’s part of why we’re flying blind!

We live in an age where the single most powerful referencing source for most people is Google. Google is like the Yellow Pages of the Internet; without it, the best you can do is blindly grope about a bunch of sites hoping to find things. This stuff can’t just disappear; what more, Library and Archives Canada shockingly kind of sucks. The Internet is already notoriously poor at archiving in a readily-searchable way. Making data less visible through a Google search and blindly assuming that Library and Archives Canada hasn’t dropped the ball is at best laughable. And it’s not like Canada is known for having any kind of coherent digitization strategy.

Think Justin’s any different than Harper as regards leaving the government pantsless while the rest of the world computerizes and digitizes? He’s overseeing Shared Services Canada, a disasterous abomination, actively putting police lives at risk with their uselessness. You know, one that seeks to ask the private sector to do its job for it at a no-doubt inflated price? When Trudeau’s not busy claiming that veterans aren’t owed government assistance he’s busily humming O Canada while Shared Services takes a solid wafting shit all over the Department of Defense and pretending that Canada’s worthless Internet infrastructure will make Canada into My Little San Francisco.

What I’m saying is, this is not a guy anyone should trust with understanding Canada’s digital failures. Canada’s understanding of the Internet, of the need for research information, of how dangerous simply allowing a government to define the policies of the one prior while eradicating any sources that could offer a different perspective – that shit don’t fit in 140 characters. Having to read any more than that is just too much for #RealChange and the band of cakers his fetid fans epitomize.

#182 – Canada: Branded Within, Excused Everywhere

Yes, Canada is a brand, and few people get it quite as cynically as #RealChange and his motley Synod of snot-nosed go-getters. And as with most branding efforts the goal is to have the consumer look at the shiny sticker and miss the obvious signs that the product you’re getting is actually a sockful of shit. Like wheat, which caker business is busy squandering Canada’s claimed reputation for quality by producing inferior shit. Don’t ask about Canada among lentil sellers abroad or you’ll hear tales of cheating and shit quality. But hey, it’s Brand Canada!

Brand Canada’s effects produce revision inside Canada, and that’s where we’re going today. Cakers love to think that Canada rolls up to the global trade party with the equivalent of an inoffensive potato salad. Harmless, right? Tee-hee, aren’t these Canadians just so silly and sorry! Never mind that Canada is actually the #2 supplier of arms to the Middle East. Profiting off of the misery of others is a Canadian speciality; after slaughtering and cruelly debasing the Indigenous Canada’s off to go ruin the lives of some more brown people! After all, if Canada doesn’t sell arms to barbarians someone else will! Or so says Stephane Dion, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. And why does Canada excuse itself for disproportionately contributing to misery and woe? Why, because that’s not in Canada’s brand!

The Canada Brand is of course obnoxious as shit, because it kind of has to be in order to drive out the truth about Canadian exports and business practices – namely, that they’re dirty, shitty for labor, and consequently kind of suck. But because Canadians can’t acknowledge the harm they cause and thus encourage some kind of filthy “improvement” or “humanity” in their ersatz-society, they pull out Brand Canada to make themselves feel better. What’s this about exporting a nad-radding medical scanner? Nah, man! Check out this beer! It says Canada on it so it must be good!

This is the kind of bait-and-switch that comes from a country that runs itself as a shitty, shitty corporation. Here’s Canada telling you that hockey is evidence that Canada has the most “heart” of any nation. I remind you that this is a country that uses poor peoples’ homes and countries as dumping grounds, a country that fairly uniquely opted against calling for a ban on the export of toxic waste. Speaking of dumping, did you know that four caker businesses actually seriously fucking invested in cluster bombs? The country whose capital shares a name with the global ban on anti-personnel mines is investing in other foul machinations of war.

But shit like this doesn’t look good in domestic markets! Canadians need to feel unduly special lest they actually look around and start demanding that Canada do things properly. I know – throw them a hockeymans commercial! That’ll baffle the semi-literate fucks.

The disparity between what Canadian believe about their country and what Canada actually does on a regular basis abroad is, I think, the result of Canadians getting pounded with caker-jingoism from the word go. Canadians are outwardly told what they should think about themselves, attitudes and ideas which are then confirmed or set aside as needed by way of branding Canada. We’ve talked about consumptive Canadiana a lot – this is consumptive Canadiana creating internally a national brand for which there is no evidence externally. Or for that matter internally – in a country that still can’t bring itself to see Indigenous voices as worth listening to here’s Tim Hortons telling you that Canadians are “brought together” by hockey:

But Canada can’t be arsed to act like a good neighbor, so it instead tells a pliant population that it’s totally cool you guys and implies that the rest of the world totally loves Canada because Canada acts like it does in caker commercials. A false image produced domestically prevents Canadians from meaningfully reacting to scenarios externally where Canadians are acting like their usual toady selves.

#181 – Deferring to Stupidity

Cakers don’t like to maintain infrastructure. When given the chance to spend money to keep infrastructure standing, Canada generally opts to not bother. That this often results in more costly repairs down the line is a trivial consideration for a country that is so scared of spending its own money that it would rather screw itself over. Deferring critical maintenance is like ignoring your power bill in hopes that it’ll go away. Silly Canadians – your bills are expected on-time even if you’re increasingly not getting paid on time.

There’s a nifty metric in commercial real estate called the Facility Condition Index, or FCI. It goes from 1-100, with 1 being a practically new building to 100 being a piece of shit that has no business standing anymore. Generally, buildings want to hover around 2-5 on the FCI to avoid snowballing repair problems. Canada’s hospitals average at 11.3. It has been estimated that Canada’s hospitals need $160B in repairs; the report I cited the FCI from suggests that Canadian hospitals need $3.2B a year just to keep up with current disrepair.

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(s) Take two rolls of duct tape and don’t call me in the morning because that costs money

This means that at current Canadian hospitals there are literally billions of dollars of needed repairs in Canada’s hospitals that just aren’t done because spending money on the facility means we can’t have more administrative bloat. As everyone knows, more MBAs and people with undefined “real world experience” (as opposed to those of us who have only worked on holodecks, presumably) means better healthcare. What’s this? One Ontario hospital (the government won’t say which) needs $287m. There’s a $3.2B deficit in 148 healthcare facilities just in Ontario.

But don’t you worry! The fun continues! Know what else Canada sucks Satan’s salty bunghole at keeping up to snuff? Schools! Feels great dropping Timmy off at your local elementary school. Hope he’s not in Calgary, where there’s $1B in work to do that just hasn’t been done. Or Edmonton, which has a similar fate looming over its schools in the next decade. And don’t think this is just a Western thing – here’s Southern Ontario choking on repairs it can’t afford. Nothing shows children the value of education quite like not being able to keep their school from falling apart. Reach for the stars, Timmy!

Some problems come from dumping heavy fiscal loads on crippled municipalities. This is the case with water pipe repairs – because voters literally can’t see the pipe there is a perverse incentive to instead spend limited funds on flashy projects that in turn need maintenance which is of course deferred. Municipalities carry $123B in needed work and on average that number grows by $2B every year. Looking at the piece I just cited we see some classic Canada in the causes and influencing factors segment. Just look at this clusterfuck:

i) poor maintenance of infrastructure; ii) lack of life cycle costing and incorrect pricing (e.g., difference between cost, price, and value); iii) inadequate management approaches; iv) short term focus; v) a lack of integrated planning; vi) a disconnect between planning and implementation; vii) a need for accountability and innovation; viii) a lack of use of best practices.
– Source above

Not giving a shit? Not pricing properly? Not planning? Using guesswork instead of accepted practices? These are the great Canadian attitudes that ensure that new projects will quickly fall to shit and old standbys will grind themselves to dust in the name of making sure that the balance sheets don’t look scary to the kinds of people who focus solely on balance sheets. You know what is scary? This chart, which shows that we’re barely investing enough to maintain basically nothing.

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(s)

Investing half of the low end of the replacement funding needed for roads and sidewalks can’t possibly go wrong, right? Just like how Canada’s hospitals are run on politeness and Tim Hortons and will just stand up forever without needing to address their problems. Cakers will scream up and down about the very real costs of infrastructure only to demand more of it through sprawl and tract suburbs. Rather than fixing what they have cakers would rather build mindlessly and endlessly without the slightest regard for the future.

#61 – Channel Surfing, Part Three: Rick Mercer Reports on Nothing

Rick Mercer is the Don Cherry of the caker left in Canada. I’ll admit to putting this off because watching the man in action is just so unappealing. Look, people. I’ve watched Schitt’s Creek, Little Mosque on the Prairie, and listened to the Vinyl Cafe for the sake of research. They were all insipid, gloopy, flaccid mush. But I would take in every episode of that dreck twice in the name of avoiding this moron and his mouthbreathing Potemkin Tour of Canada. I don’t think it’s possible to any less amused by anything ever put to film than I was while doing the research for this piece. I hate Don Cherry because he is an empty suitrack with a singular competence who nevertheless feels that his reactionary, know-nothing voice is wanted. For Rick I feel much the same, only without the “singular competence” bit. Even the Moan and Wail won’t hesitate to call Mercer a coward!

Let’s start with this noxious example of how Rick peddles in Canadian revisionism:

Rick scores some rotten points immediately with his whinging nonsense about American border security. He makes a point of attempting to break US law by having his driver only bring his driver’s license to the border, and then he sagely advises the viewer that although his passport contains Afghan visas (because Afghans in the US were at the time being horrifically mistreat…oh, wait) he himself is white and therefore should have no problems. He then suggests to his viewers that should he fail to follow (another) US law regarding filming border crosses he will be sent to Syria and tortured. Hey assbag – Canada was complicit in the extradition of Omar Khadr. Amazing how you didn’t mention that part, eh fuckface? He finishes by making it to Buffalo (one wonders how the driver managed to get over, unless he actually had his passport the whole time) and shilling for Tim Horton’s, because you just can’t be a revisionistic shitstain on the face of Canadian “entertainment” without that. DAE security warnings in Canada are the same as the quantity of cream in a shit cup of coffee?

Hilarious.

Then we get this laugh-a-minute look at the poverty of Newfoundland:

You see, Rick doesn’t have the balls to make fun of the hideous urban form of Fort McMurray or the ludicrous stupidity of having a mono-industrial town in the middle of nowhere. Instead, he decides that it’s hilarious to say that as a thirty-something year old Newfie it’s shocking that he hasn’t been to Fort McMurray. Never mind that this guy already has a job, making the entire joke utterly pointless. But don’t worry – Tim Horton’s is hiring!! What’s with this moron and his idle worship of Tim Horton’s? I also find it remarkable how the notion of sending remittances to failed parts of this country is rendered into humor by Rick. Tee hee, aren’t the Maritime provinces just so fucking poor? LOL having to leave your home to find work in extractive bullshit is funny! HAHAH-oh, right. Funny how Rick never jokes about how trashy Fort McMurray is.

And this isn’t even the worst of Rick. His wretched show is mercifully kaput, but he maintains his idiotic ramblings in a Toronto alleyway with his singularly blunt “Rick’s Rant”, where he shills for #RealChange by effectively suggesting that Canadians are too stupid to oppose obvious failures in the Canadian state because they will instead idly point to Donald Trump. It turns out that Canadians are not in fact immune to populism, as future Premier Doug Ford looms over Ontario like the Hindenburg coming in for a landing. Or this unbearable left-caker insinuation that only white people can hold reactionary views and thus that only white people are responsible for civic and social failure in this country.

Part of the reason I took so long to do this is because I genuinely want to punch this gob in the nose every time I look at him. To read the comments on these videos it seems like Rick is fooling Canadians into believing in their ramshackle shit-shack just fine, which is even more alarming and disheartening. A propagandist with an unfunny bundle of jokes and the kind of comforting upper-middle-class opinions that middle management bleats out over Thanksgiving dinner, Rick Mercer represents a Canada that is simply too scared to meaningfully self-reflect. I can’t wait to watch him squirm when Doug Ford becomes Premier of Ontario, mostly because I’m curious as to how these caker munsons will try to pass this off as somehow congruent with their revisionistic make-believe.

 

 

 

 

#56 – Nigh-Lingualism

Wait a minute, I hear you say. Why the hell am I digging into English Canada’s inability to speak two languages when cakers seem barely capable of speaking one language? The answer to that is twofold: first, cakers refusing to learn speaks volumes to the reactionary culture of this Soviet heap, and second, there is a hypocrisy to cakers claiming French-Canadian cultural traits under the name of “Canada” while simultaneously refusing to do the absolute basics for trying to actually have any kind of meaningful cultural interchange. Where the French seem more than capable of figuring out the English language, cakers respond to the need for French by being their usual shitty, bratty selves.

For almost fifty years, the rate of French/English bilingualism has stayed at about 17%. Now that’s shameless, especially considering that this lack of literacy is apparently holding cakers back and helps to establish the kinds of political cadres that give us people like Prince Selfie. Two major problems could be solved just by actually giving a shit about a language that is an integral part of the actual, lived experiences of this landmass. But nah – let’s not try and improve ourselves because that would be hard and blaming the Quebecois for daring to not be as bland and useless as English Canadians is so much easier than acknowledging the development of a de-facto political class walled off by two languages!

(S) Problem solved!

Speaking of learning multiple languages, can we discuss how fucking beneficial it is to speak more than one language? Monolingualism is a straitjacket! English might be an important language, but the presence of both English and French in one national entity ought to make Canadians that much more capable to resolve differences and deal with the shifts in fundamental worldview associated with having a different mother tongue. And the more people who can attain this, the more likely it is that this country could actually start to take some kind of coherent national form. The same is true of Indigenous languages. Perhaps there could be some kind of reconciliation if English Canada at least pretended to care enough about the other aspects of Canada that they deigned to teach other languages property. We’ll be talking about this problem as it applies to Indigenous tongues later.

I would love to collect stories about French-language education in English Canada. Please leave a comment below about how English Canada attempted to teach you French. Highlights of my education included watching VHS tapes of English films with French subtitles and endless photocopied conjugation charts. And I know I’m not alone in taking issue with my slip-shod French education. Here’s a piece from the Tyee about people who take much more intensive French language education in English Canada…and still can’t speak the language. It’s not like teachers are any better. Despite rising demand, the quality of French-language instructors in English Canada is often wanting. What’s even more alarming about this that there is a class element to training in bilingualism in public schools, with richer parents putting their kids into French schooling in hopes that they might break through the de-facto bilingual barrier to political advancement. What’s that? You’d like perspectives from people who didn’t grow up loaded in caker Disneyland running your government? Eat shit, man!

Official bilingualism in this country seems to exist for two reasons: to protect the ultra-rich children of douchey cakers from any kind of meaningful competition in terms of political work prospects, and to provide English Canada with yet another annoying-ass thing to bitch about. Because if you can’t be assed to learn one language properly you sure as shit won’t bother to learn two!

#55 – The Quadriptych of Death, Part Four: Skeleton Shift

One of the ads that fucking haunts me to this day is a PSA that played on Canadian television back in the 1990s. It featured a woman carrying a pot of boiling oh-shit and slipping, pouring the oh-shit all over herself and subsequently screaming as her skin boils. Stay safe, kids! Speaking of safety, Canada has a bit of a problem with workplace safety. There are approximately 1000 reported deaths on the job every year in Canada, with the word “reported” being very important because the actual number of workplace fatalities could be much, much higher. Indeed, employers are known to suppress workplace injury claims; the numbers could be as much as 50% off because caker business would rather ignore problems than deal with them. Never mind the suppression of evidence though, because in Cakerstan if you can’t see things it means they aren’t real!

The last sentence there is literally true of some of Canada’s most dangerous jobs. Take logging, the most dangerous job in Canada according to the Globe and Mail. It may come as a surprise to the caker meme factory, but most Canadians do not experience any facet of the logging industry directly on a day-to-day basis. Same for the fishing industry. The human truck driver behind the machine isn’t often seen by those driving by (who are hopefully focusing on the road, and the same applies for garbage collection and power line installers. Because these jobs aren’t seen, mitigating the dangers incumbent to the task is left up to caker business.

(S) Pretty much

And how reliable, pray tell, is caker business? Well, here’s an oilsands giant getting fined $10,000(!!!) for failing to use appropriate contractors on their construction projects. What’s that? You think I was missing a few zeroes on that fine? Nope! $10k is apparently good enough recompense for killing two and injuring five!! And who knows what kind of justice came for the people on this list, whose deaths often sound truly horrific. And of course you’ve got a higher chance of injury as a temp worker. Really puts Bill Morneau’s “get used to it” comment into focus, no?

At the very least Canada has decided to do the bare minimum in terms of data collection on labor safety! In 2017! Reading that article reveals the amazing extent to which the federal government has absolved itself of responsibility for Canadian workers. Which leads to amazing efforts like the caker businesses currently over-building Saskatoon failing to enforce proper safety equipment on nearly 50% of construction sites. Manitoba’s punishment for six incidents of workplace danger, including a guy being lit on fire because his employer didn’t bother with basic safety, was a collective $111,000 fine. And speaking of not wanting to take this problem seriously, here’s Newfoundland referring to the worker death probe for a man who fell through a skylight as “completely inadequate“. Across the entire country, only five employers have even gone to prison for their role in destroying lives and families. When your major safety accomplishments include not using a lift that previously killed workers you probably need some kind of intervention. Golly, maybe we could have caught that one sooner?

Even though the 1000/year figure sounds reasonable for a country of 35,000,000, it’s pretty clear that the deaths happen away from public eyes, with limited oversight or even basic care from employers and a governmental system that fails at every turn. With data so unreliable, employers who can bully people into skewing what limited data exists in ways more favorable to the company, a predisposition to treating the most vulnerable workers in Canada with the greatest contempt, and a population that hides problems behind numbers, the story behind showcases a culture of disregard and despair.