#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 The leftist iteration of caker self-narrative has been replaced by the rightist iteration of caker self-narrative here in Onterrible, land of the wretched and home of the formless.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.

(S) FOLKS

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.

Why?

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.

 

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#189 – Fuck Manitoba

You know your province sucks when your major city is used for a throwaway joke on an episode of the Simpsons:

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(S) A major newspaper printed this article. Read it and cringe.
Winnipeg gets another reference in the show, this time as a threat to keep children in line. To be honest I’d be a little concerned by the threat of being sent to Winnipeg. One reason? An underclass of segregated, impoverished Indigneous people. Shockingly, the great Canadian air hasn’t magically given desperate people with nothing to do a sudden impulse to garden and sing O Canada into the sunrise – gangs run rampant. 10% of the population don’t know where their next meal is coming from. There’s a housing bubble there too, because why not fuck up some more. The people have spoken about public transit being akin to Satan’s puckered asshole have some evidence to their claim. Like how they deferred maintenance for so long that they had to cut services suddenly. Here’s a lady saying that she literally might as well have walked.

Sound like shit? Well, it’s all downhill from there folks! Yes, Manitoba’s best offering is a sloppy slapping of shit on a plate, a place that Canada would almost rather forget was there. This may be because it used to be an important rail hub for extractive industry until those industries inevitably buckled or moved. Shockingly there were no plans for Winnipeg after that, and man does it show. Remember how I said that Canada throws places away after they’ve served their purpose? This is probably the biggest instance of that – a whole province tossed away.

How bad is it? Well, faith in Winnipeg outside of Winnipeg is so high that municipalities are trying to take the construction of vital services into their own hands. The wait-times in Manitoba’s hospitals were the dubious winners of the Longest Wait Time Award for 2015. Provincial transit infrastructure is so poor that paramedics can’t do their jobs. Manitoba scored a bitchin’ D on Canada’s education report card. I’d like to especially point at this chart:

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Translation: onlly loosers wory bout skool!

Before we move on to the ultimate expression of Manitoba misery let’s take a moment to talk about CFB Shilo. One of the largest caker-bases in the country, Shilo has an engrained culture of racism so powerful that it broke the spirit of an Inuk woman who tragically believed in the velvet lies of the Canadian state. And don’t worry – mental health on base is as good as you’d expect. This is a pervasive problem in Manitoba’s small towns. Here’s a lady alleging that racism ran her and her business out of town. And it just wouldn’t be extra-tolerant tee-hee Canada without gay people having every chance to also get run out of town by bigots!

The Canadian military certainly has its problems, but Manitoba takes even that misery and cranks it up like a mad scientist. When the mad province cranks the vile dial as far as it’ll go the ultimate manifestation of misery is born. Enter Manitoba’s Indigenous Reserves, stage left. Manitoba’s reserves are, to be simple about it, the worst in the country. Housing is failing, poverty is rampant, 76% of children on reserves are impoverished, and desperation is the norm – often to tragic result that police can’t be bothered to follow up on. Relations are further strained between Manitoba and the Indigenous because – suprise! – Manitoba may have reneged on its treaty obligations. And I suspect the pollution and contamination doesn’t help relations much either.

And that’s Manitoba – a boring hellhole managing a range of boring, reactionary towns and housing some of the most shameful conditions in Canada. A province built on the bilingual lie which pushed the French away and helped to create the schism between French and English that serves as just one more crack in the caker facade of unity. I thought P.E.I. would be a hard province to top in terms of shittiness. Boy, was I wrong.

#185 – Heavy Metal Blunder

Let me ask you a question. Suppose that you owned a plot of forest bifurcated by a river in the middle of ass-fuck nowhere. Then suppose that forty or so years ago your grandpappy permitted a bunch of people to lug toxic waste all over your property in the name of profits. Grandpappy is gone and the forest is yours; when do you think you might get around to checking that, you know, the toxic waste party was properly cleaned up?

If you’re Ontario and “touched by the angels”, the answer is 35 years. That’s how long the rivers and land around the now-infamous Grassy Narrows have gone untested by the provincial government. Never mind that there was a fucking sawmill openly using mercury as part of their production. Forget Robert Sharpe’s alarming discovery that the court system was unable to dispense justice for the people who lost lives and livelihoods after the Ontario government practically banned fishing in the area. Obviously Ontario doesn’t need to seriously inspect the area anymore, because the “ah, fuck it, it’ll fix itself” method of…well, doing anything really is Canada’s preferred method. I’m half-convinced that some caker will unironically suggest duct tape.

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(s) Rivers are like ducts. Close enough, eh?

The first amazing part of this story is how many times it has come up without any meaningful action. Like a cat turd in a toilet bowl stories of malfeasance and stupidity bob into and out of public awareness. Most recently I was inspired by Kas Glowacki recalling his time literally dumping barrels of toxic waste in the wilderness with the awesome protective power of a plastic sheet to prevent seepage. We still have no information about the extent of the pollution around Grassy Narrows despite it being in the news now, in 2015, and in 2012. Research on the impacts of poisoning people has been ongoing since the 1970s, and the Canadian government continues to do what it does best – nothing of consequence. I suspect that if this was happening in a new suburban development we wouldn’t be waiting generations to start fixing the problem; where Japan set up a hefty repayment program for the lives that their experiences with mercury ruined Canada unleashed a half-assed system that couldn’t even be assed to send so much as a sympathy card. What’s this? We ruined your food supply and livelihoods? Here’s ~$18 million in a single lump sum to split for the rest of your lives. Debilitating mental and physical harm has never been less lucrative.

But wait, there’s more! Remember that bit about Kas Glowacki and the who-cares approach to poison? For a while it was practically policy – Ontario doubled its imports of American toxic waste in the 1990s because of how lax regulations on the stuff were. And that’s not including the disaster that is consumer habits dumping small quantities of crap over time. And even better? Ensuring compliance with waste dispsoal regimes is still a problem! Yes, people of the Internet – in the year 2015 Canadians were still dumping toxic waste in random spots and hoping for the best. Given how sloppy Canada is at managing even obvious pollution in heavily-populated areas the probability of Canada giving a shit about stuff that most people don’t see is frankly miniscule. This is especially true when municipalities are the ones often holding the fiscal bag as regards disposal sites. If anyone has the money to properly police toxic waste it sure as shit isn’t your average cash-strapped Canadian municipality.

Tracking would-be miscreant dumpers is a tough thing to mandate because there’s frankly a lot of space for a would-be illegal dumper to offload some toxic shit. But proper, constant environmental scanning is both possible and doesn’t require Orwellian surveillance. Actually looking proactively for problems instead of fumbling like a quarterback with a greased football allows us to hopefully find problems and their sources before they become massive, crippling problems. Sadly, when Canadians can’t even be bothered to properly screen the water they drink daily there is little chance that they’ll consider planning to test water that they aren’t regularly in contact with.

#184 – Incredulous Canada

Cakers love talking about immigration. Whether it’s the unique blend of garbage and idiocy that usually comes after the words “this isn’t politically correct, but” or the shameless self-promotion of Laurentian fucks looking to get a booster shot of caker mythology while finding more people to fleece, immigration is one of Canada’s stupidest talking points. One of myriad manifestations of ersatz compromise between the stupid and the slippery is Canada’s interest in taking professional immigrants with degrees and accreditations, promising them steady work and a better life in Canada, and then immediately bailing on the recent migrant by denying the validity of their degrees and certifications. Cakers don’t even accept caker accreditations; how likely are they to understand the merits of foreign degrees?

The beauty of this shafting mechanism is that it allows for both the red-meat racism of the kind that really gets the “swills beer while standing in garage” demographic and the mythological “faire Canada” of the shameless Laurentian to stand in the same place. See? There’s totally work in Canada! Migrants are coming from all over with all sorts of skills and talents! And when the migrant either can’t find work at all or join the ranks of the underemployed masses like the 53% of migrant cabbies with degrees Marty the Beer-Swilling Moron can have his go at the “dem dam migrents arr takeing our JOBS!!!!”. Cakers win, education loses. Just another day in Canada.

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(s) The loftiest dreams start here and end in a cab dodging caker puke

It doesn’t help that Canada has a nightmarishly complicated screening process and migrants are frequently not told of the complexities awaiting them. And it’s not like the government is helping; take a look at the website for the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. Are you not fluent in English or French yet? Hope you can read this in one of those languages because the fuck if Canada’s gonna put this information in languages that migrants are more likely to understand! Nothing says “welcome to Canada, where we will help you towards a new life” like a wall of complex instructions laden with exceptions and requirements.

The result? Stressed-out, pissed-off people who bail at the first chance and leave with the battle scars associated with trying to exist in Cakertown. One-third of male immigrants to Canada leave after fewer than 20 years; of those, most will bail out within the first year. And in so doing they affirm the two-headed hypocrisy of Canadian thinking about migrants. They came seeking hope to satisfy the Laurentian twit; they “couldn’t tough it out” and “didn’t keep their sticks on the ice” to satisfy the Below-Average Hockeymans Caker-Brigades. Even better, we can slam the door on people who are waiting without a lick of transparency for God-knows-what forms to be filled. Want to go home and visit family? Well, fuck you – if you leave, you’re not coming back. Even if you were educated in Canada on a student visa, confusion and complication end up sending people away. We’ll take you money, folks, but Canada doesn’t exactly have a track record of holding up its end of a bargain. Ask the Indigenous.

This has a sad, personal dimension that I want to hammer in before I sign off. Canada isn’t just ruining the lives of abstracted individuals. These are human beings, people with goals and hopes and dreams who were duped and ended up as cabbies, cashiers, temporary help – dreck-work that in no way meshes with the visions and promises they were given. I got shit out of the caker university system grizzled and pissy enough; Lord knows the pain of people who came so far for so little. Want to see some victims, people who were duped and deceived into leaving friends and family to come to a concrete bog? Here’s a big ol’ list of ’em, each one a stark reminder of the human costs associated with caker mythology not even remotely meshing with Canadian reality.

And as you flip through the link just remember – cakers are proud of their concept of multiculturalism.

 

 

#180 – We the North (Don’t have Healthcare)

Whenever I worry for a topic, I have only one direction I need look to find something to write on – north. Canada’s Arctic is an abject clusterfuck of a place where Ottawa’s ineptitude blossoms into a turgid display of abject third-world horror. Abject poverty, critically-failed housing that sees 31% of Inuit living in unacceptably crowded conditions, an inhumane prison, rampant hunger, ridiculous costs of living, and wild revisionism reign. For a blog like this the suffering of the North offers virtually unlimited content to slam Canada with. Indeed, the North is so dizzyingly shit that even keeping a steady aim at the cancerous behemoth that is Ottawa can be difficult – that’s why I opened with a shotgun blast of suck before taking aim at a more specific problem to the North – an incredible lack of healthcare.

Yeah, for a country that prides itself up and down on free healthcare Canada sure does a shit job of it. As of the day of writing Pond Inlet, Nunavut has a whooping cough outbreak that it can’t possibly contain with the resources they have on hand. Before that it was tuberculosis, a problem that has never really been gotten a handle on given that another TB outbreak came in 2014. Staff and facilities are in short supply and consequently some iffy people get promoted for want of anyone else while others are worked to dust. When ranked in terms of quality healthcare it’s no surprise that the Northern territories hang out together at the bottom of the pack.

What’s even more fun about the healthcare problems of the North is that they’re compounded by other shitty problems incumbent to Ottawa doing diddly-dicking nothing while the place burned. Remember that bit about poverty? It drills way deeper. For instance, here’s a piece about the North having shitty dental care. Guess what? That reflects elsewise in your overall health. When your food is nightmarishly expensive and you have to make your money last it makes (short-term) sense to eschew healthful food choices in favor of relatively cheaper junk food. Shockingly a diet of soda and sadness doesn’t lead to better health outcomes.

I adore this video. Fuck  you – watch it and have a lark.

You know what else doesn’t lead to good health outcomes? Severe mental illness! And you know what doesn’t help that? Severe linguistic barriers that prevent proper diagnosis and care in hospitals! Or not getting needed medications! There isn’t a single part of the system that appears to be functioning. And while I won’t pretend that the North doesn’t present challenges it is a hardly acceptable for a country that claims public healthcare as a national virtue to offer an endless bevy of suffering instead. As in Nunavut’s life expectancy is 10 years lower than the rest of Canada’s.

Like terrible hospitals? It’s one thing to have a shitty dilapidated mess of a hospital like Halifax’s infamous Victoria General; it’s quite another to have a hospital staffed with four doctors. This is a vicious cycle – as doctors are overworked the need for replacement becomes more urgent and the difficulties in attracting talent grow as the job looks more and more like a baffling mess of confusing kleptocracy and enormous barriers in both professional and personal life.

Like Newfoundland, the North disappears from the caker conception of Canada unless a topical, convenient facsimile of the place can be deployed to make-believe Canada into a liveable place. Nunavut and its myriad problems are simply nowhere on the radar in Canada and because of that things quickly fall to shit. I wanted to showcase some examples of pathetic healthcare indicators in Canada because of how important healthcare is to the caker identity. Except when, y’know, you do a piss-poor job of it and return to ignoring the problem as per usual.

 

 

 

#179 – Getting a Gauge on Toronto

Given the impossibly shitty transit scenario that dominates much of Canada Toronto’s subway system should be a breath of fresh air. Toronto’s subway system is certainly an imperative piece of transit infrastructure for a city that suffers the worst traffic in Canada (this despite cakers fearing Montreal’s traffic as though every car in Quebec is rigged to explode at the slightest glance). And Toronto’s subway has maintained a proud Canadian tradition of eschewing maintenance and standardization in favor of the “ah, fuck it” we all know and loathe. How bad is it, you ask? How about this – the Toronto metro’s subway and streetcar systems run on a totally unique rail gauge whose origins come from horse-drawn carriages in 1861.

Want more than that? How about the now-infamous boondoggle that is the restoration of Union Station, home to a crucial transit hub? How about regular complaints about chronic filth in critical points of the subway? Or the severe overcrowding on the Yonge line caused by decades of dithering and doing nothing while the place sprawled like a suburban caker’s waistline? These blows are only the smaller turds in the TTC toilet bowl; the city’s subway and streetcars are built by caker-business extraordinaire, Bombardier. Which the city is in the process of suing for fucking up so spectacularly that even caker business couldn’t shove it under the rug.

Canada’s largest city has as history of fucking up miserably at expanding transit. This is, I remind you, the city that Jane Jacobs took refuge in as Robert Moses was busy ruining New York City with freeways and concrete sadness. I can’t fathom her picking Toronto anymore, a city that recently opted to rebuild a Soviet abomination of a highway to appease suburban knuckledraggers and that has increasingly been taken over by sprawling suburban bullshit. It’s worth noting that one of the subway expansions that has long been sitting in the planning equivalent of development hell is a route to a place called Scarberia by honest people and liveable by people who don’t know any better.

Among the projects that Toronto has kicked around and around instead of doing anything about are some incredible stories. Back in 1995 Mike “Get the Fuck Outta My Park” Harris abandoned the Eglinton West line and filled the hole in; the project has since been restarted…nearly 15 years later and in a different form. Never mind that the need for infrastructure was first noted in 1985 and that it only came through from recognition of need to approval (not even completion) after 29 years. 29 years?! The Americans got a man to the fucking Moon in less than that timeframe!

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(s) That said the Moon is probably cheaper than Toronto

And who could forget the time when a single failure in the electrical system caused massive shutdowns? Or when the communications systems failed, leaving people stranded for over an hour? And who could forget Canada’s most deadly transit accident, the result of shitty safety systems and training? Or the time that the original 1954 signalling system shockingly gave out 60 years after it was made? Flooding subway stations and streetcars that can’t handle the cold are just par for the particularly shitty course of Toronto’s transit future.

Shockingly, places where people regularly spend hours of their days commuting should probably not look like shit if you want people to have any faith in your infrastructure. And while it might be wise to mobilize resources to not suck when the ability for people to get from one place to another is on the line, Toronto’s shitway and terrible transit woes are at least an honest reflection of how lazy and uncoordinated Canada’s largest city is. And how incredibly inert cakers are, but that’s pretty obviously understood by now. Why plan when you can mindlessly sprawl and use the power of massively-delayed, massively over-budget mega-projects to play at solving the problem?

To do anything else would simply not be the caker way.

#178 – #RealChange Goes to War

Remember the Harper years? To ask the average caker the Harper years were an eon of unbridled terror visited on the Canadian people. Images of Nineteen-Eighty Four bounce about the caker’s crippled braincage; they can practically see the 50-foot tall posters bearing Harper’s ugly mug and the words “Big Harper is Watching You” in their mind’s eye as secret police break kneecaps in the street. The reason I’m pissed with this revisionistic bullshit is that there’s plenty of actual real bullshit that Harper actually did. Don’t need to make shit up, guys – we’ve already got plenty of ammo.

One of these shitty activities that Harper actually did was to instigate a long-running fight against veterans culminating in a shameful fight against paying injured troopers a lifelong pension for their troubles. This was called the New Veterans Charter, a hellish proposal that would see 30 to 90% of a wounded trooper’s entitlements lost because reasons. Veterans’ Affairs devolved into an insurance-agency mentality, denying coverage on spurrious grounds. The Tories went so far as to argue that they have no social obligation to help wounded troops, a position which baffles me given that the MPs and lawyers who make these claims live in a country where at least the concept of disability pay exists to repudiate them.

Obviously the troops fought back and won at least some sort of detente in the BC Supreme Court back in June of 2015. The lawsuit looming over the government was to wait until after the election. And when #RealChange promised to reinstate the old pension-for-injury system it sounded like the end of a shitty era in the field of Veterans’ Affairs. Troops who felt like the government no longer had their backs had, at least in theory, reason to hope that the election would present a chance for, you know, real change to a shitty system. Amateur Kent Hehr took over the file from Julian Fantino and proceeded to restart Canada’s relationship with its employees.

Oh wait. He did the exact opposite of that.

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(s) Turns out that the real change was the color of the Minister’s tie

Remember that detente we talked about earlier? Yeah, that’s not happening because the Liberals are throwing more bad money after good in a legal case that defies not only their stated goals but also a motion passed unanimously by Parliament which expressly deflates the government’s talking point. This can’t be good for the military’s chronic morale and suicide problem; shockingly merely shouting the word reform into a vapid CBC reporter doesn’t make traumatized people feel any better. Who knew?

The issue obviously wasn’t important enough to be implemented in Morneau’s budget and now apparently is worth fighting in court to prevent. I remind you that Parliament previously declared that it absolutely has an obligation to vets and that #RealChange himself expressly promised action on the file. It also just wasn’t worth trying to peel back the mountains of paperwork incumbent to the aforementioned insurance-agency mentality that apparently still permeates the Ministry. Don Sorochan, the lawyer for the vets, was wise enough to demand that the Liberals put their promises in writing because it’s clear to anyone that their word meant nothing.

So what was worth Justin’s time besides actually making the system work? Why, posing of course! Posing for the Invictus Games, a Olympic-like thing that in no way does anything related to helping wounded vets deal with paperwork and get what they’re actually owed by the government. Obviously Justin’s push-ups at the event is the same thing as doing what he promised! His imaginary mic drop was perfect meme material but sadly does nothing to stop the lawsuit that Justin’s Minister just restarted.

Actually, it’s kind of a solid metaphor for the guy. He’s barely capable of playing make-believe and pretending to resolve problems, far less actually doing the things he promised. But here he is gearning at a photo op so it’s all good you guys!