#187 – Moving Displays of Uselessness

The governments of Canada and the provinces have long enjoyed the concept of relocation. Relocating people in theory may have made sense in some contexts; there are always apologists waiting in the wings to paint Canada as an altruistic, loving figure. But the methods behind the madness, including cutting services and leaving people with no support in their new “home”, make apologies die in any reasonable person’s throat. Shockingly, Canada has a record of doing forced relocations in a hap-hazard, painful way. I can’t possibly fathom how that could be. Canada? Being evil towards its own people? No way!

Naturally, Canada needed to get the more brutal displays of evil down before it could get to the real meat and potatoes of malice like splitting families and using the disparate parts as human flagpoles. Given Canada’s long, ignoble track record of shitting on brown people the Indigenous were stop number one on Canada’s Tour of Sadness. Here are the Cree charging Canada both with having forced relocations of their people (with severe negative repercussions) in the past and with neglecting this point in modern Indigenous negotiation. And if you think that’s a new phenomenon check out this paper on the savagery inflicted upon the Sayisi Dene, who were evacuated in the span of hours in the name of stopping a claimed decline in caribou populations…that ended up not existing. The Sayisi Dene were shipped to Northern Manitoba and promptly ignored until half of their population died in 20 years, two-thirds of whom were killed violently. There are concentration camps with lower kill rates, guys.

But what would Canada be without its multiculturalism? That’s right, friends. Canada was ready to bring the prospect of forced, uncoordinated relocation to people of all stripes! Of course, Canada saved its most sadistic cruelty for the Indigenous, because that’s what Canada does when it isn’t either ignoring the Indigenous or trying to tokenize their existence into history-baubles. There’s still that time Canada wanted to experiment with integrating the Inuit into the wage economy and to that end closed a Moravian settlement named Hebron without the slightest bit of information or planning time given to the Inuit. Not like Canada having plans gave the relocated any reason to smile – ask Japanese-Canadians. On the other side of the spectrum we have Canada’s “ah, fuck it” method of beinging the pain to communities on full display with Africville, which suffered decades of neglect from the governments of Halifax and Nova Scotia and was torn down as onlookers looked on in horror! Even white people got to lose under Canadian relocation projects – Newfoundlanders who abandoned their untenable fishing villages found themselves without work in the “designated growth areas” that planners had suggested. See? Multiculturalism: anyone of any race can get fucked with the long salty dong of Canadian incompetence and then be told to forget that it happened. I bet the Cadets don’t teach this stuff either.

Before we close up here, I need to put some basics down to close out my argument. My problem is not that Canada relocated people; there are cases, like in Newfoundland, where communities had been built for single-resource extraction that simply no longer worked. But between Canada moving people for selfish reasons (the Inuit “human flagpoles” and the Cree), Canada misreading evidence and in the process nearly slaughtering an entire people (the Sayisi Dene), Canada simply not bothering to tell people that their homes were to be moved (Hebron), Canada’s incredible lapse in moral judgement (which is often revised out of Canada’s hoo-rah war stories), Canada neglecting segments of the population until they are simply forced to move (Africville and, come to think of it most of these examples), and Canada inventing systems and infrastructure that just didn’t work (Newfoundland), Canada has definitely shit the bed on the file. If I were to give Canada an award for its efforts it would look like this:

participation-619-386
(S)

 

 

 

 

 

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#53 – The Quadriptych of Death, Part Two: Dirty Cradle, Living Grave

Way, way, way the fuck back in post #10 I mentioned the obnoxious tendency towards blaming parts of the country for failures of the whole country. It’s an annoying-ass trait that certainly contributes to Canada’s no-can’t-do attitude, but the other side of the coin hides some lethal disparities. Cakers love to point to the high life expectancy of Canadians as a good thing, even though I personally cannot imagine why anyone would want to live longer here. We’re going to talk about the disparity in Canadian life expectancy, and then we’re going to mention some statistics about the sad consequences of that much-vaunted life expectancy figure. Expect a lot of unhappy stories about nursing homes, folks.

(S) Because this is a sad state of affairs, here are some feel-better bunnies

Statscan can’t provide a decent answer because apparently digital infrastructure from the 1990s is totally appropriate for a national data collection service, but the average I’m getting here is that a newborn baby in Canada will, on average, make it to 81.8 years old before cacking it. Unless, of course, you are a male Inuit – in that case, you get to live to be 64 years old, a number which is actually in line with the average in fucking Ethiopia. Non-Inuit Indigenous males have the incredible honor of living to age 74, which is about as long a life as one could expect in that Mecca of longevity, El Salvador.  Frankly, any kind of comparison to Ethiopia in terms of raw numbers kind of does my work for me. But here’s the typical caker reaction: blame the blue guys, disregard the fact that Liberal regimes have existed since the 1960s, which is where life expectancies for some are still mired. Did I mention that Indigenous in Alberta are actually losing ground on life expectancy? Because that’s a good sign, right? Ignore the details, highlight the big number!

And here’s where that bit about post #10 comes back. When anyone has a totally minor problem with the fact that a country that calls itself developed boasts life expectancies on par with a country that fought a several-decade long civil war, the usual apologisms about it being hard to take care of people comes up. You’d think that we’d be good at provision of care in distant places by now, but that would assume that cakers gave a shit about anything more than blaming underclasses for their systemic woes.

Here’s the next rub: do you even want to live that long in Canada? In a country with nearly six million elderly people, 750,000 suffered abuse in 2015. For those keeping score at home, that means you have a one-in-eight shot of ending your life in Canada as a punching bag or a glorified bank account. Far worse, you become a victim of caker business preying on the last pensions that will ever exist in this sham of a country. How bad does it get? How about wrapping people in fucking garbage bags so they don’t make a mess of their bed? Or you could be like Arthur Ross, who died a “13th century death” with a stage-four ulcer. Oh yeah, and that wouldn’t be the last time bedsores killed someone under the care of caker business.

To be honest, I’m going to keep my powder dry (because nursing homes will absolutely be under the gun later on. But I think I’ve made the point I wanted to. Even if you can get old here, the prospect of living between a failed healthcare system, a built environment designed to eventually force you into isolation as your ability to drive a car fades, and the possibility of being abused and neglected as you slowly die under the aegis of the worst kinds of caker businesses doesn’t exactly leave you with high hopes as to the quality of those years. If it sucks to live a long time, why do we celebrate the life expectancy rate?

#38 – Canadian Storytime, Part One: High on Cruelty

Of all of the series that I wanted to go back and clean up, this is perhaps the most urgent. The purpose of Canadian Storytime is to tell the tales of misery and woe that didn’t make it into the national record. Events like the wilful, deliberate starvation of the Plains Cree by John Macdonald and his gang of goons. Or the sudden shutdown of the Hebron Moravian Church, an essential institution for nearby Inuit, by the federal and Newfoundland governments. Did I mention that after that closure came forced relocation? Relocation is one of Canada’s darkest secrets, and this series is here to bring some light to these hidden stories of unimaginable pain. Even when forced relocation was well-meaning, it was poorly executed and invariably led to heartbreak and squalor.

Of all of Canada’s myraid forced relocations few have as stupid an origin story as the High Arctic Relocation. I hope you’re sitting down for this one, because it’s the perfect cocktail of caker self-importance, flagrant disregard for humanity, and the kind of foresight and planning that Canada does best (that is, none at all). It’s the early 1950s; the corrupt, questionable government of Louis St. Laurent rules the Ottawa roost, and the Red Scare is in full swing. Ottawa is acting in a “frenzied” manner, the RCMP is given extraordinary power to detain homosexuals and lock them into something called the “fruit machine” (don’t worry: we’re definitely going to be talking about that one), and nobody is thinking clearly because of media sensationalism and because they’re useless Ottawa kleptocrats and scumbags.

Looking at the source I cited above, you might note the fear that Canada was believed to be a natural battleground between the Soviet Union and the United States. The supposed entry point into Canada was over the North Pole, where Canada had no power projection of any kind. Despite having at best a tenuous claim to lands that they had no clue how to control, Canada was desperate to avoid the ridiculous boogeyman that was the prospect of Ivan coming over Ellesmere Island. And to avoid that make-believe prospect, Canada decided to create a make-believe community which would serve to solidify Canada’s claim to the Arctic – a village of “human flagpoles“, as it were. The two places where deceived Inuit were dumped and left to die are today called Grise Fiord and Resolute.

(S) The construction of which ended up on the $2 bill between 1974 and 1979, because Ottawa loves cruelty.

Since cakers were hilariously racist and categorically unable to themselves survive on Ellesmere Island (which might in retrospect have been a sign as to the likelihood of a mass Soviet invasion of the High Arctic), Canada scrounged around to find a population to dupe into a lifetime of suffering. Naturally, they settled on the Inuit. Seven families were told that they could move to a land of abundance, and if that didn’t work they could leave in two years. Neither of those things turned out to be true. From the source that I cited in the previous sentence, this phrase stands out to me:

The plan was inherently unsound, and the means necessary to carry it out were equally unsound. The failures in execution served only to aggravate the hardship and suffering inherent in the plan from the outset.

So in effect, a hairbrained idea was executed in a slapdash fashion against a non-consenting population that was duped into said hairbrained idea. And just in case you thought that Canada had consulted the Inuit at all and maybe asked them what a difference of 1200 miles in latitude and a total lack of infrastructure might make on their living conditions, rest assured that Canada did not give a single shit. In fact, Canada assumed that the Inuit were simply too stupid to offer advice on their own living conditions. Even worse, the relocation was also serving as an experiment to see if the transplanted peoples would even survive. Yes, people – Canada committed a shoddy, unconscionable experiment with dubious methods in the name of strengthening its territorial claims to lands that it has no idea how to use.

For decades, people who were separated from their families lived lives of deprivation and want. When Ottawa was informed that they had a responsibility to apologize for their unimaginable, boneheaded stupidity, Ottawa immediately leapt into action. By commissioning a report. Which ultimately attempted to exonerate Ottawa by claiming that there was nothing wrong with separating families and moving them thousands of kilometers into an unknown, unsafe environment for the sake of claiming territory. This claim, mercifully, was too flimsy even by Ottawa’s weak standards and the House apologized. In 2010. And then money that Ottawa gave to the victims by way of a trust fund ended up performing so poorly that it stopped paying out to the victims and couldn’t cover its own expenses.

 

 

#37 – AmeriKKKa, Part Four: Mining for Bullshit

It’s no secret that Canada’s mining companies are fucking evil, despite Canada’s best efforts to hide the fact that its largest city is built on the mining industry. The rotten heart of the mining industry, what with its gang-rape, environmental degradation, and hideous labor relations certainly fits into this rotting extractive hole of a country, but the issue here isn’t just that Canada hosts evil companies. Rather, the issue is that Canada hosts malicious corporations and blames AmeriKKKa for the very things that Canadian companies are doing abroad.

To be sure, Canada’s mining industry is fucking evil. HudBay Minerals, perhaps the least creative name for a company ever, is being sued by 13 Mayan Guatemalans for abetting the rape and forced relocation of Indigenous women as a result of the Fenix mining project. Intercontinental gang-rape aficionados Barrick Gold have been forced to pay out for ruining the lives of women as young as 14 and as old as 80 both in Papua New Guinea and in Tanzania. And if you’re noticing my sources note how I keep having to rely on foreign press because the mining industry in Canada just loves to sue the shit out of anyone bold and daring enough to question its malicious behavior abroad. With such a legacy of cruelty particularly in Latin America, it’s no surprise that Canadians would simply rather not think about that part of the world. I mean, Canada’s already a world leader in abusing Indigenous peoples internally; why not go for the gold and abuse Indigenous peoples internationally too!

(S) We’re the cruelest on 4 continents! Whoo!!!!

And as Canadians boldly and bravely don’t give a single caustic shit about the lives their businesses ruin abroad, cakers can be counted on in their masses to protest the actions of American companies doing similar work. Remember the Standing Rock protests over the expansion of an oil pipeline through Indigenous territory? Well, cakers loved waving placards about that shit. Canadians were even prepared to shut down infrastructure here to prevent the evil AmeriKKKan , Inc. from finishing their construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Fury about AmeriKKKa’s trampling of Indigenous rights came to the fore as clueless protesters claimed that they wanted American tribes (who can actually form their own governments without having that government type and design dictated by the federal government) to have the same rights as Canadian tribes (which can’t). But Barrick Gold? HudBay? Nah, says the caker – that’s fine. A stunning silence erupts when Canadian businesses commit evils abroad, but Canada is first in line to protest Americans doing similar things to their own people.

Oh, and let’s not assume that Canada’s mining industry is only evil outside of Canada. Remember Mount Polley? And the total inaction over a mining company’s badly-designed tailings retention pond? Yeah, that’s pretty much par for the course. And while Canadians loved the Standing Rock protests they’re more fretful of protest against extractive industry on the basis of Indigenous rights here in Canada. What of the news that the RCMP spied on people who dared to protest extractive industry here? Crickets. The Idle No More movement was entirely built on Indigenous action, mostly because Canadians can’t be bothered to think about evil deeds when those evil deeds are committed by Canadians. But when AmeriKKKa behaves badly, you can bet that revisionist cakers will be there.

Because AmeriKKKa is the bad guy, you guys, and when Canada acts like AmeriKKKa those actions are less vile because…maple syrup, I guess? We are most certainly not done with the mining industry in Canada as an institution here. As usual in Canada, however, the best place to start is with caker hypocrisy.

#31 – The Magical World of Caker Papers

Immigration and its foibles are among some of Canada’s most closely-guarded revisionist histories. Canada’s governing traditions, which are closely associated to its pseudo-nobility couples with Canada’s extractive economic impetus to produce a nigh-constant need for fresh blood and talent. The upshot of this is that Canada has since inception encouraged an underclass to move to this country. Migrants are historically lied to, lured to this hellhole by promises of land or a chance to use one’s labor, and for their efforts receive not only physical pain but serious mental strain and depression.

What’s novel about immigration in Canada is that it serves as the host for so many revisionist defenses of Canada as a country. For those on the left, the misery and toil of the average migrant is relegated to mindless identity politics or ignored in favor of some good old fashioned self-aggrandizement on the basis of Canada being “accepting”. For the right, immigrants are the perfect scapegoats to blame declining services and a failing economy on. In both cases the sanctity of Canada is protected; the leftist sees the struggles of the engineer-cum-Tim-Horton’s cashier as merely one facet of a global conspiracy, and the right harkens to some imagined time when Canada wasn’t shit by claiming that immigrants somehow “changed” Canada for the worse.

The topic of immigration will come up often on this blog because of how wrapped in revisionism the concept is to the caker conception of Canada. To be blunt there is just so much to work with that one post would never cut it. To avoid this post being nothing more than an introduction to how shitty Canada is to migrants, let’s grab one of the right’s favorite memes about people suckered into moving here and use it to bludgeon Canada. Let’s call this trope the “Anchor-Caker Complex”.

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(S) Here’s an anchor surrounded by cakers. Close enough.

At the core of the anchor-caker complex is the mythology that people who have no intention of living in Canada collect Canadian citizenship so as to have a means to evacuate the country that they actually live in should the shit hit the fan. The term “Canadians of convenience” was coined by MP Garth Turner, who was upset by his made-up number (fun fact, Garth – $85M divided by 15,000 comes to about $5,667 per evacuee, not $75,000) as to the costs associated with evacuating Canadian citizens from Lebanon in 2006. To make a side-note here, isn’t that just so polite and civil of Canada? We’re here to help the world…unless that costs money, in which case the world can fucking burn. Ain’t spending my Timmies money on icky foreigners.

My real upset isn’t that Garth doesn’t like how readily we hand out caker papers. I think fewer people should be exposed to this toxic cesspit, so naturally I’m all for fewer cakers and fewer caker papers. But the implicit undertone of Garth’s assertion (that is, that Canada is a competent country that foreigners would want to treat as little more than an insurance policy), is of course absolute nonsense. First off, actually getting caker papers is fucking expensive (the link here is just the amount of money that a migrant needs to have on-hand to even begin the application process; there are hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of attendant fees to be paid as the paperwork is shit through the gross organs of Citizenship and Immigration Canada). It also takes a fucking long-ass time and is ferociously annoying. Oh, and did I mention that you also have to actually live in Canada for two years to keep your residency status?

So obviously caker papers are not worth investing in unless you plan on making the life-changing mistake of actually moving here. And that’s not to mention that your “insurance country” is still going to charge you for evacuation and could very easily end up doing a piss-poor job. The thought that someone would opt for years of Brazil-esque bureaucratic fuckery in hopes of paying for a badly-managed evacuation is laughable. Passports aren’t Pokémon cards, shits-for-brains.

 

 

#27 – Fiddling While Racist Fires Burn

To hear the CBC, English Canadians are horrified at the prospect that they could be closet racists. In order to preserve the myth that Canada is some kind of post-racial paradise Pravda is chalk-fall of mindless stories offering idiotic navel-gazing, asking vague questions about whether Canadians secretly harbor racist tendencies while ignoring the obvious fact that racism is literally the law of the land. My first (of many) pieces of evidence that caker media feeds the myth of post-racial Canada with these vague “inquiries” into the caker mindset? Cakers respond to comments from the victims of racism by shouting and screaming like baboons because to them the value of the mythology of Canada the Good is more important than, y’know, actually being good.

When Canada talks about racism through the CBC, it gets one of two kinds of story. One of them is the sort that blames the rest of the world for breeding racism before expressing fears that some of AmeriKKKa’s icky racism may have slipped into Canada. Here’s a story from the Current which does exactly that – note how often Trump and Brexit are used as rationales for Canadians being racist schmucks. It’s not Canada’s fault, you guys – those meanies from elsewhere are polluting our perfect post-racial society! The other breed essentializes racism through scientific surveys, pinning the problem on human biology as opposed to the Canadian state. In both cases Canada is preserved as being “the good place”, when in fact Canada was built on racism. Which is naturally then excused as being a historical problem despite said racist legislation literally still being on the books, but hey.

The one thing you are not allowed to do as regards racism in Canada is to speak as one of the affected. We’ll definitely get into this later, but Canada has a big problem with racism against black people. While Canada loves to selectively interpret its history of black relations the reality is that blacks in Canada suffer rampant police discrimination and are far more likely to have their children taken away. And what does caker Canada have to say about movements like Black Lives Matter, which dare to actually implicate Canada and Canadians as racists? Here’s a lovely sample!

“The new bully on the block is Black Lives Matter, a tiny group of noisy activists who borrow their branding and their belligerence from the United States.”

– Degenerate caker filth Margaret Wente (note how all bad things are imported from AmeriKKKa in the sick mind of the caker apologist). And in response to that piece, here’s Reddit:

Cakers Being Cakers.png
(S) No population in Canada is more repressed than the police!

Denial, obfuscation, and self-righteous caker rage are the perfect response to blacks talking about the problems that plague them! Canada is different you guys! And this stuff comes directly from the ways in which Canadian media and society deflects racism as being foreign, historical, biological, minor – anything that spares Canada itself from criticism. Between the actual lived experiences of actual people and the mythology of Canada, the latter will win out every time.

And that’s not the only way cakers claim that racism in Canada “isn’t that bad” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Another method of creating ersatz dialog over the issue of racism is to review trees instead of forests. Instead of discussing racism as a systemic, indigenous issue birthed by Canadian attitudes and promoted by Canadians, we get isolated stories about individual concerns in small areas. This story about Hasidic Jews is a classic. Never mind the legacy of the MS St. Louis, a vessel carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany that was turned away from Canada because racism. Forget that the Rideau Club, one of Canada’s most powerful social institutions had a no-Jews policy until 1964. Pay no attention to the fact that Louis Rasminsky was barred from the governorship of the Bank of Canada until John Diefenbaker told that policy to fuck off. Don’t focus on patterns and long-standing issues – take issues in isolation so that individaul people and the times they live in rather than the country can take the blame!