#152 – Caker Airways, Amateur Hour: #Canadaisback

So, I went off to visit civilization for a week. It was fucking awesome. Leaving Toronto on Lufthansa was a pleasant, professional experience. Announcements were correctly done in five languages and the flight, while crowded with moronic cakers and undoubtedly traumatized Europeans desperately fleeing back to tolerable space and people, did exactly as on the tin. In a form of transaction inconceivable to Canadians, the service listed was provided without shortcuts and with an eye to best practice. Even more unreal was the flight onwards from Germany. Quality? Decency? Passengers who can comprehend such complex notions as shutting the fuck up, presenting your passport without hearing some version of ‘tee-hee I’m Canadian’ and waiting patiently to land? Sign me the fuck up, son!

Sadly, my stay in a decent and civilized place where pedestrians aren’t considered icky and where food is seen as a perfectable art rather than a way to mine money from morons came to an end. My connection to Germany was safe because Caker Airways had nothing to do with it. I foolishly made the assumption that my connecting flight to Toronto would also be handled with the staid efficiency of the German people and, after several cringeworthy iterations of cakers explaining their trips to uninterested border police from the people in front of me I was at the gate.

And there I saw a portal to madness.

air-canada-boeing-767-300er-aircraft-cropped
Fuck.

There it was, waiting for its cargo of high-school children wielding their caker-papers and boarding passes as if they were deeds to the universe. I overhear the phrase “gotta get my Timmies” at the gate and consider applying for refugee status. Please, Europe, I say to myself. Take me. I’ll learn the language; I’ll mop floors or do dishes or clean streets if only you’d save me from these wretched jingling fuckmonkeys! I won’t even ask you to accomodate some primitive religious beliefs!

Naturally, Caker Airways demonstrates an immediate lack of any kind of foresight by allowing idiots to pile in front of the departure gate without any sort of organizing principle. They have something called “zones” – on Lufthansa, your “zone” is defined by your seat assignment and they ask you to line up in accordance with your zone. This keeps lines clear and allows normal people (i.e.: not cakers, who act without regard for anyone or anything around them ) to navigate without confusion. The Caker Airways equivalent is to have zones but not to tell anyone what they mean or what one should do with this information. Absolute genius, I know.

The aneurysm of cakers clotting the gate is finally cleared by the brute-force who-gives-a-shit method, a Canadian staple. Semi-literate caker high-schoolers and hockey squires wrestle at the gate with other cakers as Europeans and more evolved sorts stay back from the fray. The whole thing looks and feels like a hockeymans game, which is probably because the only thing these rockheads understand instinctively is ramming into people and swinging whatever they have in hand about. In this carnival of venereal disease we finally get seated and strapped in.

And here comes a whole new avalanche of shit.

First off, we have a cabin crew that can’t read. We know this because they forget to mention the emergency procedure for cabin depressurization during the safety primer. Don’t you worry though – while Caker Airways can’t be bothered with properly advising passengers on how to survive a malfunctioning aluminium tube screaming through the air, they did make sure to ask us to applaud for the Peterborough Quacks Junior-Something Hockeymans team for “showcasing Canadian sportsmanship and talent abroad”.

I’m not joking. They asked us to applaud a minor-league hockey team named the Quacks but they couldn’t be arsed to read the safety card. My growing fear of looming death was compounded by a discovery over the British Isles that the overhead reading lights wouldn’t turn off. Why would anyone inspect a plane for issues like that before it takes off into the sky, right? Gotta make sure we get the hockeymans’ nod in but fuck if we can understand and troubleshoot a fucking light bulb before screaming into the sky. The lights are connected to the “entertainment” (which features ads at every possible corner, pressable options that haven’t been available ever in my history of flying Caker Airways, and an unsubtle display of Canadiana-through-film that I’ve never seen noted or advertised outside of a plane), so fuck you that’s out too. Not like you missed much save for a faceful of caker nonsense and half-baked humor long past its best-before date.

Nothing is more reassuring that having the crew fail to note a fault before takeoff and following up with failing to read the safety pamphlet. Attempts to fix the fault with the “turn-off-and-on-again” technique fail and keenly demonstrate the acumen and preparedness of the airline. Recall that this is at 33000 feet in the air somewhere over the Atlantic for extra laughs. An endless parade of hockey squires and high-schools laugh and bark and squeal and wander about the plane as the crew tries and fails to control them. That’s also a good sign, right? Crowd control on a tube filled with pressurized recycled farts is for chumps. Nothing could go wrong with this!

Did I mention that the only crew member who spoke German on the flight wasn’t fluent and couldn’t speak to the Germans behind us? Sheepishly asking if Germans flying from Frankfurt speak English because the designated German can’t handle their accent is a comsummate signal of professionalism. If a caker was misunderstood and ask to speak another language they’d flip; apparently linguistic courtesy only extends to two languages in Canada.

Somewhat surprisingly we land in Toronto. Our connection on Caker Airways was delayed an hour because reasons and we navigated Canada’s desperate attempt to croupier-or-tax whatever tolerable food and alcohol you might have brought back (i.e.: customs) while dodging flailing children and mentally delayed cakers. After that it was an unclear mystery-walk to the connecting gate. Just in case we wanted to go quickly the hockey squires opted to demonstrate their Canadian sportsmanship and talents by walking backwards on the moving walks. Ever walk on a treadmill really slowly, children? That’s roughly equivalent to what you’re being amused by except on a treadmill you aren’t dodging people trying to get by. You sure do represent Canada, you worthless cretins, but I don’t think you understand how damning that is.

Special thanks to the caker-child sitting on the handrail with her feet out on the moving walk. When I barked at you to “do something useful for a change and get the fuck out of my way” and you sulked your way to the “standing” side of the moving walk as I was trying to lug overpriced dinner and a suitcase back to the gate, I forgot to mention that you should also never leave Canada again if your feeble mind can’t handle the prospect that people trying to move quickly might want unobstructed access to the means by which people move quickly. Caker Airways would be wise to similarly wise-up but frankly with the prices Other Russia’s sadsack Aeroflot also-ran charges and service that wouldn’t look out of place in a comedy routine I know it’s a more honest representation of Canada (and thus a warning to civilized peoples) than anything else a would-be tourist will see here.

#150 – Refu-Jesus Christ

Refugees are coming! Hooray! Hooray!

Yes, #RealChange went and did another thing #becauseits2015 and started a full-steam ahead program to bring 25,000 refugees from the fucknucklry of the Middle East. Congrats! You’ve moved up a whole world – from physical siege to psychiatric siege!

I won’t pretend that Canada isn’t a better place than Syria or Iraq or indeed any state with a majority-Muslim population (though it’s worth noting that two – Indonesia and Saudi Arabia – have a higher GDP by PPP than Canada). I accept that there is a powerful moral argument for taking in the desperate and the lost. Indeed, the French recognize this even after a horrific attack was committed against them and have accepted more refugees than Canada.

Meanwhile, some folks who know how Ottawa works with regards to minor concerns like housing and food security have questioned the morality of accepting and building a support system for newcomers fleeing war when those who can’t flee the fell hand of Ottawa are in obvious and desperate need. If we could have mobilized this kind of response anyways why hadn’t we when it was apparent that reserves were failing?

This is indeed a salient and fair point, which means that #RealChange naturally pratfalled into a nasty critique of Canada. The argument we’re apparently getting (which is totally non-partisan you guys even though the Liberals have actively  worked their nu-left magic and de facto control of the media and civil service to stand in front of the affair) is that this is a national project. And there, my friends, the wheels come right the fuck off.

Remind me, Justin – what is the significance of the Levant to Canadian nationalism? I don’t seem to recall Macdingus writing a Levantine Restriction Act (though I have no doubt the drunken thug would implement such a thing). Go figure – it’s almost like this “national project” involves a whole lot of Canada circle-jerking and stuffing people in barracks until the federal government gets its act together.

I mean, perhaps the concept of internment and isolation is Canadian – after all, that’s the logic behind the reserves. But then we see this, the goal behind the stunt: “to demonstrate Canada’s compassionate values and re-affirm our global leading role in refugee resettlement.” Which translates as “don’t look at our other problem isn’t Canada great you guys? Guys?”

Let’s recap – our “nation-building exercise” excludes a substantial part of the national heritage of Canada and overrules their legitimate grievances about being cut in line. The nearly $1.2B that appeared for refugees because Canada wants to look like it matters could nearly halve the education budget shortfalls in the Indian education system. But that would require putting the mapledong back in Canada’s ironic blue-jeans and addressing problems that could hurt the Canadian ego, so fuck that. In short, the whole project is a demonstration of how simple and defective Canadian nationalism is. If this is “nation-building” and getting a part of the Canadian federation out of the third-world isn’t I frankly think this “nation” needs to be aborted with every clothes hanger in the closet.

Then again, the current “plan” involves dumping people in barracks in rural Central Canada after airlifting them from Jordan and then trusting an unexplained protocol from CSIS and the RCMP with the rest. I would be surprised but I know better, really.

 

 

 

 

#148 – Seein’ Towers (of Bullshit)

The CN Tower. Truly an iconic Canadian building – grey, overpriced, and built on bullshit. I could probably sign off by saying that, as the name suggests, its history is tied into Canada’s rail interests. But it’s fun to shed some light on the thing, so here goes. We begin with a question that nobody really asks – who owns the CN Tower?

It isn’t CN – it’s a little-known body called the Canada Lands Company. The CLC is a Crown Corporation which handles the real estate arm of the Canadian government. It’s a sort of caretaker for shit that the Canadian government is either selling off or can’t give away to anyone because either nobody wants it or the bodies that do want the land are poo-flinging baboons who can’t manage a SimTown.

Speaking of stupidity, did I mention that the CN Tower was built in the middle of a wasteland of post-industrial infrastructure (CN moved to Vaughan because why not) and that the mega-project-cum-neighborhood that was built around it failed once and is a classic example of mashing suburban knuckle-dragging into urban space? Of course I didn’t – I have to frame the critique of the CN Tower first. It’s an undoubtedly fascinating and iconic building, designed both to stroke CN’s throbbing erection (it’s kind of apparent when you look at the thing, really) and to provide communications through a burgeoning scene of skyscrapers. It comes from an iffy heritage and it isn’t exactly affordable to get to the top more than once in your life, but the real story of the failure of the CN Tower is the abomination called CityPlace.

That was what the home of the CN Tower looked like as it was going up. You’ll notice a distinct lack of pedestrian access, diners, housing, or indeed liveable space anywhere near the thing. From the completion of the CN Tower to the building of the Metro Convention Center that whole area was a butt-turkey of nuthin’. Considering that I remember this place because it had a Planet Hollywood in it and my extra-suburban parents loved the place, I don’t expect much greatness out of that thing. Then the SkyDome went in, the economy went south and the place spluttered, and in 1997 the Air Canada Center was started up.

Sports and tourism? You know what goes well with that? You’ll notice that we left the neighborhood in the early noughts, which means condo-time. And with Canada’s noble and valiant tradition of slap-dashedly building shit badly and with no coherent plan for the area that, as you’ll recall looked rather profoundly detached from the rest of the city. When neighborhoods that are cut off from the rest of the city lose their money, they tend to become ghettos. At least this guy seems to think so, and to be honest I’ve seen nothing but bad news about shoddy building and cultureless morass.

Y’know, I was originally going to slam on CLC, but looking at the neighborhood I changed my mind. Yeah – I’d trust the Crown before the numbnuts behind this soulless shit-heap. Does this look inviting to you?

If it does, enjoy living in a half-assed civic scab taking up what could be remarkably useful space next to a genuinely interesting bundle of buildings (and the shitty Metro Convention Center). But be mindful of falling glass.

#144: Louis St. Laurent and the Patchwork Canada

Fuck Louis St. Laurent.

This guy is a double-dinger of sloppy bullshittery. In a way, he’s the prototype for future Liberal fuckery throughout the rest of Canada’s history – manage the economy to the benefit of business interests that eventually get too cozy with Ottawa for the polity’s comfort. He was also an anti-Semite – Diefenbaker recalls his posting the first Jew to run the Bank of Canada, Louis Rasminsky, in part to spite St. Laurent. The fact that St. Laurent like King before him could barely contain his disdain for Western Canada probably didn’t help affairs much.

St. Laurent also oversaw Newfoundland. Holy shit, Newfoundland. See, here’s the thing – the Rock wasn’t too keen on joining Canada. In the first referendum of 1948 Newfoundland wisely voted to steer clear of the foul-smelling dumpster fire that is Canada but failed to hit 50%, triggering a run-off that managed to pull Newfoundland into the Vortex of Suck by a whopping 52.3%. There are of course folk allegations of fuckery in the ballot boxes, and there were movements calling for annexation by the United States expressly to avoid Canada’s Francophones.

Joey Smallwood’s role is obviously paramount to the whole thing. But, see, St. Laurent’s annexation of Newfoundland was definitely assisted by British/Canadian propaganda efforts and those folktales about fraud are a testament to the lack of legitimacy Canada suffers on the Rock. Danny Williams ordered the Canadian flags taken down over Newfoundland’s government buildings over fiscal disputes. Clearly, Newfoundland has some (likely pickled – the place has a drunken reputation) national sentiment. Which St. Laurent ignores because 52% close enough. Can’t leave with 52%, but you can join with it. Hotel California much?

He also oversaw the creation of the Trans-Canada Highway, a road which is so useful that it doesn’t go to the most populous part of the country it’s claiming to be ‘trans’-ing. His other brilliant mega-projects, the now obsolete Saint Lawrence Seaway (which is due for expansion in 2030) and the Trans-Canada Pipeline both continued to demonstrate Canadian planning skills by being entirely obsolete and in the latter case prone to leaking and exploding because why the fuck not.

Louis ran a fairly tight ship save for the typical Canadian patronages, but there’s no real way to praise a guy whose legacy is useless to a sizeable portion of the population, in her mega-projectiness rendered moot by global trade patterns, and prone to egg-farting your house to oblivion. When you build shit, you should also build in protocols to maintain the thing you just built.

Or you can be a Liberal and promise a brave new world in just a few megaprojects that happen to assist their business and dynastic interests. Just as how building huge highways with no funds to repair them was a solid idea to the Canadian mind, the caker is blinded by the prospect of someone noticing it for some kind of feat only to discover that said feat is indistinguishable in modernity from the pipelines built by Khrushchev.

Oh, and taking in a province willy-nilly without addressing seriously the protocols for entry and exit from Canada. That would have been helpful.

#143 – The Job Fairy, Part Eight: The R Word

English Canada is scared of what our national broadcasters couldn’t be bothered to spell and thus called “the R word“. Yes, people – we have devolved to the point where our best defense against another fucking recession (after the last one that we totally recovered from with the awesome trifecta of subprime mortgages, unstable staple resources, and a housing market most in the sane world are staying well away from) is just not saying the word recession. It’s not a recession – it’s a Canadian correction! And Canada’s madness ensures that Canada reacts to it by doing exactly the same things that got them into trouble in the first place.

We honestly have a situation here where Ottawa is falling over itself to provide tax shelter to the liquified natural gas sector of the make-believe nonconomy of British Columbia, because staple resources are nothing short of genius even though the province next door is experiencing economic meltdown akin to Toht’s face in Raiders of the Lost Ark precisely because it overleaned on staple resources. We have a continuation of overvalued condos, precarious labor markets, and hidden inflation. Ontario is using Bay Street bankers and lawyers to cold-store and sell of Hydro One – to Bay Street investors, bankers, and their ilk.

Here’s a question for you: outside of “because jobs”, what economic benefit comes from short-term bursts of ersatz growth? Because that’s what we’re building here. Will Toronto’s housing market and Vancouver’s condos remain absurdly overpriced forever more as more and more are crushed out from those cities by sheer costs? How is liquified natural gas any different from Alberta’s oil system, especially when there’s little evidence that anyone has learned anything from the lesson of literally a few months ago? How does any of this help small, rusted-over towns that aren’t experiencing the magic burst in manufacturing that the Bank of Canada seems to expect and can’t reasonably be expected to with populations who have long since hung up their tools or moved on?

This is what ad-hoc looks like – a smattering of fiscal steroids that leave our provinces, cities, and regions with aching bones and tiny balls. I’ve been reading a lot about the differences between streets and roads, where streets are local economic engines and roads and methods of transit between economic engines. Canada, like the United States, has a fixation on stroads – hybrid abominations that work at cross-purposes and thus can’t be serious generators of any sort of growth. Our cities are choked with them (that’s why they’re cultureless morasses) and our economic logic is entirely predicated on mega-project magic-bullets that will totally work this time you guys because reasons.

The real solution to Canada’s problems lies in brutal, critical honesty. We have to get over the Staples Trap that we’ve been falling into for the last 150 years. There’s a reason most settler-dominated countries turf their colonial economic policies as quickly as they can and opt to do something more useful. For whatever reasons, Canada refuses to make this crucial jump. It holds so much back – our relations with the Indians and actually following the Constitution, the brutal work that will be fixing Canada’s completely broken, stroad-ridden cities, honest cultural development – the whole thing. Canada is in no small part useless because it reacts like this to economic downturn.

The Greeks had the balls to turn away from an obviously untenable economic model, earning derision and scorn for daring to take care of themselves. It was honestly kind of inspiring to see the Greeks saying that their beloved country had seen enough non-starter austerity. Canada, by contrast, lacks the courage to even build things worthy of being cared about, far less the ability to speak honestly about what’s happening here.

The R word, indeed. I can think of another R word to define this trouser-stain.

#127 – The Job Fairy, Part Seven: The Bullies that Won’t Get Nailed

English Canada wants you to know that bullying in schools is not okay. Bullying an entire territory, on the other hand, is totally cool.

Tha Nahanni region of the Northwest Territories and the Dene people who live there made the horrible mistake of existing near a tungsten deposit. Obviously, this is entirely their faults – the Nahanni region and the people therein ought to have taken their river and their natural beauty somewhere else. Cantung and the later Vancouver-based North American Tungsten Corporation (because of course “Canadian Tungsten” pulled a Canada and went bankrupt because it shockingly couldn’t deal with the market) set up the Cantung Mine in 1962. After several flirtations with collapse the company finally got back to controlling the extraction of a vital resource in the modern world.

Here’s the problem – cleanup. Amazingly, the North has a poor track record of cleaning up. Aboriginal Engineering and Tlicho Engineering and Environmental Services, the Inuit-owned cleanup system had to walk away from a major cleanup project because they lacked the resources to do the job. And when the people who live there can’t do the job, the obvious answer is to put more of the onus for cleanup on the companies doing the mining in the first place. Considering how poorly the North is understood and the decades of delicate negotiations between the restive First Nations and Inuit and the brick wall that is Ottawa, routing the costs of cleanup for mining and other operations to the private sector is a logical way to maintain stability.

Which is, of course, why the useless Department of Indian Affairs or Whatever it Calls itself This Week has the final say in whether or not an iron mine can override Inuit mining controls and instead be presented to the federally-(under)funded Nunavut Impact Review Board. And why Cantung is threatening “consequences” as a result of the Northwest Territories daring to consider asking for more money in securities to help with cleanup when Canada’s useless business class once again fails at doing, well, anything. Demanding that a population plow ahead with dangerous precedents and unknown consequences is of course the most Canadian reaction to anyone seeing a problem with its companies’ mean-spirited and short-sighted acts. Demanding that Canada’s businesses do something other than gash the land open and Hamburglar the ore away is clearly the crazier idea here. Because hey – nothing says safety like Canada’s rusting infrastructure carrying cargo throughout the year in one of the most hostile and delicate climates on Earth.

Never mind that there’s a two-tiered system for ecological damage which somehow provides less care and concern to the far more vulnerable and less understood North and that Pamela Strand, the director of a diamond mine that went belly-up and hooked taxpayers for millions in cleanup money, is now employed by the territory’s mining division. Never mind that this has happened before and the toxic legacy of mining in the North leaves a costly footprint for those least able to pay; let’s instead browbeat, under-report, and have Ottawa’s tendrils infecting Northern regulation and self-government so that mining companies can dig shit out of the ground without having a clue what happens when there’s nothing left to dig up.

#124 – Getting Schooled, Part Seven: Job Security for the Educated? Blasphemy!

English Canada still does not and likely never will quite grasp the fact that education is a good thing and that the educated probably shouldn’t be left to their own devices.

The CBC for once cut the crap and got to the point with this article, entitled “Most university undergrads now taught by poorly-paid part timers“. It speaks to a concept called the precariat, a group of people who have one hand on the employment ladder and just can’t get any higher. There are a number of disadvantages to clinging to part-time, unstable work like ivy in a hurricane. It’s a good thing that those crippling disadvantages can be entirely downloaded onto the Canadian working class of the future!

There’s an ideal cycle here between government, researchers, and universities. It works like this: governments fund universities, which in turn hire researchers as professors. Said professors in turn generate knowledge and data, two things that governments desperately need in order to do their jobs. Schools and governments purchase this research material for their own researchers and policy-makers, thus exposing more people to that data and thus eliciting more responses and hypotheses. It’s idealistic and obviously not going to be perfect, but it supplies every institution with something that it needs – a quality life for researchers, a well-informed government, and a solid academic center able to broadcast data globally.

They also teach students, which is good because a more educated public is a better public better able to make better decisions. There’s a reason why poor education correlates with so many other poor human development indicators. I’ll say it again because Canada is thick – the act of becoming more highly educated is associated with a higher standard of human and social development. It doesn’t matter that you don’t think English majors are useful. The fact that they are educated is an a priori positive. Better for society, better for individuals, and better for our social structures as a whole. This is to some degree the logic behind free university educations.

The problem is that Canada is uninterested in knowledge, data, quality, lives, or planning a system that can take advantage of any of the above. Canada knows that the answer to her problems is buried in the ground or swimming in the ocean. This time our resource as extracted by the writhing bundle of lampreys that is the Canadian business establishment will launch us to success! Fuck your English literature and your grasp of the English language! All I need to read are the hockeymans scores!

And who suffers? The researchers and the students. The ones who actually provide the benefits of the whole system. Those are the people Canada chooses to shaft and lampoon. Not the people turning schooling into a cold noose of an industry. Not the airheaded, uninformed government and its collection of mythological Canadiana sprinkles. The ones who actually do things. Yeah. Fuck those people! Raise their tuition, lower their wages, and hire another Undersecretary for Bicylsexual Tolerance, boys!

#122 – What in the World is: the Highway of Tears?

Uh, oh. Canada has something called a Highway of Tears? And it’s in B.C.? Seriously, guys – this province fucking presents itself for slapdowns. I can’t make this shit up, folks.

Oh, you know it! About 450 miles of roadway between St. George and St. Rupert have the dubious title of the Highway of Tears. How did it score that name, you ask? Oh, that’s only because of some 18-~45 unsolved cases of women hitchhiking and then fucking vanishing. Said women are, of course, First Nations. Since 1969, a steady stream of murders and disappearances went unconsidered by the RCMP and the cases went unsolved.

But wait! Canada has a reason! Those pesky Injins shouldn’t be hitchhiking! We got it! All their faults, fuck you critic guy!

And then Canada forgets that I, unlike it, actually do my homework. So, let’s look for options to get between the two places, shall we? I’m going to assume that these women were hitchhiking because they don’t have a car, so we’re knocking that one right out. We’re also going to be working with the average income for on-reserve First Nations – “a little bit more than $14k/year“. With that number in mind, let’s look at the options for these women to get between the two places without a car. I’m going to assume that someone is giving them a ride to one city or the other, because that adds too many variables to count. Just keep that in mind as we go forward here.

VIA:

Now, it’s important to note that VIA can’t help you with same-day service. That train doesn’t run every day. Oh, and it also only takes 12 hours. To get 450 miles. That is an astonishing average pace of 37.5mph. Given that Highway 16 has a speed limit of 60mph, our first option has us paying $145 to go 66% of the speed we could go if we had money and a car. Oh, and we could fucking leave when we want to.

Air Canada:

AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Aha! Ha! Ha. Ha…

$480 is tough to magic into existence for the 40% of Canadian families considered to be asset-poor. Try doing that on a reserve.

Greyhound:

For the low, low cost of $125! If you book online…but given that poor Internet access is endemic to reserves, our hypothetical friend here is likely be paying $280. But at least it leaves that day, which is something that VIA doesn’t.

That’s right – safety can be yours for the low-low price of $145! If you want to go slowly and only on specific days. Or if you’re one of the few people on a reserve with Internet access, you can pay $125 instead! If you don’t own a car, you can go fuck yourself and risk the very real possibility of dying or disappearing without a trace and with no hope for justice. Small wonder there’s a Highway of Tears with those options available. And remember that I’m making a lot of easy assumptions here.

The RCMP, meanwhile, don’t even have a count of how many have died. Good job, you commericalized bastards.

#118 – Great Success with Market Solutions!

English Canadians are so slow that they thought housing would sell on reserves.

That was the plan behind a $300 million program to fix Indian housing: backstop loans so people can build the houses of their dreams and then sell them on a thriving reserve market. Yes, the people who created this retarded scheme got paid to do it. No, there are no openings in the fed unless you know someone. At least the free market didn’t provide for the nearly $4 million in administrative costs, particularly things like travel fees – nothing is more free market than having the state pay for things and pretending otherwise!

So what did Canada get with $300 million in strings and confusion? Well, it had the goal of hitting 25,000 newly-made private dwellings. It has actually made…99 houses, a success rate of 0.003%. Hooray for the free market! Such successes with half-assing it and expecting a bunch of people who have likely never been taught, shown, or even experienced the sheer horror extreme joy of Canada’s banking system outside of simple transactions. I mean, I was shown mortgages in high school – I get how they work, and they still intimidate the fuck out of me. Imagine doing that with an added layer of government and quite possibly without the tools to get to the bank, understand the mortgage itself, or drafting your desired house (because remember, that’s part of the plan too).

And then there’s the idea of selling the house. See, housing on reserves is seen as a federal responsibility. Although Ottawa is trying to squeeze out of these obligations out of the goodness of its heart, I’m afraid putting some maybe-money on a string and expecting 25,000 families to decide that it’s worth their time to try to deal with the government (after years of half-assed, underhanded actions) and a Canadian bank and someone who would design their house is a bad way to do it. Shockingly, the best way to actually get shit done is to do it. Not to hand it off to middlemen to fuck like the carcass of a beached whale; not creating a slush fund of mystery money guarded by the veritable Smaug that is the user interfacing process with government institutions; not denying your appalling relationship with reserves and telling them a la Peanuts’ Lucy with the football that this time the government really means well when thousands of dollars in debt, way beyond the ability to even pay from the perspective of the average First Nations’ family, hangs in the balance.

And that’s why, if you want to do something, you have to do it yourself. Unless the government is just putting it off by creating a bullshit program laden in admin fees and unable to do its stated job rather than actually, honestly addressing the crisis of housing on reserves. Addressing crises, after all, is not the Canadian way.

#117 – What in the World is: the International Investors’ Program?

English Canada doesn’t know much about this program, effectively a means to purchase unfettered Canadian citizenship rather than immigrating the lame, easy way.

It went nearly unchanged from 1986 to 2010, which made buying Canadian citizenship one of the cheapest ways for “legitimate businesspeople” to get out of Shitholistan and to bring “high-value” investment to Canada. To even think of being eligible, you needed $1.6m in the bank and you had to be ready to part with a measly $800,000 – as an interest-free loan to the government. Chump-change, am I right? Small wonder it was closed down in 2014 for what the Harper government referred to as rampant fraud and for bringing in people who did nothing for the country.

Which means, of course, that the program has been started up again! And it now has a provision demanding that the millionaires who come to buy Canadian citizenship are educated this time! Unless you have more than $50 million, in which case Canada knows that you’re super-smart and will practically shit jobs on the sidewalks on which you tread. Nothing provides jobs like dumping millions into the federal government’s personal hedge fund after a “rigorous” check that you got your money legally.

Hey, here’s a thought – if you’ve got shit-tons of money, you can likely buy whatever proof you need. Banks and other “financial service providers” are of course well-known for their honesty and forthcoming nature. Does Canada really think that ne’er-do-wells hand out business cards reading “Snideley H. Whiplash: Corrupt Drug Lord”? Then again, the government really doesn’t know jingling shit – their backgrounder page on the program hasn’t been updated in months. But who needs to know things about a government program, right? How silly of me. It works because Canada! For a population seemingly constantly on-edge about who’s “worthy” of Canadian citizenship, this little gem of a program (which last time brought in people who paid little tax – less than refugees did, at least – and generally used Canada as a safe-haven to dump money) is practically invisible.

With refugees shouldering more of Canada’s tax burden after five years than 69% of these wonderful, pay-to-play Canadians, obviously the federal government didn’t bother tracking any of the new money. Or the new people – only a small number even stayed in Canada, using the beloved red-and-white as a means to escape to somewhere decent. And while I don’t blame the scummy rodent-like businesspeople who took advantage of Canada (fuck – given the choice between Shitlickstan and Somewhere Else, I know what I’m taking), I am impressed that such a useless program has been knocked out almost 25 years after formation and replaced with another one so soon.

After all, if we don’t keep importing millionaires, who the fuck is going to buy the condos in Vancouver and Toront-oh. They’re also using the red-and-white as citizenship of convenience. Only Canada can take a bad program that doesn’t work, duct-tape some language and education requirements on there to detract the only slightly-rich, and throw it back on the road again just like that.