I used to spend my summers in Montreal for a few years at a time. For a while I looked into moving to Quebec to take what I felt at the time was a cool research position there. Suffice it to say I really love Canada, and her denizens more than a healthy amount. Unless you are at a hockey game, Canadians are some of the nicest non-violent people I have met. The fact that runaway slaves willingly entered into the cold for freedom speaks volumes for the country. (You know that aside from Europeans, their descendants, and the majority of people they colonized, the wintry cold destroys black people). Canadians have a sense of humor, beautiful scenery, and approachable friendly women (when compared to NYC). But in my naiveté, I let my happy memories of Canada blind me to the flip side of Canada. Here are 4 things from least egregious to most egregious that I learned about Canada that broke my heart:
# 4 – The Oilers
I was adopted by the citizens of Edmonton Alberta, an honor I do not take lightly. I have spent time to familiarize myself with the city, and I look forward to traveling there hopefully sometimes soon. I chose to forgo my allegiance to the NY Rangers, The NY Islanders, The New Jersey Devils and the Montreal Canadiens, all places I have lived to pledge my allegiance to the Oilers. Did you know that No National Hockey League team has won less often in the last six years, the Daryl Katz ownership era in Edmonton, than the Oilers.
Canada’s NSA admits to ‘incidentally’ spying on
Canada’s equivalent to the National Security Agency has admitted that it may “incidentally” track its own citizens.The admission, posted on the Communications Security Establishment Canada’s website, actually came back on Dec. 20, though it went largely unnoticed at the time. It shouldn’t come as too much a surprise, considering many Canadians were unaware the CSEC even existed until some of its programs were brought to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden‘s leaks. As a member of the “Five Eyes,” the CSEC is one of the NSA’s closest allies, and it partners with the U.S. in various efforts, like collecting the phone records of citizens.
#2 – Treatment of the First People
- 1928: Sexual Sterilization Act is passed in Alberta, allowing any inmate of a native residential school to be sterilized upon the approval of the school Principal. At least 3,500 Indian women are sterilized under this law.
- 1933: An identical Sexual Sterilization Act is passed in British Columbia. Two major sterilization centres are established by The United Church of Canada on the west coast, in Bella Bella and Nanaimo, in which thousands of native men and women are sterilized by missionary doctors until the 1980’s.
# 1 – Canadian Company Abuses in the ‘Third
In a seminal piece of research titled “Profiting from Repression: Canadian Investment in and Trade with Colombia,” award-winning writer and international affairs expert Asad Ismi provides a 240-page breakdown of corporatist neocolonialism in South America. The report “links ten Canadian companies in Colombia to the genocide of indigenous Colombians, to complicity in eight murders and one attempted murder, to other significant military/paramilitary repression [and] to labour union-busting, strike-breaking and worker exploitation.” To date, it is the only document of its kind. A major focus of Ismi’s work are primary Canadian oil producers Colombia-Pacific Rubiales, Gran Tierra, Talisman and Petrominerales – and other mining outfits such as Gran Colombia Gold, Eco Oro Minerals and Cosigo Resources. These companies have, at one time or another, been found in violation of basic human rights or as perpetrators of structural violence related to hyper-capitalist resource extraction.
Canada This is How it Works
When I was a kid I happened upon a compass one day. When I asked why does it always point north I was told : “that ‘s because it shows Negros how to get to safety when times gets tough.”
Dear Canadians, like most black people living in America, I am nominally a citizen. When your human rights, civil rights, and rights to just exercise my superb dance moves are always being called into question, you need to have a safe place you can run to. That used to be Canada, but now I don’t know. If you are willing to just return to your colonial roots and spiritually sodomize scores of innocents in South America I don’t know if I can come to you for asylum the next time there is a republican president in office.
Canadians, you have been hanging out with the wrong people. You don’t understand Americans: we are a belligerent nation. For over 80% of our existence as a country we have been at war. We, due in part to karma and material success have lost our bearings in life and now like most women in the BDSM section of your local alternative or indie newspaper cannot get off without someone people in pain.
This mass surveillance isn’t you. I have resigned myself to the fact that at any moment there may be a lynch mob waiting for me outside my house. If I cannot count on Canada to offer me safe haven, I will just have to roam aimless the frozen expanses of the north til death (probably from acid rain or some ecological disaster) finds me. If you don’t change, one day I guarantee you will start finding bodies of those who in your belligerence, you turned your back on and they will all have buried on them a paper or cloth with these words written upon it:
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?
Context for that last quote above