Category Archives: Canadian History

Democratic Reform in Canada

Reading Andrew Coyne’s material in the National Post in regards to how Canada needs democratic reform is sensible. While the voter turn out has been decreasing over the years, this has led to a small portion of the public actually voting for the government. However, we don’t have a one party state the voters are voting for multiple parties along with the dozen or so fringe parties in Canada.

Only 14 million Canadians showed up to vote, and the Harper government received only 37% of the vote. That is a small fraction of the entire country. However, we allow this and life goes on.

Should our votes not be valuable? Each vote clearly counts, and each vote clearly goes some where. It goes towards who you voted for. Thus if ten people are voting, five vote for Bill, three for John and two for Sue. You know where your vote went to. If you see your vote being tampered with, and perhaps with cynicism our country doesn’t have voter fraud. We are not some third world despot where we use bullets to encourage people to vote. Nor are we Soviet Union where they vote for you and probably still do.

It should be made mandatory that everyone gets out and vote. They do it in many other countries, so why not here. Enough with the caterwauling, and get out to vote.

However, the most appealing form of governance for the people is sortition. Sortition dates back to the times of Greece. At least the philosophy comes from then. Aristotle would define it as allowing a lottery style system to vote in members to decide upon policies. No one is allowed to attain the power to rule with absolute authority or overreaching authority.

What would be swell is to allow no one to have too much authority, and to not allow a personality cult as we ostensibly do with our leaders. There shouldn’t be this Harper Government lingo or too much pride in one leader.

It should be mandatory service like jury duty, selected without prejudice citizens to represent them. Lobbying should be banned and any other forms of financial compensation for voting. It would probably be necessary to have a one party state, therefore no one would have another party to swing to or to spew out hate against this form of governance. This is freedom, this is democracy.



The Aboriginal Affair in Canada

Quite often you hear a rather harsh or typical news statement regarding Aboriginal people on Canada. It is often divisive in society when one group in a country is often ostracized. The Aboriginals in Canada have been the target of molestation, murder, genocide, and a current divide amongst the Aboriginals themselves. There are wealthy bands and there are the poor bands. There are the ones that live off oil, and others vehemently against oil.

Too make matters worse, often Aboriginals face a rising dilemma in addiction and other negative life choices. This has resulted in a similar treatment as they do with the African-Americans. 42% of the population in Canada are Aboriginals in Canada.

Furthermore, there is often an ignorant display of knowledge in terms of benefits Aboriginals may receive. In addition, the materials and instruction in the schools appear to be indignant up until recently. There are the negative stereotypes indeed.

Myself as an Aboriginal was in dismay when a shop clerk at a local store followed me around, denigrating me as if I were a common thief. I commented that I had noticed the same negative attitude the clerk has with other people. Quite simply I had not been in the best clothes, having gone there numerous times, she said she misjudged who I was. A failed argument if you ask me, however I persisted to state that I shopped there numerous times, I only received vile treatment because I didn’t look well put together as usually. She denied that she treats other customers that appear unkempt. However others defended my statement and she left in shame.

While at college, some Aboriginals recounted stories of similar treatment. This is clearly true with what they said. Having had such treatment is nothing new.

This day in age what is worse is that that shamed store clerk was herself of other ethnicity.

We face too often discrimination, judgements and other vile treatments. The residential schools, the foster system, and so forth. All institutions of the decadent imperial monarchy. This I mean are the colonialist that have scarred this country. They are not alone, up until the 60’s many races have felt the and still feel the harm of the government. Once again justified ostensibly by faith, and based on imperialism.

What ought to happen is a change in how the Aboriginals see themselves. Not as victim, yet to do away with the negative elements of history that still have pull on those who relish in defeatism. That era should be an era of harmony, one that made some strong where they can help bring strength, not despair. It is vile that Aboriginals in this country see themselves as a victim and wish to seek an easy life of free living. That brings divide and laziness. If they break down this notion of being the beggar, and seeing themselves as having had an era of bad events, but now forgotten. Start anew. That seems sensible if you ask our opinion.


Are We Multicultural in Canada

It always seemed to be true that we live in a multicultural country. However, it does not seem that our history reflects our multicultural theory. It was not until 1971 when the government of Canada started to do systematic reforms to our immigration policy. The policies that Canada had had before in terms of immigration has been rather discriminatory.

The first policy that our country adopted is seemingly our national secret. The extinction (Beothuk), assimilation (Indian Residential Schools), and the overwhelming residual effects felt by many natives. However, the latter seems to be manufactured, and more of an unwillingness on those who seek pity.

The Chinese soon faced the government discrimination when they were enslaved into building the railroad at great cost in terms of lives. They like many other backgrounds were given a head tax, and discouraged to come to Canada.

Komogata Maru is another reminder of the reality of the governments attitude to refugees. They quickly learned of the harshness of these policies when they returned home.

The Japanese felt the policies of exclusion when they were interned into camps out of fear they would do something bad. All in the name of war.

However, it was not until the 70’s or late sixties when the governments slowly changed to start adopting principals that were indeed “multicultural.” The government introduced a plethora of changes to the system to enhance that Canada is truly accepting. Though, many people who do come to Canada have segregated themselves in their local communities. This community generally in larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver embody an element of connection and safety. These policies have come in conflict with bilingualism which has been a heated part of national cultural.

While the nation has been Anglo-Protestant oriented since the founding, it goes to say, the Quebec culture has been more of a prominent factor then multiculturalism. One could argue that while promotion of multiculturalism, the national conflict with Quebec being separate is not inviting. The October Crisis of 1970 showed the federal governments response to a radical form, yet National Assembly backed separatist group. Though, the murder of LaPorte dissuaded such a radical approach.

Once again, the Oka Crisis in Quebec and the military response may not be inviting to those who believe the multiculturalism is a benefit to Canada.

The government introduced the mosaic of culture to Canadians, at the expense of tax payers. This was an idea that when an immigrant came to Canada the government would have a promotional program for their culture. That culture may be funded by the government, unless perhaps the community was more self-sustaining.

This became to be a national hindrance in my opinion. It was not really accepting of the multicultural mosaic that supposedly could be felt across the country. However, rural towns and villages may not represent a welcoming and openly accepting of multiculturalism. Even in larger communities, we are faced with the critical need to hire based on background. To meet a quota.

Ben Johnson could feel the reality of multiculturalism (Bissondooth). When he won in the Olympics he was indeed a Canadian. Once he was busted, he back the marginalized “Jamaican… drugs.”

It is apparent that even qualified immigrants are not recognized, while those who come from within the commonwealth are recognized over, perhaps a better trained immigrant from another country.

The multicultural policy becomes a national issue that is reflected in the work place, school etc. Blame is made for problems in terms of employment, education and other forms of advancement. However, the policies ostensibly expect Canadians to embrace other cultures, while being swept under the rug with a history of backlash to the two main sub-cultures that really have indeed been marginalized, if not oppressed; Quebec and Aboriginals.

The policies to define who a Canadian really is, can be dismissed if critically assessed. The policy of exclusion, or relevance to the Anglo-Protestant culture is more dominant, and presently welcomed to a degree in Canada. Statistics Canada doesn’t lie, still Quebec, and Aboriginals are marginalized in terms of employment and education. However, what becomes a streak in our portrait of an accepting country is our utilitarian nature of how we deal with immigrants in Canada.

Historically we have oppressed them, taxed them and used them essentially for slave labor. Not to mention detain them and liquidate their assets. Historically, Canada is not multicultural. The sixties, and the social revolution may have hindered on the government to respond to the growing consensus, and perhaps create a more accepting country on the surface, but in reality a country that is divided, conflicted and at times panders to the certain communities out of electoral necessity as the Harper government is doing now.

It is easy to gerrymander to those who could vote for you, and then ignore them when in office.

Canada in my opinion has created a cultural of discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and religion. It is an argument that can be denied or agreed. But the reality of the matter is, Canada is not a united country of many cultures, but a segregated country of a dark history of further segregation.


One Week of Reconciliation

The last residential school closed its doors in 1996. The first residential school opened well over a century ago. The residential school system is first and foremost an appalling part of our Canadian history. People can say it is a traumatic thing that effects people, and they should get over it easily, and get back to being a normal Canadian citizen. That isn’t the case.

From psychological disorders, to sexual abuse, physical abuse, murder and reckless disregard for human life: I argue this mentality of getting over it is rubbish and should be challenged when heard. Why, good question. Say for example if you are an Aboriginal women. You have a higher mortality rate, lower education, lower health, and most of all you are likely to be physically abused and or sexually abused. If you are sexually abused or physically abused, I would argue that is almost nearly impossible to get over. Since according to statistics, 45.1% of Aboriginal women are raped 5 times higher then their counterparts.

This is caused by what some coin as intergenerational trauma. PTSD related issues that occur in Canada for many of the survivors. A child whose purpose for attending these schools was to ,”kill the Indian” in the child you begin to wonder and question just what Canada was doing?

A child would be hauled away essentially from their parents home. They would be dumped at a school where they had a 12+% mortality rate. What boarding school has a death rate that high? The children would then be faced with sexual abuse, physical abuse, death and possibly even murder. They were shamed for speaking their language, practicing their culture and most of all for being who they were.

What isn’t taught and it is a shame for our school systems is this part of our Canadian history. Justice Murray Sinclair called it genocide. I wouldn’t disagree with that. Or at least a cultural genocide.

Despite a pinnacle moment, it would do people well to educate themselves in this matter.

When one thinks of it when Hitler would kill a child for being deformed, I see no difference in killing a child for who they were. Perhaps not on purpose, however St. Anne’s survivors reported being traumatized and being electrocuted. Then, one must ask themselves, if you can gas a kid, or electrocute a child then where does the line cross? Why hasn’t their been justice for these people. Why hasn’t one person been incarcerated for abusing these people?

This is what APTN had to say about charging abusers. Apologies to handing out cash isn’t really enough in my opinion. Criminally charging child abusers, seeing them put into handcuffs, admit what they did, apologize and then go to jail is my opinion of what should happen.

APTN National News

But there is a reminded that accountability of perpetrators is a necessary component of true reconciliation.