Contradicciones Canadienses

Como diria Lido Pimienta, el PR de Canada en el exterior es muy bueno, donde venden la imagen de Mounties, Invierno Placentero (la puntica nada mas, los 10 primeros centímetros de nieve), Maple Syrup, y un gobierno socialista que da plata por cada hijo.

Como siempre, la verdad es a medio camino. Canadá tiene profundas contradicciones como estado socialista.

La mayoría de sus pueblos aborígenes no tiene acceso al agua potable y vive en condiciones infrahumanas de hacinamiento en reservas indígenas en el ártico, donde les proveen casa gratuita, pero los hacinan de 40 personas (una familia completa) en una casa, sin embargo, los aborígenes tampoco cuidan la casa, porque es gratis.

Los costos de mantenimiento de una casa en el ártico son astronómicos, siendo más económico, dejar podrir una casa y construir una nueva.

Hay reservas indígenas en Ontario que todos los años en Primavera, Verano, y Otoño, se inundan, haciendo inhabitable el pueblo. El gobierno vuela gratis y paga hotel a los lugareños, hasta que las aguas se congelan, y vuelven a pasar el invierno en el pueblo.

Antes, cuando se quería fumar marihuana, se hablaba con el amigo del amigo, y se conseguia en un callejón, sin preguntas. Ahora que es legal (solamente fumada) las personas se quejan por el alto costo propuesto, quieren que sea orgánica, libre de pesticidas y con ingredientes y cultivos certificados por el gobierno y “tabla nutricional” con las cantidades de THC por miligramo de Canabis. Incluso, el ex-jefe de la policia Toronto y el de la policia Montada, se convirtieron en accionistas mayoritarios de uno de los cultivadores industriales de marihuana mas grandes.

Otra contradicción con relacion a las drogas. Se ha establecido en Ottawa un sitio supervisado para que adictos vayan a inyectarse drogas de forma segura, tiene sentido, ya que se les dan agujas limpias para evitar contagios de hepatitis y SIDA por compartir agujas, y se pueden deshechar las agujas usadas de forma segura. La disculpa es que tambien pueden hablar con consejeros que potencialmente les pueden ofrecer tratamientos contra la adicción. Otros grupos de activistas han establecidos sitios similares (ilegales tecnicamente) en carpas en parques públicos, la ciudad los tolera hasta cierto punto, pero ahora que entra el invierno y las temperaturas bajan, esos mismos sitios ilegales le exigen a la ciudad calefacción.

Viva la diferencia.



Pro-Life demonstrations are porn producers

Now that I have your attention with two very touchy subjects, Pro-Life / Pro-Choice and Porn, please allow me to try to make the following point across.

I completely support your right to protest against something, and for you to have your religious beliefs. Fine.

But where does your right to protest interferes with my right of not feel violated, or the right of my (young school age) daughters of not being assaulted by the very graphical images (sorry about this) of dismembered fetuses after an abortion?

Which brings me to the second point. Pornography, in general is not exhibited in the public space, even a sex-shop has to be very careful on what they can show in their showcases or even in their store. Some here, like Venus Envy, had to end distributing DVDs and magazines because some costumers were offended by the content. Now they have to stick to what is considered Educational Material.

Anyhow, at the end, we don’t show porn or sexual acts openly in the street? To “protect the children.”

Wouldn’t the same principle apply to the very graphical imagery that the pro-life protesters use to make their point?

Also, why does the pro-life movement engages high school students to push their protest?

I think its a very dangerous combination of High School Students and Pro-Life Protest.

From my point of view, no minor (under 18?) should be involved in a protest. They lack the criteria of what entitles to be in a protest, nor what they are protesting for, they just do what they are told to do. And now days, with the climate of violence around the world, its simply unsafe. A protest can turn ugly at any minute, and no one wants any children there.

Please do it for my children, all of the children, to protect their innocence as long as we can, independently of our religious beliefs.

Census 2016 demographic shift

The results from the 206 Census (the first full results one, after the years of obscurantism of the Harper government) have uncovered an interesting demographic shift in Canada.

Here is a good analysis from The Globe an Mail.

Percentage of Canadian Households per occupancy:

28%  people live alone.

26% couple with children

26% couple without children.

And 42 of the top 50 places where people live alone are in Quebec.

And multiculturalism is reflected in the languages spoken at home; where 49.6% of households speak English, French, and a third non-official language.



Canada’s own Mediterranean crisis …

It is estimated that around 1.5 million immigrants have crossed the Mediterranean trying to seek asylum in Europe during 2016, mostly fleeing civil war from middle east countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. From those 1.5 million, 4000 died (est. 2015).

One of those immigrants that never made it was Alan Kurdi, the three year old boy that drowned on a beach near Bodrum in Turkey, attempting to reach Europe and eventually Canada along with his family after two failed attempts to cross thru Greece.

The picture of Alan’s dead body on a Turkish beach shook Canada already embroiled in the middle of an election campaign, as her aunt Tina Kurdi had previously immigrated to British Columbia and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship had denied previous refugee requests for the Kurdi Family.

I am of the belief that the picture of Alan  was the last nail on the coffin that brought down the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper and it was quickly used by the Liberals to assure Justin Trudeau’s win with the promise to bring thousands of refugees from Syria. (Estimated at 40,000 from Nov. 2015 to January 2017).

Fast forward to the 2016 United States Presidential campaign and the (unexpected?, unbelievable?) triumph of Donald Trump that has seen after it’s inauguration and first (erratic) month of government, mass travel bans to seven Muslim countries, threats of war with Mexico to fight the “Bad Hombres”, and  mass deportations of illegal immigrants.

This high level of intolerance and xenophobia south of the border, has prompted people (425 thru the Quebec / NY border, and 21 a weekend thru the Manitoba / North Dakota border, just in January) to cross illegally the Canadian border, literally jumping from taxi cabs and walking thru the border in harsh winter conditions.

One of them, Seidu Mohammed from Ghana have lost limbs and fingers due to severe frostbite after walking for several hours in -20C temperatures thru Manitoba’s farming fields, finally rescued by a truck driver.

If we can estimate that in just the first month of Trump’s government a little less than a 1000 people have tried to cross the border illegally, how many more will try to cross when the weather conditions are less risky, bringing in the potential of a humanitarian tragedy?

Myself an immigrant, I am of the firm belief that Canada needs immigrants and that these immigrants need to effectively integrate to Canadian society, but the desperation of entire families crossing under harsh winter conditions seems to be only the prelude of a humanitarian tragedy that Canada will have difficulty to manage.

Canada urgently needs immigrants. It is estimated that by 2035 Canada will be suffering from a demographic crisis just as today’s in Japan, where there is simply not enough young people to support the old, along with declining fertility rates.

And the world needs Canada, as an standing beacon of hope, tolerance and acceptance, to all those refugee families that literally risk life and limb pursuing freedom and the dream of a better future.

The Golden Eagle

Something is twisted I the mind of a person where the best tribute to his sister death by cancer is to get in debt and commission “The Maltese Eagle” a golden eagle encrusted in gemstones valued at 5 million dollars.

There is even a full website promoting the sale of the “Maltese Eagle”

Apparently the owner of this “treasure for cancer survivors” was trying to go to a reality TV show and sell it to Donald Trump and raise funds towards cancer research.

Now the “Maltese Eagle” has been stolen (Link here), but I think it’s a fake robbery to get the insurance and recover the financial loss of a very bad idea.

Canada doesn’t have to choose between Attawapiskat and Syria

In the early hours of April 10, 7 young kids between 7 and 14  were admitted to the 15 bed hospital in Attawapiskat, Ontario.

There are no full time doctors, flying in only 4 days a week, three weeks of the month,  and on evenings and weekends, two nursesare the only ones to keep a permanent presence of health professionals.

This crisis immediately overwhelmed any response capacity for days, making national news (that once again) denounce the third world conditions on Canadian Aboriginal communities.

Responding to this crisis, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Hon. Carolyn Bennett visited Attawapiskat, and there a young aboriginal adult asked her along the lines: “Why the Canadian Government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars bringing refugees from Syria, and not spending those resources in aboriginal communities in desperate need of housing, running water, education and health?”.

A very good question. And the Minister babbled the political correct answer along the lines of how important Aboriginal communities are for Canada, and how fresh resources will be injected into the Communities for solving the needs, and partnerships with First Nations and Aboriginal leadership, and policies, and blah, blah, blah.  I am not criticizing the Minister, since at the end, its the only answer she can give.

The “politically incorrect” answer is simple.

For the Canadian Government, bringing refugees from Syria is an investment. By bringing refugees to Canada (on their own free will) the Government is betting that most of those families will effectively and successfully integrate to the Canadian society, will integrate into the labor market, and will contribute with taxes in order to help support the services that an aging population demand in pensions, social assistance, and health care.

Unfortunately, today, the Aboriginal communities are not seen as an investment but as an expense.

For example, for the last 4 years, each spring  the Kashechewan First Nation (1500 people) are flown out of their communities because of the fear of flooding by the Albany river.

Start adding up express flights (in and out), plus temporary accommodations and it pretty quickly adds up. Wouldn’t it make more sense to start planning to move Kashechewan out of the path of the river? But no, short sighted governance make for great news on TV, since quick and decisive actions are better than long term planning.

At the end, the answer on how to turn the Aboriginal communities from expenditure to investment is also simple.  Give them appropriate housing (not in a flooding area), health care and education services at par to the rest of the country, they don’t deserve anything less.

Provide every Aboriginal kid living in isolated northern community free education including University and College and provide them with subsidized housing and transportation so that they can live close to the University, but travel back home several times a year.

Even, establish a federal scholarship so that the best minds of this untapped resource of Aboriginal youth can attend any university in Canada, so that they can effectively join the job market at their full potential and contribute back to the country.

As a country we have to stop thinking in short term crisis-solving solutions, and start enabling the Aboriginal Youth to integrate to the rest of Canada.

The value of Canadian Citizenship

One of the mantras of the Harper Government was to “Restore the value of Canadian Citizenship”, and it has done this in a series of fronts.

Changing the immigration policy to a “raffle” system, in which once a month the better qualified candidates (the definition of better qualified changes month by month) could be called to submit their paperwork, effectively stranding thousands of processes and “already-in-canada” potential future residents.

Also, introducing omnibus bills like C-24 (“Strenghtening Canadian Citizenship Act”, how curious act to pass after the Robocall scandal), where a Canadian Citizen, living abroad more than 5 years cannot vote in elections. This is based on the rationale behind our electoral system, in which you have to actually live in your riding in order to vote (apparently the same rationale is not applicable to Senators in Office, but that is another scandal).

Another omnibus bill C-51 (“Anti-Terrorism Act”) in which a nationalized Canadian (“aka. Immigrant”) can be stripped of it’s Canadian Citizenship if the government determines it “persona-non-grata”. The line is that if you are a Terrorist hiding behind the Canadian passport well, you lose it and you are going to be deported to your place of origin. But there is no clear definition on what grounds the government can exercise this power, the audience is secret, and you cannot see the proof behind your accusation.

So the Harper government has taken an “Absolute” thing as a Citizenship, something that cannot be taken away, and transformed it to something like a contract, with clauses and conditions, and (sorry, I am Canadian too), but it starts to sound like a contract to buy a second handed car.

So, this government, in order to protect the value of Canadian Citizenship, a former absolute, has fragmented it in at least three categories, the True Canadians, the True Canadians living abroad more than 5 years, and the Second-Class Not-So-True Canadians that they are OK, until they get out of line.

And in my humble opinion, this fragmentation, instead of strengthening the idea of Citizenship, has weaken it.

My only hope, is that now that the writ has fallen and the 41st parliament has been dissolved, that the 42nd, will bring change and correct this.

P.S.: At the Globe Leaders Debate for the 42nd election, our Greatest Leader Prime Minister Stephen Harper, introduced a new category of citizenship, the “Old-Stock Canadian”, also known as “Harperites” / “Harpermen” who apparently constitute his political base.