(Unfriendly) Manitoba

We continue our journey through the caker kingdom by taking a look at Manitoba – one of the ‘prairie provinces’.

What does caker-tourism have to say about it?

“Manitoba, Canada is growing through immigration. Over the past 10 years, almost 130,000 people from all over the world have made a new home in the welcoming communities of our prosperous Canadian province.  

Manitoba offers newcomers the opportunity to take advantage of high employment, affordability, and peaceful living in the cities and towns nestled in the natural beauty of Canada’s central province.” 

Well, that sounds promising doesn’t it? And it’s not like the tourism promos ever lie or anything, but why don’t we take a closer look …

There are about 1.2 million people in Manitoba; its capital and only major city is Winnipeg – with a population of slightly over 600,000. Next comes Brandon at under 50,000; then a sprinkling of communities all under 14,000.

As for Winnipeg winters? They are very cold, not much of a surprise for Canada. Anything else?

Manitoba is known throughout the country for a few things: being boring and unappealing; its crime rate, and its racism/race-conflicts.

Poverty

One third of children in Manitoba live in poverty. A recent report stated:

“The number of Manitoba children and families in poverty, which was pushing a crisis level in 1992, has now become a “chronic nightmare,” ….”

The report says:

“Since 1989, when the House of Commons moved to end child poverty by the year 2000, it has increased by just over 20% (20.3%) in all of Canada. But alarmingly, it has increased by even more (26.1%) in Manitoba.”

“Poor Manitoba families are living in deep poverty, compared to those in all Canada. The poverty gap is the amount needed to reach the poverty line. In Manitoba half of poor two parent families with one child are living $13,061 or more below the poverty line.”

Nearly one in ten children use food banks:

 “More than double (9.5%) in Manitoba used food banks, second only to Newfoundland.”

Crime

Manitoba (particularly Winnipeg) regularly tops the list for violent crime in Canada. Currently in 2018, it has the highest homicide rate among the provinces. According to the CBC, violent crime has increased:

“Winnipeg holds the dubious honour of being the violent crime capital of Canada, with a rate of 153.5 violent crimes per 100,000 people, ahead of Thunder Bay with 140.7. Last year’s rate for Winnipeg was 150.”

Winnipeg, Canada’s most violent city:

“… StatsCan found Winnipeg still had the highest violent crime severity index of all cities studied in 2015. That measure is based on the severity of the crimes committed and the punishments that result from them, as well as the population it relates to.”

A report from Statistics Canada in 2014 noted Manitoba had the highest homicide rate among the provinces for the eighth consecutive year.

Living Costs

Despite the small population, poverty and crime rate, the average house price in Winnipeg is now $314,000. As for income, Global reports:

“In Manitoba, the survey shows the median income in most areas of Winnipeg is in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, although some areas have median incomes as low as $16,000, which leaves people living paycheck to paycheck.”

Racial Conflict

Winnipeg has been called out as Canada’s most racist city.  Conflicts between the white and aboriginal populations are too numerous to mention, with each side blaming the other for crime and poverty; combined with mutual distrust and disgust.

But racism isn’t limited to the Indigenous. Racism towards Syrian refugees was an issue before they’d even arrived. Black residents complain about being profiled by police and even pulled over with guns drawn on them, presumed to be criminals or car thieves.

And when it comes to other issues, such as health care – Manitoba ranks at the bottom again.

“Manitoba ranks near the bottom of a report card on the state of Canada’s health care system. The Conference Board of Canada report, which looked at disease rates, obesity, infant mortality and bad habits such as smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, gives Manitoba a “D” grade.”

Its credit rating was downgraded as the deficit continues to grow:

“In the meantime, Moody’s noted, the provincial debt is growing quickly — from 116 per cent of government revenues in 2011 to an estimated 143 per cent this year. In raw numbers, the net debt has gone from $12.5 billion to $20.4 billion in five years.”

This is but a mere glimpse into the abyss that is Manitoba: a perfect storm of poverty, racism, unaffordable housing, crime, gangs, social division and misery. It’s flat, it’s cold, it’s boring. It’s overpriced and miserable … it’s classic cakerland.

O Canada!

See: Rants about Winnipeg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s