But … my Mountains!

But … muh mountains!

— Vancouverites

Salt Lake City, Utah

Los Angeles, California
Denver, Colorado
Boise, Idaho
Anchorage, Alaska
Reno, Nevada

I think I’ll end it here … the point is sufficiently made. This isn’t even including all the little mountain cities and gorgeous resort towns that easily compare with Banff, etc.

I won’t even bother with a section on the coastal cities/beaches.

But I know … Vancouver’s are better because they’re Canadian !

Alberta (wild bros country)

Alberta is a province in western Canada with a population of just under 4.5 million people. Its two major cities are Calgary and Edmonton. This is followed by a sprinkling of minor and small cities.

Capital city

I’ll get around to Calgary soon enough, but if we take a look at the second largest city and capital Edmonton what do we find? A city with lots of stabbings, crime, rapes, and sexual violations against children.

For years Edmonton was known as ‘Stabmonton’. Its stabbing rate for homicides ranged anywhere from 25 – 50% leading to its own news subsection. Additionally, sexual assault cases continued rising – beating out other major cities per capita, with the second-highest rate by 2018. (And of course rising by 44% in just a few months during the recent pandemic.)

As of 2020 it has the highest per capita sexual assault rate of all the major cities at 98.61 per 100k, well ahead of second contender Vancouver at 85.06

A 2020 study found that almost half of Albertans experience sexual abuse! 34% of kids, and then up to 45% as adults.

Aside from Calgary (1.5 Million Pop) and Edmonton (1.4 Million metro pop) – what else is there in Alberta? After the two “big” cities there are a bunch of small shit cities sprinkled around… most of them around the 60,000 pop mark.

Shitville

Let’s take Grand Prairie. It has a population of 63k and was the most dangerous city in Canada in 2018 and 2016.

How about Wetaskiwin? (Pop: 13k) It was the most dangerous place in Canada in 2019; dropping to 6th in 2020. (At least that’s an improvement over its third place listing in 2018.) It was fourth for homicide in 2020.

How about Red Deer? (Pop: 100k) It was the second most dangerous place in Canada in 2019 and third place in 2016. How about Lethbridge? (Pop: 101k) Naturally it was the third most dangerous place in 2019. How about Cold Lake? (Pop: 15k) It was sixth place that year too and rounding out the top 10 for homicide.

OK you get it. There are a bunch of small, shit cities in Alberta with violence and crime; listed as most dangerous according to the Crime Severity Index. I could go back into their rankings over the past 5-10 years as they move up and down but I’m sure the point is made.

We already know that outside the few major cities this country is full of violent shit holes that make up the small cities. Nothing new here. But that’s exactly the point. You’re getting nothing new in Alberta: there are the same problems you find in small cities in Ontario, B.C., and the prairies.

Population

After Ontario and B.C. (evenly matched), Alberta has the next highest percentage of immigrants at 21%. It also has the third largest visible minority percentage at 23%. But does this tell the whole story?

The Edmonton-area comprises 32% of Alberta’s population; Calgary-area has 34%. These two major metropolitan areas (“Calgary-Edmonton Corridor”) house about 60.5% of Alberta’s residents.

Ten percent of Edmonton-area residents are not Canadian citizens, 23% are immigrants – mainly economic; largest number from Philippines, India, Europe, Africa. 11% of Calgary area residents are not Canadian citizens; while 29% are immigrants – mainly from Asia (Philippines, India, China), followed by Europe and Africa. It can be safely assumed the majority of minorities/immigrants live in the two main cities if they aren’t working specific oil and gas related jobs elsewhere. The small towns and little cities are more likely white and Canadian-born.

Overall: 70% of Albertans are of European heritage; 6.5% are Indigenous and the rest are visible-minority. More than half of Albertans are Christian and it’s known as a ‘conservative’ province.

[*Data from Statistics Canada 2016 profile]

Are you following?

Bored yet? I am. Okay, let me try to shorten this up. Alberta is a small province housing around 12% of Canada’s population. It has two ‘major’ cities – being dumps with less than 2 million each. Outside of those there are a bunch of tiny shit cities and towns that sprung up around oil and gas jobs and are full of rednecks with tendencies towards violence. There are a lot of immigrants but they’re in the ‘big cities’ and the rest are white and conservative everywhere else.

Edmonton is a dismal dump with shit weather (averaging about -15 C for at least 3 months of the year) and no claims to fame other than a big ass mall, stabbings and being rapey.

Calgary is flat, ugly, alternately super hot or cold and has nothing pretty nearby. Its claims to fame are faux-cowboy honky tonk crap, and the Stampede (annual rodeo/festival).

Whenever Canadians talk about Alberta they laugh it off as the ‘Texas of Canada‘ – and by that they mean: wannabe cowboy culture, conservatism, and oil (probably how the whole association began).

Economy

Historically Alberta has been known for its primary economic sector (oil and gas). Extraction industries provided a lot of well-paying jobs for decades and brought the province a good deal of wealth and economic migration. Even now, it accounts for 16% of its GDP. Then there’s construction at 10%, and finance and real estate.

So whenever clean energy is put into use Alberta is going to have big issues. Almost a fifth of its GDP will be gone (or significantly diminished) and the other sectors relying on the money and population-growth connected to that will contract.

People often associate Alberta with farming and ranching but over 80% of its residents live in an urban setting and only 3.3% of the workforce is employed in agriculture-food industries. It is the largest cattle producing province however and does most of the nation’s beef-processing.

So what’s good?

Banff and Jasper are two national parks located on the western edge of the province by the Rocky Mountains. They are truly beautiful and worth checking out. A road trip in some of the more scenic areas of the province could be fun.

I guess I’ll end it here. I’m not sure why anyone would move there unless they have an extremely well paid job lined up. It’s not a place with great weather, or full of tradition and soul. It’s slightly better than the prairies and cheaper than B.C. (Maybe that can be their new slogan!)

Final verdict: not the best, not the worst … just not much at all.

O Canada!

Vancouver (aka Gotham)

If we scratch beneath the surface, does Vancouver really live up to the hype? I don’t feel like wasting too much time on this place, so I’ll try to keep it to the point.

Weather

The Vancouver area has the mildest climate in Canada. It doesn’t usually get snow or the extreme temperatures of other places, but it has plenty of rain, dismal weather, and months of depressing overcast (hence being dubbed “Gotham”).

It rains an average of 165 days per year, with a little over 50 inches annually. That’s 45% of the year.

Keep in mind this is merely the days of rain; it doesn’t include all the days of grey skies and overcast gloom.

The darkness, grey, rain, and overcast become oppressive as they continue for months on end creating a sense of depression and despair for those who aren’t accustomed to it (and even those who are). December averages 1.8 hours of sun a day.

The warmest months are July and August where the temperatures average 22 C (72 F). The sunniest month is July; late spring to early fall gets the nicest weather. The average yearly hours of sunshine: 1940. That’s roughly 22% of the year.

Housing

Generally the rest of Canada (including Toronto) gets a vicious winter season that lasts half of the year and temperatures can drop as low as -30 C (-22 F). As Vancouver is the “warmest” place in the whole country people of means flock to the city and drive up the price of housing and rentals. Which helps explain why its pricing is on par with Toronto despite its metro population being roughly one-third the size.

The average house price is now around $1.1 Million (after declines). A detached two-story home is $1.4 Million; a bungalow is $1.1 Million while a condo is over $600,000.

Despite a downturn due to the pandemic, a two-bedroom rental is around $2,636 and a one-bedroom $1,865; this is predicted to rise again in the future. You can add or subtract a few hundred dollars off those prices depending on your location in the metro area.

Only 282,355 people live in a single detached house – that’s 11% of the population!

Population

The population of the Vancouver area is 2,463,431 – quite small by international standards; even by Canadian standards it’s only the third largest.

Despite the high cost of living, the average individual income is $33,000. And 18% of adults 18-64 are low-income, which rises to 20% for seniors.

The city is quite diverse, but the bulk of the immigration is from Asia (70%), followed by various European countries, the Americas and then Africa.

13% of residents are not Canadian citizens.

19% of immigrants are from mainland China, with another 7% from Hong Kong.

Almost 13% are immigrants from India, followed by nearly 10% from the Philippines.

40% of Vancouver area residents are immigrants, having come any time within the last several decades.

‘Asian Invasion’

As with any large immigration influx, there are resentments among the native locals. Vancouver was so often called ‘Hongcouver’ that it actually became a blog topic with the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Just over 10% of residents are Chinese and as with any group – it’s a mixed bag. Some are here to escape the Chinese government; some to launder money and participate in crime; some simply want a new or better life.

The Triads have infiltrated Canada’s economy so deeply that Australia’s intelligence community has coined a new term for innovative methods of drug trafficking and money laundering now occurring in B.C. It is called the “Vancouver Model” of transnational crime.” (source)

There are the criminals who may live here part-time, full-time or travel often. They may or may not be permanent residents and citizens.

There are many wealthy Chinese (“capital flight”) who do business, dabble in real estate, own summer homes or just want Canadian citizenship as a back up plan.

Many Chinese have no wish to integrate: they keep in their own communities, ignore all others and are bigoted towards non-Chinese. Many are dismissive of Canadians as convenient idiots to be used for their land, economy, and citizenship. (Probably not too far off the mark.)

Others are first generation and have difficulty integrating, so it’s easier to stay within their own group. Many also integrate successfully into the community, co-mingle, have interracial relationships and are standard Vancouver residents.

(Note: the core of these observations can also be substituted onto East Indian immigrants and others.)

Some areas have such a large population that everything is written in Mandarin and you can’t find English signs or speakers.

One notable thing about the Chinese: the lack of vulgar behavior. Chinese men don’t shout at and sexually harass women. You won’t see drunk and drug addled Chinese addicts stumbling around in the street or causing scenes. You don’t see Chinese youth panhandling or begging on corners. They keep to themselves, don’t engage in obnoxious behavior, and if anything will simply ignore you the majority of the time. You won’t feel harassed, threatened or unsafe in their presence, generally speaking. (This is something Vancouverites should remember and appreciate amongst all the complaining.) At most, you will see poor elderly seniors collecting cans and bottles in the early morning hours.

Culture?

Let us get to the point. All medium to large sized cities have the following: restaurants, clubs, bars, pubs, casinos, stores, shopping malls, movie theatres, museums, concert venues, parks, galleries, little ‘market’ districts, a ‘Little Italy’, a ‘Chinatown’, fancy hotels, golf courses, Quay by river/seaside (coastal city), walking trails, gardens, red-light district (legal or illegal), drug areas, strip clubs, criminal underground … what am I forgetting? Point is, all of these things (or almost all) can be found at pretty much any city you point to on a map.

What actually makes Vancouver truly stand out? What makes it unique? Does it even have a culture? Short answer: nothing and no.

You’re guaranteed to get three responses: 1) the mountains, 2) the ocean, 3) no snow. This is of of course going by Canadian standards.

If you look at the U.S. alone, you’ve got many cities along the west coast that have: the ocean, the mountains, beautiful landscapes; where you can sail, ski, see world renowned parks, go to resorts; do outdoor activities and there is no snow or cold winters. Many parts of the Pacific Northwest have the same topography and climate as Vancouver and also have First Nations peoples and large scale Chinese immigration – like Seattle, for instance.

Vancouver is only ‘special’ by Canadian standards but even so it’s still pretty uninspiring. Your “experience” will vary according to your financial status.

One thing everyone can enjoy is the lack of cold snowy winters. Aside from that, enjoying the ‘mountains’ and ‘ocean’ depends on where you live, how much rent you pay, and if you have a car. Accessing all the “nature” may be a 40-60 minute bus commute or 30+ minute car ride away – if you don’t live in the downtown core or a nicer area. How much time, energy and money you’ve got to enjoy “nature” will also depend on your job hours, commute, traffic, salary, etc. It’s a myth that everyone in Vancouver lives by beautiful natural scenery and can access all the things tourists enjoy on a regular basis. (The only truth is they can all view the distant mountaintops.)

Besides, this is all geography – what about CULTURE? Toronto and Montreal are the major cultural hubs of Canada. Vancouver has a lot of film industry (as do those cities), pretty standard art and music scenes, and “Asian culture” – which in Van lingo means: sushi, lots of Chinese immigrants, Chinese signs, and a Chinese New Year parade. That might also include: Indian food, Indian immigrants, and the Vaisakhi parade.

Ask a non-Asian to speak one of their languages? Can’t. Expound on Chinese history? Can’t. Explain the difference between Sikhs and Hindus? Can’t. Know any of the major religious texts? Nope. Watched a Chinese or Indian film recently? Nope. Living beside people you barely interact with, know nothing about, consider yourself superior to and whose food you sometimes enjoy is not a “culture” Vancouverites! Culture is something you actively participate in. People mostly live grouped together in various places but their lives don’t intersect in any meaningful way. Moving on …

Indigenous people (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) make up around 2% or less of Vancouver’s population. They overwhelmingly represent the poorest in the worst areas and also live on reserves – most of which are pretty damn depressing. There are some totem poles and Haida art sprinkled around the city for tourists; a few museums or galleries; you can also attend a Pow Wow in the summer, which feels like an opportunity for white people to gawp at them while buying trinkets and salmon.

Again, Vancouverites couldn’t tell you a damn thing about them. Ask someone to name 4 Coast Salish Bands … and keep waiting. You’ll basically hear some variations of: reserves, residential schools, totem pole, drug addicts, and maybe referencing Haida art or a Pow Wow. They know almost nothing, have no interest, and many resent them because of land disputes, treaties, and considering them spongers, etc.

Let’s round this off by looking at the Black population: pretty much non-existent at 1% in B.C. (failing miserably next to Ontario) and the same in Vancouver. There are no real Black enclaves (ex: Chinese = Richmond / Indians = Surrey) and very little Black history. To put it bluntly: you never see them, you don’t know they’re there, nobody cares and it helps explain Vancouver’s lack of culture and soul.

Since Seattle is the ‘American edition’ of Vancouver, let’s take a look at its cultural contributions: rock; grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc); birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, coffee culture (spawning Starbucks), bohemian and hippy subcultures, etc. While Vancouverites were rioting over the Canucks loss in 1994, Seattle rioted over the WTO in 1999. The stark difference shows right there. Even comparing Vancouver to its American carbon copy (topography, climate, weather, First Nations, Asian immigration) it still comes up empty, stale, hollow and second-place. Vancouver has in no way contributed culturally to Canada the way Seattle has to the United States.

Let’s move on … this could go on forever…

DTES (Downtown East Side)

Of course we couldn’t go on ignoring the elephant-sitting-on-a-syringe-in-the-room now could we? Welcome to the cold sore of Vancouver … it’s there, you can’t ignore it and the more you try – the more it’s all you can see!

It’s extremely brutal and depressing so I’ll try and keep it short.

The DTES is a chunk of downtown Vancouver that houses the poorest and worst off in the city: it’s skid row. It’s a place where roughly 7000 people wander, sleep, live … as they shoot up or smoke crack pipes on the street (right beside you) and in alleyways. It has to be seen to be believed … a modern horror.

What’s interesting about the DTES is that it’s IN-YOUR-FACE and can’t be ignored. Every city has a skid row, but usually it’s located somewhere on the fringes or poor districts where it can be avoided and mentally blocked out. The DTES is literally smack downtown in one of the oldest areas, on the waterfront, by expensive districts, tourist hotspots and pricey shopping streets.

The whole mess started when the Japanese were interned (never returned there), then the area slowly became poorer. Eventually occupants of the cheap motels nearby were kicked out for tourists; crime and drug use gradually conglomerated there making it worse. The mental hospitals were closed down so the ill could “integrate into society” and they were basically dumped and left to fend for themselves … so schizophrenics and other psychiatric patients became homeless and all began living there wandering around untreated.

Things festered and decayed. By the late 1990’s the HIV/AIDS epidemic was so bad it made international news and was declared an emergency. Rates of infection were worse than anywhere outside sub-Saharan Africa! So the city started providing clean needles for shooting up, gradually leading to ‘safe injection’ sites where people could shoot up, and now there’s talk of providing free, clean, ‘safe’ drugs to addicts.

Despite pouring money into shelters and programs little has changed or improved in the last 20-30 years, other than HIV rates declining.

Let’s get straight to the point: there is no will power to fix it because there’s no money to be made by fixing it and it will cost more than they already spend. They would have to reopen mental hospitals, provide free rehab (multiple stays), have live-in facilities and other things that would cost major dollars.

So people will tsk, tsk about it and cluck cluck on the subject but avoid doing anything constructive. Gracious souls will continue to volunteer and work there with the downtrodden; they are the kind minority who care and do it without fanfare. Everyone else is content to walk-around the problem (figuratively and literally) and let these people continue dying because they’re addicts, Indigenous, poor, sex workers and ultimately seen as disposable even though no one says it aloud.

Now, with that being said …

Is there anything good?

The summers are decent when the weather is nice and you can enjoy the outdoor activities. The aquarium and art gallery are OK. The anthropology museum is cool. Stanley Park is great. There are a lot of nice hiking trails or camping spots. If you have the cash you can go to Whistler.

Gastown, Granville Island, and Kitsilano are overrated but still fine for a day of wandering and shopping. If you have the cash and inclination you can go whale watching or take a trip to Vancouver Island for more nature.

I mean honestly, that’s about it. Of course there are plenty of restaurants, malls, kitschy overpriced tours, etc. Those are essentially the best things and on all the “to do” lists. They don’t take up a whole year though, and is doing them yearly worth $30-$40k rent per year plus other expenses? Hell no! Skip the grief, do it all in a summer and save your financial and mental wellbeing.

Aside from that, what have we got? If you’re single there are loads of beautiful Chinese women. The rain is miserable but won’t kill you – so if you wind up homeless you should survive the winters (unlike in the East). Quite convenient if you’re becoming a realtor; into organized crime; need any or all drugs. Oh and unlike ONT/QC regions you won’t find women walking around in burkas – that’s a big plus. There is the average city crime and violence, but the worst of it is gang and drug-related so if you’re not involved in it you should be fine.

Conclusion:

Overhyped. Overblown. A waste of time.

People rave about it because they’re delusional and desperate. Vancouver is the Canadian version of Seattle – only crappier; with less culture and social-conscience.

Immigrants and criminals come here because they can’t get into the United States and this is the ‘warmest’ place in Canada (which isn’t filled with ugly 70’s era concrete infrastructure).

Canadians come here because it’s the ‘warmest’ place in Canada and they’ve got nowhere else to go. They can trade snow for rain and pretend they’re cosmopolitan. They may have tried other places and this is the only one left; some may be here for work or because of family.

Everyone else? They don’t bother. They live in real world class cities but might come here for a visit, vacation, to film a movie, to play a concert, for business, for criminal enterprises, their fifth home, etc.

Vancouver is a waste of money, time, and life. Don’t come, don’t stay, don’t bother.

But Vancouverites have to continue claiming it’s “world class” because this is the “best” Canada can do; they have to justify the million dollar bungalow, low wages, half-year of rain, constant gloom, Gotham-atmosphere, drug crisis, no culture, no community, average city amenities, with a few months of sun, a nice landscape and ever-rising prices.

To finish, have you ever heard the expression “you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife?” Don’t commit to Vancouver – the biggest hoe of Canada!


See: 150 Reasons to Hate Vancouver


Yes, this was me keeping it short. Imagine if I’d gone in!

My Thoughts:

Honestly, where to begin? Firstly, I make no pretense at being unbiased. My perception of Vancouver is heavily colored by my experiences growing up there. To me: it’s a cold, rainy, gloomy place filled with struggling people and miserable Natives. When I think of “Vancouver” I think of the DTES, the unhappy working class, the depressing reserves and constant rain.

There are only 3 times when I appreciate Vancouver: when at Stanley Park (which is beautiful), crossing the Lionsgate Bridge (the scenic, familiar view), and arriving at the airport (which is small, nice, and I appreciate Bill Reid’s art). But that’s pretty much it and it’s not enough to fill a lifetime.

The Vancouver of the 80’s and early 90’s was an up-and-coming, smaller, green city. I likely wouldn’t have stayed anyway (on account of the weather) but that might have been a city worth trying out. The Vancouver of 2020? You couldn’t pay me to stay here!

Which brings up the next point: why would anyone? I imagine if you’re rich you can afford a great home, have nice things and see the best of what the city has to offer which I’m sure helps a great deal. Even so I think on an objective level Vancouver still doesn’t offer up much. Granted if you’re rich you can afford to hop on a plane and take breaks elsewhere. There’s just no reason to be here if you’re working class.

If I can’t afford home ownership and pay ridiculous prices then why not go to a sunshine state? At least it’s warm, fun and there’s plenty to do. Why wouldn’t I pay these prices to live in beautiful northern California?

Amusingly, everyone back East seems to think Vancouver is some semi-tropical paradise where everyone lives by the ocean and looks at the Swiss Alps all day. The water is too frigid most of the year – you can’t swim, go canoeing or kayaking in those temperatures which are made worse by wind and rain! It could literally kill you. And you’re not hiking the beautiful trails and going to scenic spots when it’s pouring down with rain three-quarters of the year. Plus for most of us, our lives involve work-to-home schedules with weekend breaks. If 90% of your time is spent at work and home – why would you pay a fortune to live a downgraded lifestyle here?

This brings me to the mountains: I really do not care. I just don’t care. I grew up seeing the mountains every day. When I left and didn’t see them daily it was uncomfortable. Everywhere else seemed “ugly” to me without them, and I compared every place to Vancouver. Ontario struck me as particularly ugly.

Over time I came to appreciate the boreal forests of that region and their own beauty. I came to enjoy wide open skies and bright sunshine. Now being back here feels suffocating. I can see the mountain view outside my window every day but it means nothing to me and it doesn’t justify the ridiculous living costs. I don’t take any pleasure in it and when it’s raining and foggy the mountains feel like they’re closing in and trapping me. I don’t give a damn for the mountains and I won’t miss them … I do miss wide open skies and sunshine though – BIG TIME.

So if the bulk of your weekly time is spent at work/home – why not live somewhere else? Why not Idaho, Montana or Wyoming with the clear skies and sun? Plus cheaper living; great outdoors, resorts; traveling to nearby cities or spending time at Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks.

This place is just not worth it. I feel exactly as I do about the Okanagan: living in an expensive, overpriced place with drugs, crime, and unhappy people is not worth a few months of warm, decent spring/summer. Not at these prices, not for this stress! So again I recommend: come visit but don’t live here.

Of course, this depends. If you’re an immigrant or Canadian who can never leave you might prefer it to shitholes like Winnipeg or Edmonton even with the pricing. Just be aware of what you’re in for. I used to think people were idiots for staying back East and not coming here (typical Vancouverite view), but now I understand. You’re better off staying where you are and living a decent, comfortable day-to-day life and vacationing.

I was dragged over here under false premises (long story) so moving again is a waste of time. I just want to focus on escaping Canada for good; this is my last caker city.

The Highest Suicide Rate in the World

(Article by Helen Epstein for The New York Review)

“Sam was making toast at around 6 AM when he noticed the slit of light beneath the bathroom door. Minutes passed, but no one seemed to be moving inside and no one came out. In a dream that night, his wife, Maureen, had heard someone calling their daughter Sarah’s name, and she knew what had happened as soon as Sam shook her awake. Clinging to the wall, she approached the bathroom. And then she saw Sarah hanging in the shower stall, dead at age seventeen.

The girl, Maureen told me, had just come back from visiting relatives in another village and had spent the previous afternoon sorting through clothes she wanted to give away. Then the family settled down to butcher and eat a seal—raw, in the traditional Inuit way—on a piece of cardboard on the sitting room floor. Afterward, Sarah put on some makeup and went out. She’d just broken up with an older boyfriend of whom her parents did not approve, but they’d had so many fights about it that Maureen didn’t dare ask where she was going.

If Nunavut, the semi-autonomous Canadian territory that is home to roughly 28,000 indigenous Inuit people, were an independent country, it would have the highest suicide rate in the world. The suicide rate in Greenland, whose population is mostly Inuit, is 85 per 100,000; next highest is Lithuania, at 32 per 100,000. Nunavut’s rate is 100 per 100,000, ten times higher than the rest of Canada and seven times higher than the US. When I visited Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit, in July, virtually every Inuit I met had lost at least one relative to suicide, and some recounted as many as five or six family suicides, plus those of friends, coworkers, and other acquaintances. Three people in my small circle of contacts lost someone close to them to suicide during my nine-day visit. Acquaintances would direct my attention to passers-by on the street: “his older brother too,” “his son.” Almost one third of Nunavut Inuit have attempted suicide, and most Inuit I met confided, without my asking, that they had done so at least once.

Two recent books, Too Many People: Contact, Disorder, Change in an Inuit Society, 1822–2015 by Willem Rasing and The Return of the Sun: Suicide and Reclamation Among Inuit of Arctic Canada by Michael Kral, trace the origins of the suicide crisis in Nunavut to the mid-twentieth century, when these traditionally nomadic people moved off the land into towns. Until then, suicide was rare, and among young people, almost unknown.

The Inuit migrated across the Bering Land Bridge from what is now Siberia and in 1000 AD settled in what is now northeastern Canada. In the long winter darkness, the wind is so strong that blowing snow can draw blood from exposed skin, and the temperature sometimes plunges to–60º Fahrenheit. In summer, swarms of mosquitoes can exsanguinate a caribou. Nothing grows except berries, moss, and wildflowers, so the Inuit hunted seals, fish, birds, polar bears, caribou, walruses, and whales. They made houses from snow, skins, and moss, and wore fur clothes sewn with sinew threads and needles carved from slivers of walrus bone. They constructed dogsleds from antlers, with frozen fish wrapped in sealskin for runners, and ingenious eye-slit goggles carved from caribou bones that protected them from the blinding light reflected off the snow.

But the Inuits’ most remarkable innovation may have been in the realm of interpersonal relations. Until the arrival of missionaries in the late nineteenth century, they had no written language, so all that is known of their culture before that time comes from the observations of explorers and ethnographers and the memories of older Inuit passed down through generations. These sources all agree that traditional Inuit society was remarkably peaceful and free of discord among them.

“The different families appear always to live on good terms with each other,” wrote the British explorer Sir William Parry, who spent eight months among the Inuit of Baffin Island beginning in 1821. “The more turbulent passions which…usually create such havoc in the world, seem to be very seldom excited in the breasts of these people.” Inuit children were “affectionate, attached, and obedient,” concurred Sir John Ross, who arrived a few years later. “These people had attained that perfection of domestic happiness which is so rarely found any where.” If conflicts did arise, wrongdoers would be counseled by their elders, and if that didn’t work, singing duels would be organized in which the disaffected parties would defuse tension by making fun of each other.

Today, homicide, domestic violence, child abuse, vandalism, and alcoholism—as well as suicide—are tragically common among the Inuit. The weekend I arrived in Iqaluit, population 7,740, there was one murder and four fires, three of which had been set deliberately. A brawling couple, the man bleeding from his head, the woman hurling abuse at him, nearly reeled into me in a shop one afternoon. A teacher told me that angry children have been known to throw furniture around the classroom. According to Rasing, over half the population uses drugs, mostly marijuana, but also stronger substances, including anything sniffable: starter fluid, spray paint, nail polish, and gasoline.

Most Inuit are law-abiding shop assistants, artists, government officials, and so on, but the relatively high rates of violence against property, the self, and others perpetrated by a minority of them raise urgent questions about what befell this once strong and peaceful culture. Everyone agrees the trouble started in the 1950s, but there is considerable disagreement between the Canadian government and most Inuit as to exactly what happened and why.

The Canadian government maintains that during the late nineteenth century, many Inuit came to depend in part on money from the fur trade, which enabled them to purchase commodities like flour, sugar, guns, and knives, even as they maintained their traditional nomadic lifestyle. The collapse of the fur trade during the Great Depression, along with a cyclical decline in game populations, led to hardship, including cases of hunger and starvation. Many Inuit also succumbed to tuberculosis, measles, and other infectious diseases introduced by contact with whites. Patients were airlifted to hospitals in southern Canada, where they were sometimes confined for months or years and had no contact with their families. Some never returned.

The Canadian public demanded humanitarian intervention, so the government constructed houses for the Inuit around the old trading posts in the 1950s and 1960s. Clinics, schools, government offices, and shops were built, and some Inuit were employed as fishermen, clerks, cleaners, garbage collectors, and cooks; others received state welfare. By the late 1960s, virtually all Inuit had moved into towns.

Most Inuit look back very differently on this period. Their version begins shortly after World War II, when the US and Canada jointly established a line of radar stations across the Arctic in order to spy on the Soviets and monitor the skies for potential attacks via the North Pole. The Canadian government, keen to prevent the US from claiming sovereignty over this potentially mineral- and natural gas–rich area, hastily established towns and forced the Inuit to settle in them. Older Inuit told me they remember armed police officers arriving at their camps unannounced and ordering everyone to leave. Sled dogs—even healthy ones—were slaughtered before their owners’ eyes.

“One family I know was sitting in their house in town when the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] showed up and shot all their dogs,” said Alice, who collected testimonies for an Inuit- initiated inquiry into the dog killings. “They even shot under the crawlspace, right below where the family was sitting.”

The government concedes that thousands of Inuit children, some as young as five, were sent to boarding, or “residential,” schools, where they were cut off from their families, given Christian names and ID numbers, punished for speaking their native Inuktitut language, required to wear Western clothes, and taught a Canadian curriculum that had no relevance to the world they’d been born into. Many were also beaten and raped by their teachers. Some went to the schools willingly, but many reluctant parents, informed that if they didn’t send their children off, they’d be denied government welfare benefits or credit from fur traders, surrendered them in tears.

Memories of these horrors haunt the lives of older Inuit today. One elder told me she was terrified of the teachers at her residential school. When she was in third grade, she was asked to write the answer to the problem 5 x 3 on the blackboard. “I hadn’t even finished writing the number 12 when the teacher hit me so hard, I went flying across the room,” she said. Then he hit her again. He only stopped when he saw her nose was bleeding.

Across Canada, some 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and other aboriginal children attended residential schools. Some did well, but thousands died from disease and hunger at a rate comparable to that of Canadian soldiers during World War II. The Canadian government has paid out over CAN$3 billion in compensation to tens of thousands of former students who suffered sexual or serious physical abuse in the schools. In a 2015 report by a truth and reconciliation commission that examined abuses in the residential schools, Canadian officials admitted that the schools’ effect on aboriginal cultures amounted to a form of genocide.

Inuit suicides remained rare while the worst of these abuses were underway. According to the University of Saskatchewan researcher Jack Hicks, who prepared a report on the subject, during the 1960s there was only one suicide in what is now Nunavut (once part of Canada’s Northwest Territories, it officially became a separate territory in 1999). But as the children of the people who lived through the move to the towns became teenagers in the 1980s, they began taking their own lives in huge numbers. In 1973, the suicide rate in Nunavut was 11 per 100,000 people, about the same as in the rest of Canada. By 1986, it had quadrupled, and by 1997 it had increased tenfold, to 100 per 100,000. Most of the increase was due to a rise in suicide among young people aged fifteen to twenty-four. In the early 2000s the suicide rate in this group peaked at 458 per 100,000; since then it has fallen to around 270 per 100,000. During this period the suicide rate among young Canadians in general remained below 20 per 100,000.

How is trauma transmitted from one generation to the next? How do our experiences affect the emotional lives of our children and grandchildren? The answer isn’t obvious. African slaves took their own lives in large numbers, especially on the ships en route to America and when they first arrived, but despite segregation, police brutality, mass incarceration, and other outrages, the suicide rate of African-Americans has been consistently lower than that of US whites since recordkeeping began in the 1930s. Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe also killed themselves in large numbers, inside and outside the concentration camps. But their children are no more likely to commit suicide than the children of Jews who lived outside Nazi-occupied lands at the time.

Certain groups, however, including Australian aborigines, New Zealand Maoris, and the Inuit of Alaska, Greenland, and Canada, along with some other Native American groups, are particularly prone to youth suicide, generation after generation. People in every society take their own lives for myriad reasons, and it’s obviously risky to generalize. Certainly, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and schizophrenia are important risk factors for suicide everywhere. But such disorders often have social causes, and it’s worth asking if there are any that might be responsible for the high suicide rates among these people.

One clue is that virtually all these groups lived until recently in small communities of one or a few extended families and then underwent a forced, rapid, and harrowing transition to modern life. Mastering technology—telephones, cars, computers, etc.—was easy, but psychological and emotional adaptation has been far more difficult. Both Rasing and Kral cover this transition in great detail, but fail to convey its emotional impact because, perhaps for reasons of confidentiality and scholarly reserve, their accounts of individual Inuit lives are brief and superficial. Their books contain many statistics, as well as convincing descriptions of abstract changes such as the “breakdown of…social control” and “the dynamics of Inuit social transformation,” but without personal stories, it’s hard to see what it was about these upheavals that led to such widespread mental turmoil.

For a deeper perspective on what might have happened, it’s helpful to turn to the anthropologist Jean Briggs’s remarkable 1970 monograph Never in Anger: Portrait of an Eskimo Family, one of the last firsthand accounts of presettlement Inuit life. Briggs suggests that the equanimity that so struck Parry and others was produced by patterns of thought and behavior, in particular consideration for others and a tendency to privilege the welfare of the group over the self, that may have been essential to Inuits’ survival on the land but could have made them especially vulnerable to emotional difficulties once they settled in towns.

In 1963 Briggs, then thirty-four, set out for Gjoa Haven, a trading post in what is now Nunavut, with the aim of studying the most remote Arctic community she could find. Previous anthropologists had documented Inuit material culture—how they hunted, built igloos, and made clothing—as well as their religious and cosmological beliefs. But Briggs was part of a school of anthropologists who maintained that just as different cultures had different music, foods, and rituals, they also expressed different repertoires of emotion. For seventeen months, Briggs lived with a man named Inuttiaq and his wife and children, pitching a tent beside theirs in the summer and sharing their igloo in the winter. At first, she worried about living in such close quarters with people whose culture was so different from hers, but like other observers, she was quickly beguiled and moved by the tranquility of Inuit domestic life: “The human warmth and peacefulness of the household, and the uncanny sensitivity of its members to unspoken wishes, created an atmosphere in which the privacy of my tent came to seem in memory a barren thing.”

This peaceful surface, Briggs would discover, was undergirded by a powerful system of emotional control and social regulation. Expressions of anger, shock, romantic ardor, and other strong feelings were all but absent from everyday life, except among very small children. One informant even denied that the Inuit language had a word for “hate”—although of course it does. Briggs’s host family’s oldest daughter was among the first children to attend a residential school. When she returned for the summer, she brought back horror stories of a “strange [white] world where people are always loud and angry…where they hit their children, let babies cry, kiss grown-ups, and make pets of dogs and cats.”

Children learned early how to manage their feelings, through what Briggs describes as a process of emotional weight training. Toddlers were indulged, doted on, and seldom disciplined, but they were also subject to joking questions from parents and other adults that must have been confusing and scary to them:

Why don’t you kill your baby brother?

Why don’t you die so I can have your nice new shirt?

Where’s your father? [to an adopted child]

Your mother’s going to die—look, she’s cut her finger—do you want to come live with me?

An adult would never ask such questions when a child was upset, and would stop and offer a hug at the first signs of distress. Briggs interpreted these exchanges as immunization against the offhand insensitivity of others and life’s ordinary misfortunes and disappointments. “Adults stimulate children to think by presenting them with emotionally powerful problems,” she wrote. The goal was emotional strength and rationality. In a harsh environment, mutual understanding and trust are essential to survival. An unhappy person is a dangerous one.

As Briggs would soon learn the hard way, everyone was on guard against the slightest increase in the emotional temperature. Her hosts were fox hunters who traded with whites in a town several days away by dogsled from their winter camp. Fried bread made from store-bought flour was a great delicacy, and one day, as Briggs was preparing some with the others, a piece of dough slipped off her knife and fell into the fire. “Damn!” she said under her breath.

Over the following days, weeks, and months, Briggs noticed a change in the family’s behavior. They came to visit her tent less often and left quickly when they did. They seemed even more solicitous than usual, as if she were afflicted with some sort of disease. They made sure she was warm and had enough to eat but didn’t invite her on fishing trips. Gradually, she realized that she was being ostracized, not just for the fried bread incident, but for other flashes of irritation, such as when Inuttiaq insisted on leaving the igloo doorway open, making it too cold for Briggs to type her fieldnotes.

Imagine the shock of these polite, dignified people when some RCMP officers killed their dogs and ordered them into the settlements, when some residential school teachers abused them, and other powerful qallunaats—as whites are known in the Inuktitut language—insulted and patronized them. Many of the residential school children, in particular, came back angry and alienated. The emotional training they’d received as toddlers was no match for the arrogance, insensitivity, and stupidity, let alone brutality, that they encountered in the qallunaat world. With no language to describe their hurt and loneliness, they turned away from their families.

The residential school student in the family Briggs lived with avoided her parents and tormented her little sister, deliberately stepping on her toes, snatching her toys, and making her cry. When asked to do something, she pretended to be deaf. As adults, a great many of the former residential school children resorted to alcohol to tame their emotional turmoil. Their children, raised in the 1970s and 1980s, largely escaped the residential schools, which were already being replaced with community schools. But their parents had never managed to come to terms with their own anger and grief, and were often drunk and violent. In this way, the first suicide generation was born, and their children in turn continue the trend.

For The Return of the Sun, Kral interviewed dozens of young Inuit men who had attempted suicide. Most told him that they tried to take their own lives after a fight with a romantic partner. Coroner reports from the 1990s also found that some 70 percent of suicides occurred after a romantic breakup and another 20 percent occurred while awaiting trial for an alleged crime—mostly break-ins and marijuana use. These ordinary predicaments occur everywhere. Why are Inuit youth who experience them so much more likely to resort to suicide?

“The theory I have is that [Inuit] who commit suicide are doing it to protect the community,” Bonnie, an Inuit government official, told me.

When we lived in small groups, we had a contract for survival. You lived for the collective, not for yourself. We’re in this together. Children are conditioned to be calm. If someone explodes, that person is a threat to everyone. Then [the one who explodes] thinks, “Everyone will be better off without me. I’m a problem because I can’t handle my emotions.” It’s hard to get that out of your head, because we’re conditioned not to be a burden to others.

There are no simple answers to the Nunavut suicide crisis. The penultimate chapter of The Return of the Sun describes a recreation center Kral helped establish with a group of young Inuit in the town where he did his research. He claims that while it operated, the number of suicides there fell to zero. Data from the coroner’s office cited by Jack Hicks indicate that this is not the case. Similarly, a 2005 ESPN feature claimed that the number of teen suicides in the Nunavut town of Kugluktuk also fell to zero after a visiting teacher launched a popular lacrosse team. In fact, there were twenty-one suicides among people aged 13–56 in Kugluktuk in the following decade. These communities are so small—average populations are around 1,500 each—that suicide rates may vary from year to year just because of chance. A high-suicide community may have no suicides at all for several years, creating a temporary illusion of success, even when the long-term trend is stable or increasing.

In 2017 the government of Nunavut launched a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy that includes mental health services, early childhood programs, community awareness programs, anti-bullying programs, youth centers, housing assistance, poverty reduction, crime and substance abuse prevention, and many other initiatives. Such multifaceted approaches have been shown to reduce suicides in other communities, such as the White Mountain Apaches in the US, and there’s every reason to believe that Nunavut’s new strategy will help.

Last winter, the local radio station in Iqaluit broadcast a call-in program on suicide. Alice, whose son Martin took his own life in 2018, called in to say that the community needed more counselors, and if there weren’t enough, then the people should just form their own support groups. “Talking is part of healing,” she told me. “People have been quiet for too long.” Alice herself had been sexually assaulted when she was seven—she didn’t discuss the circumstances—and believes she would have become a drunk on the street if not for the counseling she eventually received in her late twenties.

Other listeners phoned in to say they supported Alice’s idea. Elisapee Johnston, who works for the Embrace Life Council, a local NGO funded under the new suicide prevention strategy, was listening. She tracked Alice down, and the two women agreed to work together. In the spring, they launched a bereavement group that meets weekly at the Embrace Life Council’s office in downtown Iqaluit. Anyone who’s lost someone to suicide, or who is simply worried about it, is welcome. “Young people really need coping skills,” Alice insists, but getting people to turn up at meetings has been a challenge. “People come up and hug me on the street and say, ‘Thank you, thank you for all that you are doing,’ but only when they’re drunk.”

It’s just not the Inuit way to talk about yourself. Another Inuit elder told me that when her family’s dogs were killed, no one discussed it: “They must have been angry, but they didn’t show it.” For years, she’d taught elementary school but objected to elements of the Canadian curriculum. “I had to teach a kindergarten unit called ‘All About Me.’ In our culture, that age group is supposed to think about others.” An anthropologist I met told me she’d struggled to collect Inuit testimonies about trauma that filled more than half a page. Such modesty and discretion is refreshing in these self-oriented, tell-all times, but if people won’t talk about themselves, it’s hard to see how they’ll manage to make sense of their feelings.

Alice and Elisapee are not giving up. They can take heart from the experience of other traumatized groups, including African-Americans and the descendants of Holocaust survivors, who, though disproportionately subject to some mental health problems, have relatively low suicide rates. What enables them to endure? It’s worth noting that mourning, sharing experiences of personal suffering, and the ongoing search for a promised land are integral to the religions and cultures of both groups. So is the belief that anger is sometimes justified, and that living, hard as it may be sometimes, is also a form of defiance.”

Tips on Blogging (about Canaduh)

1. Don’t use Blogger/Google

To make a Blogger account you will need to sign up for Google. To use your account you will need a password, an alternate email address, and a phone number (for two-step verification). If you choose you can download a list of Recovery Code numbers to input should you get locked out.

Most security-conscious people will enable two-step verification – but unfortunately that doesn’t help. I have twice been locked out of two different accounts. If you forget your password (or are otherwise locked out) you will lose permanent access even if you have 2 out of the 3 recovery points. Despite having a phone number and recovery codes (and password) I was unable to log in.

Locking writers out of their accounts is extremely easy. All someone has to do is try and log in to your account numerous times in a short period. Security will automatically lock your account, and you will likely be permanently locked out if you have lost access to your secondary email or changed your phone number.

Also, if you want to close your account later on you will need to send Google a copy of your passport with your full name. Obviously this can be problematic if you’re writing under a pen name. I would suggest using a friend’s generic name (ex: John Brown) if your friend gives permission, but this will also put your friend at risk from obsessed fruitcakes who have made it their mission to dox you or harass you upon finding out personal contact info. Better to avoid the headaches altogether.

I have also had my personal Gmail/Google account hacked, which is apparently not hard to do. Once you’ve been hacked, no amount of password changes or security measures seem to be sufficient to block the hacker from regular access.

2. Copy + Paste

When I started writing I copied down comments from numerous other forums and websites. It may have seemed redundant at the time (while the comments were still up), but proved useful later on.

Most of the original comments are now gone. Canadians often flag, complain or find other ways to have negative opinions and reviews taken down. Sometimes the website itself ceases to exist.

Quoting/copying comments and discussions is not a waste of time and helps to preserve them in the event they go missing. Remember to add a link to the original source.

3. No advertising

You can allow ads on your site which pay per view, click or purchase. The revenue from these are minimal unless your site is generating tens of thousands or millions of unique views per month.

The most popular are Google Ads which are now available for use anywhere outside of Google. The payout is low, although higher than other comparable sources. If you are locked out of your account you will lose access to your funds, even as Google continues to charge advertisers for what your now-defunct site is showing.

No one cares about Canada. You could be the wittiest writer alive, but anything Canada-related is sure to have low viewing figures just based on the total indifference to the country’s existence. A blog about toe fungus would be a better bet – as that affects more people and is more relevant to the global community.

The main viewership will be people who dislike Canada (a low number from a low-population to begin with), and the curious or those who stumble upon your writing by chance – not a great revenue source.

Your best bet is to add a donation button so that readers or sympathizers can donate to your cause.

4. Link to Sources

Many Canadians are ignorant or brainwashed while most other people know nothing about Canada. In order to prove your points are valid – remember to link to official government websites and sources, media articles and other easily accessible data. Even still, expect Canadians to fume, threaten and insult as they haven’t bothered to read the blog post in full or click on any links to confirm.

5. Anonymity

Of course most rational people will choose to write under a pen name and remain anonymous. Some Canadians really go full-on crazy: obsessing about your writing and finding ways to dox you or constantly threaten and harass.

Most sites will require an email and phone number (two-step verification).

You can get a separate phone number through many Apps. There are several free ones you can download on your mobile phone, and choose a number from any region in the country; there is no registration process or personal information stored. Many of these accept text messages as well – used for verification purposes and password retrieval.

A new email address is easy and free from countless providers. I recommend using a provider that allows for many username-alias creations which all go to the same inbox. Sign up with a secondary-username that isn’t used for any other purpose. You can pick something highly unlikely which you can delete and recreate later if necessary for password retrieval. Example:

Regular email: joe.beaver@email.com

Secondary name: cakersbendoverwithoutlube@email.com

And lastly, if you’re feeling paranoid you can always use a VPN – many are even free now.

6. Choose your Purpose

My only recommendation: catharsis.

Your blog won’t make you money because outside of Canadians – who would bother to read about Canada on a regular basis?

It shouldn’t be aimed at Canadians as that serves no purpose. They truly believe they live in the “best” country, that they’re superior to others, and that your complaints or critiques are unfair, unfounded and should be ignored. No matter how polite or logical your points – don’t expect any self reflection, admissions or desire to change the status quo. If Canadians or Canada were worth the trouble or had any hope at all – the blog probably wouldn’t exist in the first place.

Trying to warn others from coming is a noble cause but ultimately fruitless. People will believe what they want and deceive themselves because the alternative is too unpleasant. All you can do is speak the truth and wait for them to learn themselves. Much like a friend who refuses to acknowledge their partner is a compulsive cheater and liar – the ‘marriage’ will go ahead and only first-hand experience can drive the points home.

Lastly, the second reason to write: catharsis for others. Your writing may seem like a waste at times, but the effort is not in vain. Many people have told me about how my writing has helped them; sometimes knowing you’re not alone in your observations and frustrations can be hugely helpful to others.

Mostly just do it for yourself: to retain your sanity until you can escape this nation of people sleepwalking through life.

Zombie Nation

I decided to think about why I hate Canada and pinpoint precisely what it is that drives this loathing. After some contemplation I’ve reached a conclusion:

This is a nation of the living dead.

That is why I hate it. Sure I complain about the weather, cost of living and other national absurdities – but those alone don’t drive these feelings of revulsion. Bills, bad weather, rude people and racists all exist everywhere else. I can endure those things (even all of them) in other locations, but not here.

For instance, I didn’t find Londoners very friendly or nice. I think a Monarchy is a redundant relic, and the class system in Britain is snobbish and shameful. A new politically-correct culture has manifested itself wherein the worst elements of sexism, brutality, homophobia and terrorism flourish under “tolerance” of “foreign culture” and immigration – in some sort of self-flagellation for past Empire sins.

And for all the great things about Brits (dry humor, wit, films, music, pubs, etc.) their rain and weather is comparable. Whether you feel a connection to British culture or not – most of us agree that a culture is in fact there, and there’s a sense people are alive and living.

Likewise with Ireland, there is the good and bad. The beer was great, the people (mostly) friendly, the cities full of history and quaint charm, great music, hurling and all sorts of things to enjoy. But there were also negatives: abortion is illegal, schools separated by gender, too much denial or avoidance about the Catholic church, and so on. Again, whether you identify with Irish culture or not – it is unavoidably real and you sense the Irish people are living very real lives.

The United States is a mixed bag: there is plenty of gun crime, intolerance, racism and divisive politics. There are also varying (state) cultures and geography, history in abundance, tropical weather, cheaper cost of living and more opportunities. There is a wide array of choices in climate, location and lifestyle. Regardless of how you might feel about the United States of America – it is a nation of people living their lives through the good and bad.

Someone wrote that Canada was “a dull, passionless country. Stable, boring, safe, sterile. Lacks an identity, lacks a soul.” That summed it up perfectly in three sentences. Somehow the nothingness is worse than any complaints you can make about the imperfections of other western democracies.

I get this sensation that people aren’t really living. It’s like a nation of the walking dead just going through the motions. I’ve compared it to a hospital ward; someone else said a hotel.

The prevailing theory of Canadians is that naysayers are “embittered people who won’t be happy anywhere”. However that theory doesn’t wash once citizens have travelled. I distinctly recall being happier and feeling alive in other countries, even if I disliked some things about them. This point is only driven home once you’ve travelled across Canada and find yourself still despising it one city and province at a time.

At one point I thought this pervading sensation of numbness could be outdone by activity. Surely if I partook in exciting activities and really tried to live to the fullest – I would find some respite from my feelings? Go on outings, go to the theatre, see the sights, go camping, hike mountains, do everything one is supposed to do …

BUT NOTHING WORKS.

Learn a language. Read the classics. Watch good films. Try and enjoy nature. It’s all so fleeting and unfulfilling. One blogger coined the best term for Canadian national culture: “starve the soul, feed the ego.”

My soul is starving, there is no nourishment here: only a nation of zombies who appear to be going through the motions; who have no true culture; are rarely passionate; who resent others; who can’t leave.

The Quebecois hide away in their province they consider a country and try to separate. The Inuit and Aboriginals mostly live on reserves and away from the main population. Over one-third of male immigrants leave and return home – even to developing nations. To me, this is the best indictment of Canada’s nation of living dead: people would rather return to poverty, crime, violence or developing nations just to feel alive.

Changing cities, provinces or jobs won’t help. Staying busy or going through the motions won’t help. Only one thing will: GETTING OUT.

I am genuinely curious how many others feel this way?

Joyce Echaquan video

An Indigenous woman is neglected as she lays dying, and then insulted: “she’s stupid, only good for sex,” etc. She just happens to capture it all on video, but Quebec’s Premier still insists there is “no systemic racism” and it’s just a one off.

Remember the Francophone rule: the Quebecois are victims, Indigenous are not.

Remember the caker rule: Aboriginals get what they deserve. Wheel them out for the tourists and detest them in private.

Post Script:

Since this is the year of the death of George Floyd and that incident was captured on video, I thought I would include a parallel video from Canada.

Of course cakers flapped their jaws about down south and mostly ignored this; it created some minor news clips and some Aboriginal groups protested (a few dozen protesters). Protests for George Floyd (solidarity) greatly outnumbered any protests or marches for this … because this would requiring facing Canada’s issues.

A Guide to Surviving Ottawa


1. Disordered Personalities

I firmly believe that Ottawa has a high percentage of disordered people. Due to medical privacy laws and a lack of clinical diagnoses there is no objective way to measure the population, which is a shame because this is surely indicative of the quality of life in any city.

Acquaint yourself by starting with the following books:

The Sociopath Next Door

Dangerous Personalities

The Mask of Sanity

In Sheep’s Clothing

The key to dealing with these personality types is understanding them, spotting the warning signs and avoidance.

You need to learn about narcissists, sociopaths and “gaslighting“. Then you can learn how to minimize risk and damage to yourself and your family.

Starter advice:

Don’t tell new “friends” or acquaintances any personal history or issues. Keep conversations generic and surface level. If someone probes for information – continually bring the conversation back to him/her.

Don’t show any weakness. Think of it like prison or the streets: signs of weakness (lack of confidence or conviction, caving in to pressure) attract predators and bullies. Hold firm.

Carefully vet people. Be polite and casual with others while taking your time getting to know them. Watch their behavior, observe, and don’t assume decency is in them because it’s in you.


2. Winter Gear

This may seem obvious but my message is for lower income/working class people. If you’re on a budget there’s a tendency to purchase inferior clothing and boots to save money in the moment. But this temptation will cause you misery in the long-run.

Do what is necessary: save, use your credit card, purchase used items off Kijiji or Craigslist, cut down on non-essentials, etc.

Winter is miserable at -20 C to -30 C. Enduring years of this for months on end, means quality winter wear is a priority! (As much as you may promise yourself your relocation or stay is “temporary” … one year can easily turn into five despite best efforts. )

When I finally got a Canada Goose jacket I was amazed at how easy it was to go for 30 minute walks outside with little discomfort. It is WORTH IT! I was cheap and stubborn for many winters and caused myself extra suffering. Be smarter!


3. Toxic Work

A decade ago the ‘public sector’ accounted for 20% of employed Canadians, including almost 1 in 3 federal employees working in Ottawa-Gatineau. As of 2017, the number of federal government employees working in the NCR (National Capital Region) was 145,000.

In 2016, the NCR population was 1,323,783 – meaning that federal employees comprised nearly 11% of the workforce. That’s 1 out of every 10 people walking around who works for the Feds. Now you begin to understand …

It is extremely difficult to fire a government worker. In almost all cases, employees are shifted to different departments and problematic people are transferred to new locations. With such protection comes a lack of accountability, an inability to remove bad apples and an overall lowering of standards.

In many situations individuals with personality disorders won’t fare well: they end up reprimanded, fired, or ostracized. Mixing disordered persons into cushy jobs they can’t lose is a recipe for disaster; throw in the other issues for a nice stew of toxicity. Because of the good salary, benefits and pension – people stay, even if they’re miserable … hence the miserable populace and working conditions.

As you find yourself in this Kafkaesque nightmare you may ask:

Can people really be this incompetent?

Can people really be this vicious and petty?

How does this place continue to run?

How does the country function with the NCR as its core?

What kind of nightmare am I living in?

Let me give you some advice: look inward and learn to cope. This situation has been brewing for decades and you cannot reinvent the wheel. No amount of hard work, positive attitude or ingenuity can change the culture of a city or your workplace. One blade of grass can’t stand against the tsunami of dysfunction…

Continue to work hard. Continue to treat others politely and professionally. Continue to disengage from workplace dramas and gossip. Keep your head down and plot your escape with care. And if you are planning on working there until retirement … invest in a good therapist and try not to develop a cocaine addiction.

Yes, this all mostly applies to the private sector and general work environment too.


4. Dating

My advice would be to avoid it if you’re only staying a short time. If you’re brave enough to try then I urge caution.

Ashley Madison was hacked and when user data was revealed it showed that as many as 1 in 5 Ottawans were users. Media then went into overdrive complaining, explaining, and making excuses as for why this wasn’t so.

Regardless of the exact numbers or what you believe – Ottawa is filled with cheaters, liars, affairs, and women selling themselves on the side (with or without their partners’ knowledge).

The prostitution rates are higher per capita than in Toronto, Montreal or elsewhere. They’re also higher than the provincial and federal averages. (The city tried to say that there’s “more vigilant police-work ” in Ottawa to account for the difference!) Ottawa is also one of the three main hubs for the sex trafficking of Aboriginal women.

Anecdotally, I witnessed plenty of: cheating, affairs, prostitution; people laughing about giving others STDs; people shrugging off getting STDs without a care; middle class women turning to sex work and on and on. Just a gross place.

Be very careful who you date: get to know them and hope for the best while preparing for the worst.


5. Happy Place

Misery and Ottawa go hand-in-hand for any sane or well-traveled person. It can all get a little overwhelming. You need to find a couple spots you can go to when it’s all too much. My favorite places to find peace:

– The Aviation Museum, National Art Gallery, Conroy Pit (dog walking).

The long and tedious winters will require innovation. Try making a list of top classic books to read or movies to watch. Try learning a new language with a course or online program. Try your hand at a new hobby like painting or woodworking.

I discovered a love of foreign cinema and Hitchcock. I also drank a lot. I won’t lie … Jack Daniels helped tremendously.


6. Media-based income.

Leaving Ottawa requires a good deal of money without a work-transfer. One Gatineau resident used to complain about the region and vent online. He suggested it cost roughly $10,000 to make a proper move. He was mocked online (and later doxxed by someone with too much time on his hands) – but he was correct. I found that it cost roughly that for airfare, new furniture, deposits and so on. (It may be easier for single people.)

While you’re wasting away in Ottawa you may as well be productive.

I suggest a media based method to make a passive income: blogging, podcasts, Youtube videos, selling digital art or intellectual property, having a drop-based shipping company (USA) and similar ideas which can be done on the web.

Try to avoid physical manufacturing or shipping – which is expensive from Ottawa/Canada and will be redundant in the event of a global pandemic, conflict, or other crisis.

Stick to something which can be done online (with little cost) and can make money 24 hours a day by virtue of views, clicks, or sales by internet. Gradually you can build up your content (which is a lengthy process) … and it’s something to do in winter.

Having an extra revenue stream will help with the move or resettling, especially if you go somewhere more expensive like Toronto or Vancouver. This advice is especially pertinent for the working poor.


Finally … you will make it out eventually. Persistence is key. If I can do it with the hurdles I faced – anyone can. Don’t give up!

During my time in Ottawa I had two stalkers; was sexually harassed; had a pervert neighbor drill peep holes in the exterior wall; was threatened numerous times; was scammed and ripped off by bosses and individuals; had terrible landlords; was gaslighted; met disturbed individuals; met an assortment of weirdos; had my work credentials discounted; worked mundane, belittling jobs; was beaten up by a group of losers; was randomly offered a machine gun; survived severe depression; developed an anxiety condition on account of all the freaks … I could go on but you get the picture.

My last advice: if you’re working class don’t bother going to Toronto or Vancouver, your standard of living will go down. Ottawa has some benefits: work for the Feds (through networking, not talent), social nets for the poor, close to Montreal, close to New York and Vermont, etc.

Try to enjoy the small good things that are there and focus on your future. Things can seem bleak, don’t be discouraged.

Perspective: II

As Canadians watch events unfold down south regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and overall discussions about race, they pay lip service to these topics without looking inward. So here I am, to point out the obvious.

Let’s start with slavery.

Canada had slavery for two centuries. While enslaving any person is an abhorrent act, enslaving Black people strikes me as particularly egregious.

Why? Down south, the enslavement of Blacks was the driving force of the whole economy and building of a nation. Here in the north, enslaving Aboriginals was a part of the Boreal economy and sustaining the fur trade. So why enslave Blacks in Canada? Simply put: because they wanted to. Again, I must emphasize: they went out of their way to enslave Blacks when the economy didn’t depend on it.

It’s a disturbing, chilling fact that makes the enslavement all the more revolting. You might think if Blacks were down south and in short supply locally, and if Aboriginals were enslaved for the Boreal economy – there should be very few Black slaves, right? Wrong. Stunningly, Black slaves still made up at least a third of all slaves! And this is despite the fact they cost double the price!

To have a Black slave was to confer prestige upon yourself, and of course – to keep up with the American neighbors. Canadian slavery never reached the heights it did in the United States or South America, but this is only because Canada was a poor, sparsely populated colony which no slavers felt could finance the cost of transport and purchase. (Even France refused to send shipments.)

Canada did try however: it legalized slavery as an institution in 1709, and three authorizations to ship slaves were given upon request in 1689, 1701, 1721. In 1733, a legal precedent was set: even though a slave was ‘Christian’ he could still be sold and purchased as a commodity. Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1834, and even then it was done through a British mandate – NOT the mandate of the Canadian people.

We’ll move along to the cover-up.

I will compare this denial to the best analogy I can conjure: imagine a wife who denies her husband has been sexually abusing their daughter. Is the denial worse than the crime? No. Is it as bad as the crime? Perhaps not. But is it heinous, cruel and sickening? Absolutely!

So it is here as well. Enslaving Blacks purely for ego was already evil enough, but then to hide and deny the truth afterwards is heinous and repulsive! I cannot stress this point enough: it truly sickens me.

Slavery in Canada was not taught in schools. I didn’t learn of it until I was in my 30’s – much to my shock. Even then it was only because I read an article about a historian’s book on the subject. The book pointed out that “generations of historians maintained a virtual conspiracy of silence about slaves owned and exploited, bought and sold, by Canadians themselves.” From the end of slavery until the 21st century … Canada simply pretended it never happened.

I’d only learned about the “Underground Railroad” and how Canada had been a safe harbor for runaway slaves (even though there were slaves here and it was still legal, unknown to me).

For generations Canadians have sanctimoniously looked down their noses at Americans because of the slave trade, civil war, Jim Crow and racism. While Americans enslaved Blacks for economic gain, Canadians did it for prestige and ego. While Americans fought a civil war to end slavery, Canadians did it when the British Empire abolished it. While Americans celebrated heroes such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, Canadians hid from the truth and lied to generations of the nation’s children. Then they had the gall to proclaim themselves superior!

And the racism carried on. In 1870, Hiram Revels was the first Black member of the Senate and Joseph Rainey was the first Black member of the House of Representatives (during the Reconstruction Era). In contrast – Canada’s first Black member of Parliament was Lincoln Alexander in 1968. The first “Black” (biracial) president was elected in 2009, while Canada has never had a biracial or non-white Prime Minister.

And the racism carried on. The Ku Klux Klan was openly acknowledged as a part of American history, but Canada’s KKK was never acknowledged: hidden and whitewashed out of existence until only recently – by mainstream media, authors and the nation.

While everyone here knows about segregation in the American South, fewer know of segregation in Canada’s East coast provinces. Fewer still know that Canada was also segregated in law and/or practice; the last segregated school in Ontario closed in 1965, the last one in Nova Scotia closed in 1983.

And the racism carried on: through racist laws which were effected because Canadians considered Blacks inferior and undesirable. There was: Section 38 of the 1910 Immigration Act; the Black Immigration Ban in 1911, various court rulings in favor of segregation, all among other things.

Why are they so racist? A curious case indeed …

Racism cannot be justified, but there is usually some historical context for bigotry and prejudice. For example: in the United States, because of marginalization and deprivation – many Black people became associated with ghettos, the drug trade and gang culture. Although being forced into these situations was not their fault, the general context became the justification for present bigoted views and continued racist sentiments.

Going back to an earlier time: slavery and its aftermath created a societal hierarchy in which Black Americans were viewed as inferior to generations of citizens.

In Canada, the case was paralleled by Aboriginals: originally slaves, then segregated from society, confined to tiny reserves, ‘educated’ at residential schools and then left in poverty and dysfunction. Being forced into these situations was not their fault, but the context became justification for hating them for generational trauma, overall dysfunction and receiving treaty rights or financial assistance from the government. Canadians (like their American counterparts) label their undesired group as: ‘welfare bums, degenerates, lazy, uneducated, criminals, thugs, moochers’ and so on.

If Canadian Aboriginals are akin to Black Americans, then so it is reversed in another parallel: Black Canadians and their history are conveniently ignored and forgotten, much like Native Americans. Or so I once thought … but the theory does not hold up.

Some Americans admire and revere American Natives. Others with racist views may sneer at them, but mostly they are forgotten and ignored – especially in comparison to African Americans. But overall, hatred is not present.

Year after year, decade after decade – Black Canadians have been the number one target of hate crimes. This is astonishing when you take into consideration the fact they represent only 3% of the Canadian population. Also consider the context: only a third of slaves (with a reduced history of slavery), small numbers, no real large immigration influxes, and a lack of criminality (due to low numbers) that is usually associated with Aboriginals.

In fact, it looked so bad that Statistics Canada has stopped taking down the relevant information on individual races. It has never compiled federal statistical data on other issues (police shootings, murders, crime data, etc) so as to avoid the topic completely. One could never compare Black issues in Canada against the United States because the nation collectively refused to compile any data which could prove its racism.

Some can be gleaned from localized records, media reports and so on. One news study showed that Black Canadians made up 9% of police shootings despite being 3% of the population. Only this year (2020) has discussion taken place about compiling race-based data on police shootings and other subjects.

In the United States there is a long history of injustice and searing pain, which remains raw. Canada has always looked on with hypocritical disdain while not even admitting the truth about its own history and racism. Now it begins to confront it: only thanks to the United States.

It would have been wonderful if Canada had taken the initiative, but as usual it waited until the Black Lives Matter movement erupted in the United States and then copied the protests and self-reflection so as not to be left behind. NOW the government releases a statement, NOW the media saturates with news stories and programs, NOW people begin inquiring into the past and the cover ups. (I suppose better late than never.)

And Canadians wring their hands. The media admonishes us: “there is racism in Canada too!” Individuals and groups proclaim and exclaim. While doing so they also congratulate themselves on their ‘voluntary’ self-reflection.

Swallowed down is the sanctimony and schadenfreude they usually indulge in while looking south … at least for now.

The questions remain: Why are they so racist? And what will they really do about it?

What I would like to see from the Canadian government, media and people, an acknowledgement:

That you are as racist as Americans.

That there has been less violence because there has been less immigration and fewer minorities generally throughout Canada’s existence.

That Black Canadians are particularly singled out for hatred with little historical context as a back drop.

That you have purposefully refused to compile data which proves the disparity and racism.

That ignoring slavery, your history and the past – has been a heinous act which merits an apology by the state.

That there is no greater act of contempt than to refuse to admit past crimes: in this sense you minimize wrongdoing, negate the suffering, disallow survivors to become heroes and most importantly – preempt future change.

That you understand and admit all these things openly and among yourselves, and not simply pay lip service to change, going through the motions and making empty pronouncements.

Truly look inward instead of putting on a show (feeding the ego, starving the soul).


Post Script: More Thoughts

Crime and violence against African Americans is often used in comparison with Canada, the obvious inference being that Canadians are by and large less violent and being Black in Canada would’ve been better. I’m not sure I buy this argument.

Generally speaking, Aboriginals can expect worse treatment and living conditions than Black Americans. The murder rate of Black Americans is significantly higher – but this can be attributed mainly to the drug trade in inner cities.

The United States is one of the most populated nations in the world. It is also linked by land to South America and Mexico. Both these factors contribute to the national drug trade, and historic impoverishment of Black communities explains their connection.

As of 2016, Canada’s Aboriginal population sat at nearly 5%. Despite this low percentage (at a historic high) their overall conditions are as bad or worse than Black Americans – who account for 13% of the American population. Also include the fact that half of Aboriginals live in remote areas and on reserves.

If it’s this bad – what would it be like if they were 13% and lived in cities? And if Black Canadians are treated this way now, how would they fare at 13% and if slavery had been a larger industry historically?

There’s no doubt that violence against African Americans has been worse over all than Canadians, but I feel it is due to context. If the situations were reversed, I don’t believe Canadians would have been any better – most likely worse.

Perspective: I

As Canadians watch events unfold down south regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and overall discussions about race, they pay lip service to these topics without looking inward. So here I am, to point out the obvious.

Let’s begin with mass murder.

Small pox

We start with the First Nations people and begin with Jeffrey Amherst. Amherst was a British Army officer who fought to conquer New France and was the first British Governor General of the territories (later Canada).

Smallpox was an infectious disease brought to the New World by European conquerors; since Indigenous people had not previously been exposed they were decimated by the disease when it spread in their communities. This applies from Canada on down to South America – and everyone knows this.

Fewer know that Amherst tried to deliberately infect the Indigenous with small pox – which clearly shows he knew the disease was deadly among them (no herd immunity) as one of many ways in which to “reduce them”.

This has been known for some time by authors and historians (see: Atlas of the North American Indian, 1985 & The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada; 1886.)

Francis Parkman, the historian who wrote The Conspiracy of Pontiac, quotes in his book:

“Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every stratagem in our power to reduce them.”

Vol. II, p.39 (6th edition)

Now Amherst’s attempts to kill via small pox had been known for quite some time among Indigenous peoples (and apparently a few others), but was denied at large by “polite white society” as some type of urban myth.

Researchers had to go and and find evidence of the letters and writings in microfilm. (The papers had been microfilmed as part of the British Manuscripts Project in the 1940’s.) The research was done on a promise to Floyd Red Crow Westerman of the Dakota Nation who wanted to find legitimate evidence of the crime.

The quote from the book has not yet been found in microfilm, but others have.

P.S. You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect, but England is at too great a Distance to think of that at present.

Microfilm reel 34/41, item 114. (Letter image)

This quote was a response from his subordinate lieutenant colonel Henry Bouquet:

P.S. I will try to inocculate [sic] the Indians by means of Blankets that may fall in their hands, taking care however not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to oppose good men against them..”

Microfilm reel 34/40, item 305. (Letter image)

The letters clearly prove a conspiracy among at least some in the British Army to use biological warfare to help reduce or exterminate the Indigenous nations.

The most basic definition of genocide:

the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

Now some may argue (weakly) that Amherst and his co-conspirators may have been only been referring to specific tribes they were in conflict with. However it shows little concern for Indigenous peoples as a whole when the disease could easily spread between tribes, killing them all while most Europeans remained exempt.

Murder through biological warfare had been known for some time, however most liked to say there was “no proof” or that intent was not there, it was simply an after-thought prescribed to an accident.

The fact that letters have been found after hundreds of years, and describe the will to murder through smallpox is astonishing. This is when you take into account the time elapsed, the poor system for correspondence, the storage of the letters and so on. If this small trace exists and these men had the hubris to put their designs to paper, one can only guess at the actual attitudes and behavior of the time.

And even if you remain unconvinced about Amherst, we move on to a more recent time, with more damning record evidence.

(With thanks for source material from Peter d’Errico.)

Tuberculosis

Most Canadians now know that many children in the residential schools died of tuberculosis. But they wave off the idea these children were intentionally killed, and again prescribe the incident as accidental or perhaps a bit of ‘well-intentioned’ neglect.

A national journalist attempting to be the “voice of reason” against allegations of murder, wrote this:

“There were front-page stories a century ago, too. In 1897, senior Indian Affairs officials started blowing the whistle on the cavernous, shoddily-built, creaking institutions, pointing out that you couldn’t have built more efficient incubation vectors for contagious disease, and for mass death, if you tried.

Back then, P.H. Bryce, the Indian department’s chief medical officer, conducted a study of 1,500 children interned in 15 different Indian residential schools across Canada. He found that one in four of the children never made it out alive. A separate study of the Kuper Island school found that four of every 10 children sent there over a 25-year period never survived to graduate.

This is sufficiently damning. It is not necessary to assert, as Annett does, that infectious diseases were deliberately employed as part of a plot to “cull” Canada’s aboriginal population. Everybody knows what happened. It is no secret, and is not even a secret that there are mass graves.”

The Tyee: Truth and Native Abuse, 2008

Even while defending the Canadian government on public record, this journalist admits that senior Indian Affairs officials were publicly blowing the whistle: “you couldn’t have built more efficient incubation vectors for contagious disease, and for mass death, if you tried.

He also then admits the children were dying en masse; that the issue had been studied, was known in government, that nothing was done, and that it’s no secret currently there are “mass graves”. The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

Conditions were such that officials felt the need to “whistle blow” (reach out to the public with incriminating evidence the government was ignoring) which subsequently is damning evidence against the Canadian public – many of whom were aware as well.

I ask you to imagine a scenario: the Chinese come and take over Canada. They place all the children in mandatory “re-education” schools. COVID-19 mutates into an extremely deadly strain which the children begin to catch. In the schools the children begin dying at an alarming rate: 25% in one school, 50% in another, 75% in some. The Canadian government begs the Chinese to allow the children to stay home as the schools are killing them. Yet the Chinese refuse, explaining this is an incurable disease anyone can catch and they must be ‘educated’.

Is this not the willful murder of children? The Canadian government still clings to the narrative that it tried to help ‘civilize a savage people’, and in doing so ‘accidentally’ killed off a large amount through incompetence or at worst, neglect.

But if you know you are killing children – is it not murder? If you know half the children will die by being at school, and you keep them there – is it not murder? When the chief medical officer for Indian Affairs says the conditions are encouraging disease spread and will kill children – and you sit by indifferently – is it not murder? Of course when you know the outcome there can be no excuses.

They did not need to put their deeds onto paper like Jeffrey Amherst, they did not need to specify in writing – their deeds speak for themselves when taken into context.

If my coworker wanted to put a hit out on his wife, and hired a hit man and I did nothing – I would still be culpable because I knew the outcome and took no action.

Dr. Bryce, an employee of the Canadian government and Indian Affairs, wrote a book called The Story of A National Crime. It was not called the National Mistake or the National Accident – he called it a CRIME.

Crime: “an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.

Duncan Campbell Scott, superintendent of Indian Affairs brushed off years of Dr. Bryce’s warnings, reports, studies and ultimately his book.

“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem.”

Department of Indian Affairs Superintendent D.C. Scott to B.C. Indian Agent-General Major D. McKay, DIA Archives, RG 1-Series 12 April 1910

Conclusion

Before I listen to anything the government has to say about the United States, its past, its history or issues, I would like to have the following:

An acknowledgement that Canada’s Governor General Jeffrey Amherst attempted to kill off Indigenous nations with small pox in order to obtain and keep Canadian land.

Acknowledgement of the innocent Indigenous girl slaves “who worked as household help and served as concubines for the French. They were often hardly ten years old. Their average age at death was 17 years.”

An acknowledgement that Canada’s chief medical officer in the 1900’s wrote a book claiming the government of Canada was committing a crime.

Acknowledgement that the Canadian government participated in the willful murder of children through both action and omission, ultimately knowing the outcome but pursuing their agenda despite the cost of life.

An acknowledgement by the Canadian government that it continues to protect the abusers of children in residential schools, and puts money before the pursuit of justice.

An acknowledgement by the Canadian government that by protecting the perpetrators of child abuse, and by not admitting to past crimes of murder, it has attempted to protect itself from financial litigation and legal accountability.

Perhaps then I will care about your thoughts on America.


Post Script: I understand what the journalist is trying to convey: that this was not some diabolical scheme etched in the halls of power on par with the Wannsee conference.

There is no need to assert “that infectious diseases were deliberately employed as part of a plot to “cull” Canada’s aboriginal population.” When you are killing children, and know your actions are killing children but that does not “justify a change in policy”, I would argue that is indeed “culling the population”. These children were in the schools and dying because they were not white. One can speak of Canada’s “polite, quiet” way of killing the Indigenous and levels of intent, but the outcome and facts remain the same: the government chose to kill children to fulfill its agenda.

CULLING according to the Cambridge dictionary:

When people cull animals, they kill them, especially the weaker members of a particular group of them, in order to reduce or limit their number.