Thunder Bay

Alright, let’s get it over with. Time to discuss the shit hole known as Thunder Bay. It’s a small city in northern Ontario with a population of just under 100,000 people, or a little over if you include the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

Thunder Bay is principally known for its racism and redneck population. Roughly 10% of TB residents identify as Aboriginal. Another 9% are immigrants – but all European.

Fun Times


In 2015, almost a third of anti-Indigenous hate crimes were from Thunder Bay. In 2017 its MP stated publicly she was not at all surprised about its “appalling” hate crimes rate. It has the highest per-capita hate crimes rate in the country, nearly 6x the national average. This stretches
back to 2013 when it had the highest hate-crimes rate, tripling the average of big cities like Vancouver and Toronto, followed closely by other northern Ontario cities and of course Ottawa.

Aboriginal women being raped by white men and even police officers is an occurrence heard of repeatedly. Aboriginal men risk being beaten to a pulp by white residents and then thrown in the river. Aboriginals often deal with name calling in public and have garbage and other items thrown at them.


In a racist incident from January, a First Nations woman had a trailer hitch thrown at her, causing internal injuries which later killed her. As if this weren’t enough, the woman’s sister and her children were forced to leave the city after being targeted for abuse and death threats, including: “These white kids telling my kids that they are going to be the next ones found in the river or get a trailer hitch thrown at them.”


Presumably the children are referring to the spate of Aboriginal teenagers found floating dead in the Thunder Bay river, which Chiefs have demanded answers about.


In 2015, Thunder Bay was considered the murder capital of Canada based on the previous year’s statistics, a title it held again for 2016 murders, and again in 2017.


So aside from all that, what else have we got? A small northern city with the typical terrible Canadian weather and horrific winters; an incredibly boring, divided place (if locals’ rants are to be believed).


In 2017 the Thunder Bay police chief had charges brought against him, while the Mayor and others were charged with extortion. (The chief was later acquitted, the other trials are still pending.) 


In 2018, the police admitted to racism in its force and civilian service while issuing an apology. (In consequence of an investigation by the Ontario Police Watchdog.)

I just don’t have the energy to continue pummeling this shit hole. So if you ever get stuck going there, what is there to do? The “attractions” listed here constitute the following:

-Looking at a piece of concrete (Terry Fox “memorial”)

Several parks and farms (outdoors stuff)
A Cheese Farm
A crappy little museum
A casino
Shops and the like you’d find in any town …

Want to travel nearby? How about going to Winnipeg – a mere 596 km/370 miles away! Maybe Windsor at 832 kms/517 miles, or London, ON at 864 km/536 miles away? 


HAVE FUN! O Canada! 


Indigenous Survivors: “Our people were experimented on”

From the CBC:

“Florence Genaille was just a little girl in a Brandon, Man., sanatorium when she says doctors bound her to a gurney, pumped her body with electric currents and then took notes as her fingers curled, her arms shook and her neck strained backwards.

It was 1953. The Ojibway girl from Rolling River First Nation was at the sanatorium to be treated for tuberculosis.

Today, she believes it was no treatment. It was, she says, a medical experiment and she was their “guinea pig” — an assessment that Genaille shares with hundreds of survivors of the sanatoriums, which have been closed for decades.

They’re allegations that historians are now investigating.

“I’m telling you, my fingers were beginning to twist sideways, it was so incredibly painful,” said Genaille, now 72. “And now to come to the conclusion our people were experimented on — it’s an awful thing to think about.”

No evidence of tuberculosis

Genaille still does not know why doctors performed the electroconvulsive therapy. She still does not know why she was sent to the Brandon sanatorium.

At the time, she was attending residential school outside Brandon. She had bad leg pain with no known cause. Finally, the nuns decided to send her to the sanatorium, saying she might have tuberculosis in her bones.

She didn’t. In fact, years later, a doctor told her she had no evidence of tuberculosis at all.

But that didn’t stop doctors from ordering extreme bed rest for six months, so strict that she was not allowed to get off the mattress, even when they changed the bedding.

That didn’t stop doctors from slicing open the back of her thigh to explore her bone, only to sew it back up, scarring her for life and leaving her with a permanent limp. 

She had been, in the doctor’s opinion, experimented on — maybe in good faith, but without merit and without consent.

‘A lot of power in the hands of doctors’

Mary Jane McCallum is studying this theory.

McCallum, an associate professor with the University of Winnipeg, is researching what went on in Indian hospitals, as some were called then, and sanatoriums.

She has heard stories similar to Genaille’s from other sanatorium survivors and does know this: Indian hospitals were long the training ground for medical students.

Parents of young patients were often hundreds of kilometres away in remote reserves, unaware of the procedures and therefore unable to give consent.

“That meant that there were a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of power in the hands of doctors,” McCallum wrote in an email to the CBC.

Gerald McIvor agrees. Back in 1952, his brother Michael was just a child when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to the sanatorium in Ninette, Man.

Decades later, he bore the scars — disabling, disfiguring markers where doctors surgically removed a back rib and the lung behind it as a theoretical treatment for the tuberculosis.


“He always wondered, ‘Why? Why did they do that?'” McIvor said, adding his brother, who died in 2000, remembered the searing pain and little else.


Years later, Dr. A.L. Paine, a pre-eminent physician who was previously the medical superintendent of the Ninette sanatorium, explained he performed these surgeries with just a local anesthetic.

In a January 1979 paper published in the journal Canadian Family Physician titled Tuberculosis: Past, present and future, he wrote local anesthetic was used “to avoid spread of the disease during general anesthesia,” and that patients willingly agreed to it.

“Looking back, one must regret the frequent use of chest surgery attended at times by some deformity or reduced respiratory function,” Dr. Paine wrote, while arguing “many patients would have died without surgical aid.”


Taken from residential schools to sanatoriums


Today, there are other answers, though some are hidden in the history books.


In the first half of the 20th century, tuberculosis on reserves was a significant problem. The thinking at the time was that it was because Indigenous people lived in the wild.


According to an article in the August 1939 Canadian Medical Association Journal, “the Indian is still a wandering wigwam dweller at heart and adapts himself poorly to living in houses” and has “a native stubbornness and intolerance to interference that makes clinic work difficult.”


But under the Indian Act, it was legal to seize kids suspected of having tuberculosis and send them to sanatoriums — sometimes directly from their residential school, as in Genaille’s case.


It was also seen at the time as a financial win-win, medical historians say. The practice kept numbers up in both residential schools and sanatoriums where funding was tied, in part, to quotas.


So by the 1950s, even though there were better therapies available for tuberculosis patients and therapies that could let them heal at home, Indigenous patients continued to be detained longer — sometimes years longer — than the rest of the population.


McIvor, Genaille and historians don’t yet know the full extent or intentions behind what went on in Canada’s Indian hospitals and sanatoriums.


But they want to get some answers.


“I think a lot of these doctors learned from experimenting on us,” Genaille said. “Why else would just my kind of people be in there and exposed to this?”

See also:

Former sanatorium patient searches for answers, validation

B.C. author tells the horrific story of so-called ‘Indian hospitals’

Aboriginal children used in medical tests, commissioner says

Canadian government withheld food from hungry aboriginal kids in 1940s nutritional experiments, researcher finds


Researcher calls for public inquiry into medical experimentation on students not compensated in settlement agreement


Comment:

We know they performed experiments on Aboriginal children with nutrition and vaccines, now it seems only a matter of time until the rest of the accusations of medical experiments come spilling out. (Some already have!)

Unless of course the government can cover it up. One successful avenue has been the “reconciliation process” – giving abuse victims payoffs and then essentially shutting them up. One would think if you want “reconciliation” and “healing” you’d have massive investigations into things, clear up the truth and make everything public – enabling the country to move on. They appear to want to pay people to shut up and stifle anything from becoming public. We can’t change the past but we could learn from it. But why would cakers do that? Have to focus on the number one priority: making Canada look “good” to the world and feeling superior to Americans!


See post: Canadians aren’t sorry for genocide: ‘Intentions were good’



Quick look: Poverty in Canada

‘Tis the land of milk and honey! Some fun facts for the brainwashed:


1 in 6 people in Canada live in poverty. 

1 in 5 children in British Columbia live in poverty.

1 in 6 Alberta children live below the poverty line.

In Saskatchewan, 26.7 percent of children live in poverty

27.4 percent of children in Manitoba live in poverty

Almost 1 in 5 children in Ontario live in poverty.

51% of indigenous children in Canada live in poverty, and that raises to 60% on reserves. 

More than 1 in 5 children live in poverty in Nova Scotia

About 1 in 7 users of shelters is a child.

21% of single mothers in Canada raise their children while living in poverty
(7% of single fathers raise their children in poverty).

Women who work full-time earn about 72 cents for every dollar earned by men.

1 in 5 racialized families live in poverty in Canada, as opposed to 1 in 20 non-racialized families.

Racialized women living in poverty were almost twice as likely to work in manufacturing jobs than other women living in poverty.

Nearly 15% of elderly single individuals live in poverty

1 in 10 Canadians cannot afford to fill their medical prescriptions. Canada is the only industrialized country with a universal healthcare system but without a national pharmacare policy.

Almost 1 in every 5 households experience serious housing affordability issues (spending over 50% of their low income on rent) which puts them at risk of homelessness.


Now because Canadians always have to point the finger at Americans whenever criticized, I looked up statistics regarding poverty in the USA. Depending on the source (Census Bureau, NCCP, Unicef, etc) the numbers vary from 1 in 3 to 1 in 7. Generally, 1 in 5 children in poverty is the most frequently quoted number.

According to the most frequently cited number in national news and other studies, the amount of children in poverty in Canada is approx 1 in 5.

Canada has 35 million people. The United States has 318 million.

Let that sink in for a moment.


Update:  

I am appalled (but not surprised) at the amount of Canadians living in denial of the facts and accusing me of lying even as I provide statistics and links. More would be given but the data is lacking. Canada didn’t start properly tracking child poverty in the northern territories or on reserves until 2016! Data is still often 3-4 years old in recent reports as well. 

Since this blog post was written a couple years ago, I’ve updated with more recent statistic data before re-posting it. 

In 1989, all parties in the House of Commons passed a resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000. Since that time, poverty rates have not decreased at all and have increased across the country. 

Sources:

http://www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/just-the-facts/

http://www.nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html

http://globalnews.ca/news/2360311/nearly-1-in-5-canadian-children-living-in-poverty-report/

https://firstcallbc.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/First_Call_Report_Card_2018_web_Nov_20.pdf

https://globalnews.ca/video/4683561/1-in-6-alberta-children-lives-below-poverty-line

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-poverty-report-2018-1.4916410

https://globalnews.ca/news/4279779/manitoba-riding-has-highest-child-poverty-rate-in-canada-report/

https://www.cwp-csp.ca/resources/resources/shameful-neglect-indigenous-child-poverty-canada

https://globalnews.ca/news/3872633/nova-scotia-still-has-highest-rate-of-child-poverty-in-atlantic-canada-report/

https://www.cpj.ca/sites/default/files/docs/files/Poverty%20Trends%20Report%202018.pdf

Unrepentant (Documentary on Native Canadians)

Watch this whole thing through – if you can stomach it! Some (limited) information on crimes against Aboriginal people in Canada and interviews with survivors of residential schools.

A common Canadian theme is that while the residential schools were indeed tragic they were good intentions. Only now (after years of stonewalling and whitewashing) are we beginning to discover that the government and churches knowingly infected large numbers of Aboriginals with small pox and tuberculosis – murder via plausible deniability. 

Native children who testified to witnessing murders, unmarked graves, missing children and other crimes were shrugged off as ‘crazy exaggerating Indians’ until only recently, and still for the most part are. 


Regardless of how the U.S. does or doesn’t treat its minorities (including Aboriginals) one thing is clear: Canada was built on colonization and genocide. Its history is white-washed, generally ignored and downplayed. Canada is a very racist country toward Aboriginals and other non-white citizens. 


NOTHING in regards to any other country will change those fundamental facts.