The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Happy Canada Day

I like Canada, but it has its flaws. In particular, it’s been a shitty country to indigenous people.

Plenty of spreading disease in the early years, and the deliberate destruction of their ways of life and cultures through residential schools.

Back in high school, I learned about the Metis rebellion, but it was never clear WHY it happened, and I didn’t learn the reason until I was in my 40s. Until the Victorian era, the Metis were the trading caste among the first nations; they controlled much of the economy and were the people who tied together various hostile tribes.

When the Brits/Canada pushed West, they didn’t respect that, and threatened the existing power structures and economic arrangements. So the Metis rebelled. Bit of a damp squib, mostly because the leader, Louis Riel, was unwilling to fight properly. He was advised to cut the rail lines, which would have made it a real fight.

Everything after that has been a downhill slide for the indigenous peoples, who are treated terribly and discriminated against. The worst racism in Canada is definitely against the natives, not against blacks (which is not to say there is no discrimination against them).

Canada has a mixed record for a lot of others, good for many. For a lot of people, it’s been a very good place to live, better than most in the world.

It’s heading in the wrong direction, however, and has been for decades. That’s accelerated recently in two of the most important states, Ontario and Alberta, which are both slashing and burning public services and ownership. Both want to get rid of universal healthcare and so on. They won’t quite manage it this time around, but when the centrist liberals get in power they won’t roll it back, so I figure we’ve got ten to twenty years. If politics don’t radically change by then, Canada will turn into USA North.

One thing I particularly love about Canada is that we have lots and lots of wilderness, one of the few countries where that’s still true.

Overall, I’m pretty glad I was born here.

Hope you’re having a good day, feel free to use the comments as an open thread.

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Time to Derail Nuclear Treaty Talks?


War Crime Apologia


  1. Zachary Smith

    I’ve never been to Canada, and so far as I know I’ve never met a citizen of that nation. Since I barely know US history, imagine my ignorance of the neighbor to the north! Still, I sometimes read stories/articles about the place, and here are a few examples.

    Some ‘vibes’ I picked up in years past was that Canada once had a really substantial biowar capability. At the time it was my deduction this was a bit of insurance against their pushy neighbor to the South. All that seems to have changed. Canada now has a minute army, a small obsolete Air Force, and a tiny navy. The Canadian Power Elites seem to have come to terms with becoming a functional ‘colony’ of the American Imperium. Recall how when the US yelled “frog”, Canada jumped and arrested that high-ranking Chinese woman. This mindless obedience has caused them a lot of unnecessary trouble, and the self-inflicted wound will continue to fester. And how many Canadians (or Americans) know about this next little jewel?

    Canada can be legally invaded by US troops

    I had this factoid in my memory, but was surprised how difficult it was to dredge out any details of the arrangement from internet searches. Finally!:

    Canada cheerfully sells arms to one of the world’s worst nations – Saudi Arabia. That may well be related to another feature which happens to bother me – a lot.

    The Real Face of Justin Trudeau …

    One blogger calls Trudeau “beard boy”, and is as unhappy as myself at the way the fellow plays footsie with the Apartheid State. All at the expense of the subhuman Palestinians, of course.

    At the present time I see Canada as a ‘dual’ colony. Both the US of A and the pissant state seem make many of the major decisions in the nation to our North.

  2. Mel

    I’m a fan of John Ralston Saul’s _A Fair Country_, and the possibility that we could create a culture parallel to Metis culture here, as the present industrial culture shrivels down to its sustainable size. The Berger Commission Report of the 1970s and the related Supreme Court cases, e.g. Delgamuukw v British Columbia started looking in that direction. If we’d got there, the Wet’suwet’en protests would not be happening, because the Wet’suwet’en position would be regarded in the national policy on resource development.
    For now the consensus in Ottawa seems to be to take us all down in flames in the footsteps of the U.S.

    So I celebrated Canada Day by blowing up the bagpipes and playing _C’est l’Aviron qui Nous Mène_. I couldn’t manage to be in the canoe at the time, but … well … two out of three …

  3. Ian Welsh

    Canada is a US satrapy, without question, yes. We always have been since after WWII but the degree has varied. Back in the 70s we regularly told the US to go fuck itself, now we don’t.

    Getting sufficient deterrent would be possible, not even particularly hard, but we don’t do so.

  4. Zachary Smith

    Judge sends Ghislaine Maxwell to New York to face criminal child sex charges linked to Jeffrey Epstein

    The only thing I know for sure about this story is that there is far more to it than meets the eye. This woman left France to come to the USA. Why? France does NOT extradite its citizens. The headline says she was sent to New York. Does this breaking story have anything to do with the desperation by William Barr to replace the NY prosecutor with a totally unqualified but highly reliable man of his own?

    On the car radio earlier today I listened to a Nice Polite Republican broadcast which was filled with many words, but said essentially nothing.

    It’ll be fascinating to see how this one plays out.

  5. Zachary Smith

    I’m aware that most people here probably read the Naked Capitalism site, but if you skipped over this story you missed a dandy.

    Europe in 1989, America in 2020, and the Death of the Lost Cause

    Watching the skein of lies of the Purple Dream unravel has been one small delight of this miserable time we’re in.

  6. Zachary Smith

    Face Masks Mandatory In Most Of Texas, Starting Friday

    Starting Friday, wearing face masks will be the law of the land in most of Texas.

    Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Thursday requiring Texans to wear face coverings in public in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases.

    “We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces,” Abbott said.

    This fellow Abbott is a slow learner, but at least he finally did something worthwhile. Running my mouse cursor over a map of Texas uncovered Sterling County with zero Covid cases. But the place is over 900 square miles and there are only 1,212 residents. Even there I’d put on my mask if I were going to an eating place with outsiders present.

  7. Steve

    With some exceptions, I disagree that Canada is a satrapy of the US. I think instead that overall the ruling elite of Canada has much the same interests as the ruling elite of the US and elsewhere, and that\’s the reason for going along with US policy.

    I also think that for domestic political consumption, it\’s always convenient for a Canadian pol to sigh and blame the US for causing Canada to support a certain policy–when in fact the policy is perfectly reflective of the ideology of Canada\’s elite and the Canadian pol gets an excuse.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén