In Canada, racism is illegal!
- Women gained the right to vote in Canada before Aboriginal people did. Women’s suffrage was granted before World War II, but Aboriginal people had to wait until the late 60s to be allowed to vote. Aboriginal women? A few years after.
- Slavery happened in Canada. It’s our best kept secret. You won’t find anything on this in school textbooks. We gush about how we let the poor slaves running from the United States with open arms, but slavery was legal in Canada until 1833. Black and Aboriginal people were forced into slavery. Africans were imported as slaves to the rich whites.
- On that note, black slaves fleeing to Canada faced anything but a magical safe haven when they arrived in Canada. Segregation was alive and well, and in fact the last racially segregated school in Canada closed only in 1983.
- Just this year a Toronto police officer killed Syrian-born Torontonian Sammy Yatim when the 18 year old was alone in an empty streetcar armed with only a small knife. Sammy was shot nine times, and then tasered twice. Just so the police could make sure the kid was dead or something. (trigger warning for the link - it contains footage of a police shooting)
- In the city of Saskatoon in the province of Saskatchewan, an Aboriginal person is more likely to go to jail than to graduate high school, and we have the highest youth incarceration rate in Northern America. Police officers in Saskatoon have been taking Aboriginal people from the streets of Saskatoon and dumping them in the snow miles out of town to freeze to death possibly since 1976. At least three cases of people dying like this have been confirmed. Police officers received only 4 months in jail.
- During World War II, Canada forced Japanese people into internment camps. Families were separated, living conditions were poor, and even people who were Canadian-born for generations were interned on grounds of being enemy aliens and a threat to the nation. Italians, Germans and Ukranians were also interned but to a lesser extent.
- At least 60 women disappeared from Vancouver’s downtown east side over the span of 20 years. Most of these women were Aboriginal, sex workers, or drug users. The police didn’t much lift a finger to try and find out what was happening to all these ‘undesirables’, and so let serial killer Robert Pickton carry out gruesome murders safely for years upon years. Managed to be sexist and racist at the same time, nice!!
- Man, how could I forget the Oka Crisis, where the government sent in the military to quash a protest by Mohawk people protesting a golf course being built on their traditional burial grounds.
- And basically the same thing is happening in Elsipogtog right now.
But no man! We’re totally really nice, multicultural, maple syrup-and-poutine loving people. You totally want to move here because we have gay marriage, so clearly all our problems are solved.