O Canada

 

I’ve always had a fondness for Canada. Not the actual thing, but the idea of Canada I have in my head. Unspoiled forests, resolute Mounties, briny fishermen in hardscrabble towns where traditions go bedrock-deep,  magnificent architecture. It’s like a parallel version of the US:  select the top tier of the US states, do a copy-drag, reproduce it, and run a simulation to see how the cloned version would do if you moved the French sliders to the maximum settings,  and tweaked the national character settings vis-a-vis their powerful neighbor so they were always trying to balance pride and envy, contempt and admiration, resentment and gratitude. 

In the Canada of my old imagination, it has cosmopolitan cities with dreadful 70s cement architecture built by men with egregious sideburns, and I still like it. They built a whole nation up there, another iteration of Western Civ. Australia without the lethal fauna and convict history. It’s fun to think about a nation that fused the US and Canada, how it might have shaped our own culture. 

Left-wing modern view: We should be more like Canada because it’s awesome and mellow and welcoming and healthcare is free!

Well:

Ontario’s government walked back some of its new policing powers one day after they were announced, now only allowing police to stop vehicles or people if they are suspected of participating in an organized public event or social gathering.

That’s the walked-back version. 

Doug Ford’s government initially said on Friday that police could stop people at random and ask why they are not at home and where they live as part of a strengthened stay-at-home order to help stem a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

There is something absolutely rotten in a leadership class that believes this is acceptable. The good news is that the constabulary would have none of it:

The change came after several police services across Ontario took to social media on Friday saying they won’t comply with the new powers to stop people and question their reason for leaving home.

That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen. 

Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Yes, Ontario is trying to make itself into one big prison for its people.  Even when the actual, real “Science” says that lockdowns do not work to “slow the spread” of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  The People need to reject this kind of authoritarianism and just go about their lives as usual.  Dare the province to arrest them all.

    • #1
  2. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Went several times and have never had a bad day in Canada.  Loved Vancouver; Montreal very cool and Ottowa has to be one the great world capitols. Weather a little dicey in Calgary and have not been to Toronto. But looks like the Dr. Fauci type facists are running things so don’t plan to return any time soon.

    • #2
  3. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    James Lileks: There is something absolutely rotten in a leadership class that believes this is acceptable.

    Yes indeed. Solzhenitsyn said that “the line dividing good and evil runs through every human heart”, but our ruling class has been educated to believe they are entitled to exercise tyrannical power.

    • #3
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    “70s cement architecture” — to divert a bit from the subject, saying “cement” when one means “concrete” is one of my continual peeves. Cement is an ingredient of concrete. Without getting too far into the weeds, it’s what holds the sand, gravel and water (plus a few other minor ingredients) together. It could be considered the glue of the mixture.

    • #4
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Agree entirely about the ever-so-polite nascent police state to the north, with its speech codes and its lockdown orders. But as regards tweaking those “French sliders…”

    I live an hour south of Montreal; our community is a popular tourist and shopping destination for our friends north of the border (because, I guess, Canadian sales taxes make New York’s 8% look pretty good). The general impression here of Canadian tourists is that they tend to be rude shoppers and incompetent drivers. (Their driving is so bad that you can pick them out by the way they block traffic when turning — both on the streets and in the grocery stores.)

    This confused me for a long time, since the general impression of Canada is that it’s a nation full of gentle, polite, gracious people — kind of like Fargo but with, you know, colder winters.

    Then it hit me. The problem isn’t the Canadians, but rather the French Canadians. I know charming people from Ontario, from Toronto, Wallaceburg, London. It’s when you dial those sliders from Western European to French that we start running into–

    Well. We do appreciate their tourist dollars.

    • #5
  6. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    “70s cement architecture” — to divert a bit from the subject, saying “cement” when one means “concrete” is one of my continual peeves. Cement is an ingredient of concrete. Without getting too far into the weeds, it’s what holds the sand, gravel and water (plus a few other minor ingredients) together. It could be considered the glue of the mixture.

    Brutal.

    • #6
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Agree entirely about the ever-so-polite nascent police state to the north, with its speech codes and its lockdown orders. But as regards tweaking those “French sliders…”

    I live an hour south of Montreal; our community is a popular tourist and shopping destination for our friends north of the border (because, I guess, Canadian sales taxes make New York’s 8% look pretty good). The general impression here of Canadian tourists is that they tend to be rude shoppers and incompetent drivers. (Their driving is so bad that you can pick them out by the way they block traffic when turning — both on the streets and in the grocery stores.)

    This confused me for a long time, since the general impression of Canada is that it’s a nation full of gentle, polite, gracious people — kind of like Fargo but with, you know, colder winters.

    Then it hit me. The problem isn’t the Canadians, but rather the French Canadians. I know charming people from Ontario, from Toronto, Wallaceburg, London. It’s when you dial those sliders from Western European to French that we start running into–

    Well. We do appreciate their tourist dollars.

    Are you still getting Canuck tourists?  I thought the border was closed to non-essential travel (tourism and shopping being non-essential).  We are a two-hour drive from the BC border, and our outlet mall traffic was at least 50% Canadian.  Not anymore, and we can actually find a parking space now!

    • #7
  8. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    I personally know much of the Ontario government leadership.  We are not dealing with bright people.

    The fact is that many of the provinces have been doing what Doug Ford has done and far, far worse.  In most of Canada the policing is done by the RCMP and they have been happy to be little KGB agents.

     

     

    • #8
  9. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Viva Frei had a rant on this very topic last night:

    The real reason Ontario has a problem – with 650 people in the ICU with Wuhan… In a province of 16 Million+ people – 650 hospital beds in use is a crisis. The real problem is cronic mismanagement of the healthcare system – which is often over taxed by a simple flu.

    • #9
  10. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Is Canada trying to demonstrate it is no longer a First World country?

    In a separate matter, according to The Daily Wire, an Alberta court is preventing a pastor charged with violating provincial health orders from challenging the legitimacy of those provincial health orders.

    If a person has to justify the legitimacy of his presence in public, and the government does not have to justify its orders on the person, is  not the person effectively existing in a Third World tyranny?

    • #10
  11. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Viva Frei had a rant on this very topic last night:

    The real reason Ontario has a problem – with 650 people in the ICU with Wuhan… In a province of 16 Million+ people – 650 hospital beds in use is a crisis. The real problem is cronic mismanagement of the healthcare system – which is often over taxed by a simple flu.

    Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn could write a book about this. Jordan Peterson could write the forward.

    • #11
  12. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Viva Frei had a rant on this very topic last night:

    The real reason Ontario has a problem – with 650 people in the ICU with Wuhan… In a province of 16 Million+ people – 650 hospital beds in use is a crisis. The real problem is cronic mismanagement of the healthcare system – which is often over taxed by a simple flu.

    Its been decades coming, but the problem is Canadians would rather bury there heads in the sand than admit there is something wrong with our 3rd world countries health care system.

    • #12
  13. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Is Canada trying to demonstrate it is no longer a First World country?

    In a separate matter, according to The Daily Wire, an Alberta court is preventing a pastor charged with violating provincial health orders from challenging the legitimacy of those provincial health orders.

    If a person has to justify the legitimacy of his presence in public, and the government does not have to justify its orders on the person, is not the person effectively existing in a Third World tyranny?

    The stories I am hearing about say the fines, because of all the ones they issued and all the people now fighting mean that we will be doing nothing but covid ticket challenges for at least 5 years.

    The Pastor situation is an interesting one.  What has been happening with the few arrests that have been made, is the courts get continuances, because it is speculated the justification for these lockdowns wont hold up to court scrutiny.

    They are basically punting the ball, until everyone gets vaccinated.  But they havent been getting any, and despite having some domestic manufacturing capability, despite what the Federal government is saying, we are getting the situation worse and worse.  

    • #13
  14. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Agree entirely about the ever-so-polite nascent police state to the north, with its speech codes and its lockdown orders. But as regards tweaking those “French sliders…”

    I live an hour south of Montreal; our community is a popular tourist and shopping destination for our friends north of the border (because, I guess, Canadian sales taxes make New York’s 8% look pretty good). The general impression here of Canadian tourists is that they tend to be rude shoppers and incompetent drivers. (Their driving is so bad that you can pick them out by the way they block traffic when turning — both on the streets and in the grocery stores.)

    This confused me for a long time, since the general impression of Canada is that it’s a nation full of gentle, polite, gracious people — kind of like Fargo but with, you know, colder winters.

    Then it hit me. The problem isn’t the Canadians, but rather the French Canadians. I know charming people from Ontario, from Toronto, Wallaceburg, London. It’s when you dial those sliders from Western European to French that we start running into–

    Well. We do appreciate their tourist dollars.

    Quebec is a Thing Unto Itself.  The drivers really are maniacs (and I lived in Boston for a few years, it’s Mad Max out there on 128).  At least in the US I could generally understand what bad drivers were trying to do (generally speed and get past you) but in Quebec their motivations were unfathomable.

    Quebec is very, very different from the rest of Canada.  Proudly so, for a variety of reasons, and there’s generally not a lot of love lost between Ontario and Quebec.

    So, you’ve been warned.  Keep a warm box of poutine in your car as you drive through Quebec, smoke cigarettes, yell incomprehensibly at people, gesticulate quite a bit, and you’ll fit right in.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    It is really tough to have a police state if the police don’t want to play.

    • #15
  16. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Percival (View Comment):

    It is really tough to have a police state if the police don’t want to play.

    There is also a lot of other things going on here.  It was the Peel association that was the first to declare they wouldnt do it.  Peel is home to the city of Brampton, whose mayor is Patrick Brown, the person Doug Ford replaced as leader of the conservative party and who Ford also drove out of provincial parliament.

    • #16
  17. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen. 

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    • #17
  18. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen.

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    Ass first?

    • #18
  19. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen.

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    Ass first?

    ??? I don’t get your joke? I meant to write, “This isn’t justified even by Covid alarmism anymore.”

    • #19
  20. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen.

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    Ass first?

    ??? I don’t get your joke? I meant to write, “This isn’t justified even by Covid alarmism anymore.”

    “We can back to work”? Sorry.

    • #20
  21. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen.

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    Ass first?

    ??? I don’t get your joke? I meant to write, “This isn’t justified even by Covid alarmism anymore.”

    “We can back to work”? Sorry.

    What work? Everyone is broke. No work to go back to.

    There was a financial health survey out a few weeks ago… 53% of Canadians are insolvent, they have less than $200 available.

    • #21
  22. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    My wife has many French Canadian relatives who are desperate for the vaccine which is essentially unavailable. They can be vaccinated in Florida if they own property here or have a rental lease. We have rental property here and have offered to provide a lease for any of her relatives who want to fly or drive down. Several are considering it.

    • #22
  23. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Well there seems to be some good news after all.  Astro Zeneca is now available to anyone over the age of 40 in Ontario as of Tuesday.  Time to sign up.

    • #23
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Hey, many of you don’t know the worst of it.  Canada apparently is like Jim Crow on steroids.  They have . . . it’s almost too horrific to comprehend . . . voter ID requirements!

    https://election.ctvnews.ca/do-you-need-id-to-vote-seven-things-to-know-about-voting-1.4646930

    I wonder if a multitude of American corporations have publicly denounced them for this?

    • #24
  25. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    “70s cement architecture” — to divert a bit from the subject, saying “cement” when one means “concrete” is one of my continual peeves. Cement is an ingredient of concrete. Without getting too far into the weeds, it’s what holds the sand, gravel and water (plus a few other minor ingredients) together. It could be considered the glue of the mixture.

    I have the same pet peeve re: cement vs concrete.

    • #25
  26. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    “70s cement architecture” — to divert a bit from the subject, saying “cement” when one means “concrete” is one of my continual peeves. Cement is an ingredient of concrete. Without getting too far into the weeds, it’s what holds the sand, gravel and water (plus a few other minor ingredients) together. It could be considered the glue of the mixture.

    Sorry, you’re quite correct, and it’s a mistake I usually avoid, because I known the difference. Except in this case it was midnight and I was just banging away without undue revisals. 

    • #26
  27. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Hey, many of you don’t know the worst of it. Canada apparently is like Jim Crow on steroids. They have . . . it’s almost to horrific to comprehend . . . voter ID requirements!

    https://election.ctvnews.ca/do-you-need-id-to-vote-seven-things-to-know-about-voting-1.4646930

    I wonder if a multitude of American corporations have publicly denounced them for this?

    Not only that, but Elections Canada updates the voter roles before an election, and sends out a voter registration card to each voter.

    • #27
  28. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen.

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    Ass first?

    ??? I don’t get your joke? I meant to write, “This isn’t justified even by Covid alarmism anymore.”

    “We can back to work”? Sorry.

    What work? Everyone is broke. No work to go back to.

    There was a financial health survey out a few weeks ago… 53% of Canadians are insolvent, they have less than $200 available.

    Jobs can make people not broke.

    • #28
  29. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    That qualifies as good news these days. You are free to move about, citizen.

    Unless we think you are participating in a social gathering.

    This isn’t justified even boy Covid Alarmism anymore. Pretty soon, the sick and the elderly will have their shots and we can back to work.

    Ass first?

    ??? I don’t get your joke? I meant to write, “This isn’t justified even by Covid alarmism anymore.”

    “We can back to work”? Sorry.

    What work? Everyone is broke. No work to go back to.

    There was a financial health survey out a few weeks ago… 53% of Canadians are insolvent, they have less than $200 available.

    Jobs can make people not broke.

    Yes a job is the best anti-poverty program ever. But small business are dead.

    Where are the jobs going to come from when there is no demand? No capital formation?

    • #29
  30. Cosmik Phred Member
    Cosmik Phred
    @CosmikPhred

    Canada:  The Polite Fascists.

    • #30