Canada is the dream country for some, a prime minister who supports LGBT+ rights, diversity, free health care, etc. Justin Trudeau has lately been taking the choices made by Donald Trump and turning them around to promote immigrating to Canada, pressing the good publicity forward and covering up all of the bad. The country has been known to cover up, erase and ignore the cultures, pleas and problems of citizens, but they’re hushed so well, you may have never heard of them.
Indigenous people have been disrespected by Canadians since the moment the British and French invaded their land. In the past couple of years, hundreds of indigenous women and girls face physical and sexual violence, kidnapping and murder in the country, but the government of Canada does not investigate enough to satisfy the Human Right’s Committee’s standards, considering the high levels of brutality they face. When the government of Canada (under Stephen Harper’s command) was asked about the issue, they failed to provide a thorough answer. Since, Prime Minister Trudeau has pledged to address the problem, but the violence has yet to be eliminated. Even then, the government doesn’t respect land agreements with indigenous communities and ignores the extreme poverty, health and water complications within each.
One thing that Canada has been covering up for several years involves residential schools. Throughout the 19th and 20th century, First Nations children were forcibly removed from their home and their families; sent to church schools that were funded by the government. They were assimilated to “Canadian culture” and tortured, killed and physically and sexually abused. The children were taught to associated parts of their own culture, like their language and clothing, with the pain and violence they were put through at the schools. Was this in the past? Yes. However, the last residential school closed in 1996.
“As a residential school survivor, there were things taken away from us that we can never ever get back, doesn’t matter how hard you work at it. I worked hard to get my culture back, my language. I still have to work at it. There are many missing things that I can never ever get back, but having the government apologize and acknowledge the damage that has been done, I feel a little reprieve.” – Helen Cromarty, residential school survivor
Canada also has the “Protections of Communities and Exploited Persons Act“, which limits sex workers abilities to screen their clients, making it more dangerous for themselves. This also forces street-based sex workers (who are normally poor, transgender and/or indigenous) to work in more threatening areas. Even though parts of this act are helpful and reasonable, it’s a fact that it puts more persons of minority in danger.
The United States highly influence the people in Canada and not all citizens living in the country disagree with Donald Trump. There have been many cases where Canadian police officers have shot and killed POC, hiding it effectively behind the news stories in America. Alex Wettlaufer, 21, possibly unarmed, Sumaya Dalmar, 26, trans woc and Andrew Loku, 45, living with PTSD, are only few of the victims of Canadian police brutality. Also with influence from the U.S.A., the mosque attack in Quebec is one of the few things the government hasn’t been able to cover up.
Canada will never be a perfect country, not with the grave history it has already dug itself. It can be a great country, it is diverse and desirable. However, stop saying Canada is the perfect country, the ideal country to live in. It is not. Underlying racism runs throughout Canada and it cannot be stopped by being covered up.