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Canada: Top Ten Things To Love and Hate

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7. Exporting asbestos: Few people may have known about this story before the CBC's recent expose, but, unbelievable as it may seem, Canada does in fact actually still sell this cancer-causing sh*t overseas, even though we won't let it be used here in our own country due to the overwhelming evidence that it kills people. You want horrific hypocrisy in the name of slimy greed, look no further than this.

To learn more about this blemish on our national reputation watch Canada's Ugly Secret, Mellissa Fung's excellent recent piece that aired on CBC's The National.

6. The Queen/The Monarchy: Is it just me or is it not simply ridiculous that Canada's head of state resides across the Atlantic Ocean in England? But that's not the half of it. Will somebody please tell me why on earth we still have the head of some inbred European aristocratic family as our nation's sovereign? Oh, I forgot, they're born of "good blood" or some such sh*t.

Unelected, undemocratic, unneeded. Feudal systems of government sucked in feudal times and they suck even more in the 21st century. Wake up people, wake up!

Read more here: The God Save The Queen Rant

5. Downtown Eastside, Vancouver (and other similar areas in other Canadian cities): It is absolutely inexplicable, inexcusable and downright disgraceful that a country this rich allows such an appalling, poverty-stricken, drug-riddled area to exist right in the middle of one of its major cities. And it's all the more outrageous when you consider that all these people have been abandoned to the streets of Vancouver, a city of incredible wealth and overabundance.

Obviously it's not something that is easy to solve, what with all the addiction and people so down on their luck, but if we can spend billions on bailing out GM then we can certainly spend the few millions it would take to clean up such a disgraceful situation and get all these homeless people housed and in proper treatment programs. There's simply no place for such suffering, poverty and hopelessness in a country as rich as this.

4. Police brutality: It may be true that police brutality occurs in every country on earth, but that doesn't lesson the revulsion of knowing that cases such as that of Robert Dziekanski actually happen right here in Canada.
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It should also be noted that not all countries have national police forces (the RCMP) that seem to do whatever they can to protect the thugs within their ranks, rather than doing everything possible to clean up the force. Because at the end of the day the truly outrageous thing is how the thugs within the police force are coddled, protected and allowed to stay on the job when they should, of course, be charged and prosecuted.

I've said it over and over again, there are lots of good cops out there, but there are also a lot of hothead, kneejerk reactionary thugs in the force as well. And a truly civilized nation wouldn't put up with the thugs for a minute, let alone coddle them.

Read more here: The Dziekanski Killing and Cover-Up: Even Fellow Cops Now Feel Compelled To Speak Out In Disgust and here: Cowards and Apologists: The Police Brutality Rant

3. Getting sucked into America's so-called War On Terror: No, we, thankfully, did not get sucked into Bush's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, but we, as a nation, have most certainly been dragged into some awful Bush-like behavior over the past eight years:

- First and foremost is our government's disgraceful stance when it comes to Canadian child soldier, Omar Khadr. Read more here about how we've left this poor kid to rot in Guantanamo Bay for seven long years: Canada The Callous and Cold: Get Omar Khadr Freed Now!
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- Then there's the case of Abousfian Abdelrazika, the Canadian citizen stranded in Sudan for six years who, until earlier this summer, the Canadian government illegally refused to issue a new passport to, even after CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and the Sudanese authorities had both cleared him of any wrongdoing or involvement with terrorism.

- Then there are those dreaded national security certificates that allow the government, in violation of hundreds of years of legal tradition, to withhold evidence from suspects in their own trials; certificates that Canada used to hold five men for up to eight years without charge (and still holds them today under house arrest). Just recently it was revealed that in two of these cases CSIS mishandled and misrepresented evidence against the accused (which the accused never knew, of course, since they and their lawyers had been denied the right to see the faulty evidence in the first place).

- Then, back in 2006, under intense American pressure the Canadian government, as part of the so-called "War On Terror", took sides in a civil war and, ridiculously, branded the Tamil Tigers alone as the terrorists in the 30-year-old conflict on the island of Sri Lanka. Read more here: Freedom Denied! Are We Happy Now: The Crushing of Sri Lanka's Tamils

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Mike Cowie is a 42-year-old freelance writer, who lives together with his wife and son just outside of Vancouver, B.C. After spending 15 years living, travelling and working overseas Mike returned to live in Canada back in 2004. His final trip, (more...)
 

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