[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e can all name a few lawless locations in countries around the world, where the authorities are authorities in name only – parts of Mexico, Pakistan, Afghanistan, readily spring to mind. But what about Canada – good old calm, conservative, wouldn’t-dream-of-being-rude Canada?
“What about Canada?” I hear you ask, “Didn’t you just post recently about car crime in your area? How the community is at the mercy of some Loonie/Twoonie swiping teens… big deal!” Well hold on there, before you shrug and turn back to CNN, were you aware of Canada’s criminal underworld?
The Mafia loves Canada, its secretive banking system does not allow investigation, making it a great place to launder money, and its proximity to the States and porous ports make it an ideal North American entry point. The mob have a huge presence in Toronto, and also pull the strings of the hospitality industry in Niagara Falls, putting the kibosh on any moves towards sustainability in favor of financial gain, and why wouldn’t they? They’re not known for their warm and fuzzy stance on environmental issues…
Don’t forget the Hell’s Angels. Canada has more Hell’s Angels members per head than any other country with 34 chapters operating in Canada, 15 of them in Ontario. Drugs and extortion are the main criminal pursuits and Harley’s are everywhere here. (Luckily my Harley-owning neighbour is female – the Angels are a misogynistic bunch and don’t allow women, so I don’t have to worry on that score).
It’s no secret that Quebec’s construction industry is rife with corruption. Myriad ties between the awarding of lucrative government contracts and the funding of political parties have sparked a two-year investigation, which will inform the Charbonneau Commission’s public inquiry, an investigation that was first called for back in 2009 when construction union bosses expense accounts and connections to organised crime first came to light.
And the other day I open the paper, and what do I see? Dirty Dealings in Daycare. That wasn’t the headline but I reckon it’s pretty snappy. Too much subjectivity in the awarding of permits – for this, read: “Operators with NO EXPERIENCE IN CHILDCARE being awarded permits to run a facility, over the heads of experienced daycare managers.” And people wonder why their children are discovered wandering around in car parks and nearby shops!
Involved in Early Years Education back in Britain, I used to feel that the UK was drowning in red tape with regard to its Childcare Policies. Now I seem to be somewhere with the opposite problem.
Without the benefit of years of background knowledge and an awareness of the legislative system here, it would be unfair and ill-informed of me to make direct comparisons with the British system, but I can’t help feeling that Canada has a “developing country” air about it, with safeguards and in-depth review processes not put in place until some unfortunate tragedy warrants it.
There are plenty of fine-inducing, coffer-filling by-laws, but far fewer legal requirements for the protection of children, cyclists, pedestrians or the environment. If we could get some government subsidies rolling in all that would change – nothing like the sniff of free money to attract
organised crime entrepreneurs. After a few million wasted dollars and some inevitable unpleasantness, it would be time for the government to show the country that it has the problem in hand and dispense a few regulations.
But in the meantime, if it isn’t affecting you or me, why worry, right?