Canada Day, Gangland Style

Prime Minister Chrétien choking a protester in 1996 in what became known as the Shawinigan Handshake, named after Chrétien's home town. Image Source: Ugly Hockey Sweater.

Today is Canada Day. I ran across a dumb video of a parrot singing the national anthem. But the result was just disturbing. I tried to find something happy, but the first thing that came up was former PM Chrétien strangling a protest in a famous encounter from 1996 (above).

The photo recalls recent Canadian news, which lately has been awful.

Large sections of Calgary and other Alberta communities were washed out last week by apocalyptic floods. You can see footage of Calgary's flooded downtown centre below the jump.

In Montreal, the third mayor in less than eight months has been sworn in, due to rampant city corruption. Also in Montreal, the language police have been out in force lately, and linguistic strife has been building since last fall's election of the separatist Parti Québécois led to an intensified effort to stamp out non-French languages (see a related video here). The language police are banning all non-French words from Montreal's restaurant menus, including words such as 'pasta.'

There is another story about a teenager working in a grocery store on the South Shore of the city who was forbidden from talking in English, even to Anglo customers who asked her questions in English on the store floor; she was also prohibited from speaking English to fellow Anglo co-workers while working with them or during work breaks. An Anglo political counter-movement is starting to gain momentum, and some of its proponents are not much better than the people they are criticizing.

An unreleased video of the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, purportedly shows him smoking crack. After Gawker leaked the story, Ford's popularity jumped. The case is getting more convoluted, and now involves a loosely connected murder trial.

News of a video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack was recently leaked. His popularity rose after the scandal, which is still unfolding. Image Source: Gawker.

Montreal's interim mayor Michael Applebaum resigned amid corruption allegations in June 2013. Image Source: Sun News.
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