A Brief Canadian History Part II

Many studies have proven that unattractive defendants, our more likely to be found guilty than attractive ones. According to canada.com, it costs taxpayers 101,000 dollars a year, per inmate, in our federal prison systems. Many people who are incarcerated are there due to drug-related offences. The majority of these people are addicts. Addiction is an actual disease. Most of these people don’t even get a chance at rehab. They go right to jail, fill up the prisons, and we wonder why there’s not enough room in prisons. In this beautiful country, when a person has a disease, they’re usually offered proper treatment.

Imagine if you had cancer, and through treatment, you were prescribed heavy pain-killers. After treatment is over, you are now addicted to, let us say, Oxycontin. Now, you are doing anything you can to get the drug, such as stealing. You caught and charged multiple times. Is it fair to go right to jail? Or get a chance at a rehabilitation center? Portugal legalized all drugs, and serious drug addicts get sent to rehab rather than prison. According to Forbes magazine, 10 years later, Portugal’s crime rate dramatically plummeted, and drug abuse dropped in half. We shouldn’t allow a single person, or a tiny group of people, to decide the fate of a person’s future. In my opinion, we should allow people from that town or city, or a massive group of people, to decide what’s best in that person’s future. We should reconsider the death penalty for those serial killing, Charles Manson type folk.


Two of the oldest people found on my family tree are from the 1800s and one from the 1500s named Jacques Cartier, on one side, and the other is named Indian Mary, on the other side of the family. Both these individuals lived through critical times during Canadian history. In 1547, Cartier was the first to document Canada’s name and label the territory on the St-Lawrence River’s shores. The name was derived from the Huron-Iroquois word “Kanata,” or village, which was incorrectly interpreted as the native term for the newly discovered land. He also named “Canadiens” the inhabitants (Iroquoians) he had seen there.

He was known to have made three voyages of exploration in dangerous and unknown waters without losing a single ship. He entered and departed some 50 undiscovered harbours without serious mishap. He may be considered one of the most conscientious explorers of that time. Cartier was also one of the first to formally acknowledge that the New World was a separate landmass from Europe/Asia. During his second voyage, there was an outbreak of scurvy. Cartier learned a special concoction made from a tree known as Annetta that would cure scurvy. His special remedy likely saved the expedition from destruction, allowing 85 Frenchmen to survive the winter. Recently, I learned of a lady named Indian Mary, and she was from the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada. She lived through the time Canada became a county and when Alberta became a province. Without either of these individuals, I wouldn’t be here today.

To go a bit further back, my ancestors experienced the worst mass murders the world has ever seen as the Europeans were taking over the first nation peoples’ land. Their women were raped. They were also spreading diseases, introduced alcohol to them, estimated anywhere from 17 to 25 million people were killed in total; and some sources say that number could be as high as 100 million people during that era. They called it a genocide when 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda, a holocaust when 11 million people were killed during WW2, so what do we call it when upwards of 25 million people are killed? I think what the first nation people were doing before alcohol was introduced was a lot more peaceful. They must have forgotten to leave that tidbit of information from our history books when I was in school.

I try and picture what my ancestors would say today if they could go forward in time. I few things come to mind, such as, “What the fuck is going on here?” Also, “The technology is amazing, but why are people so addicted to their phones, and why do people feel it’s necessary to share what’s for lunch with the rest of the world?” The internet can connect us with the rest of the world, like nothing else before it. Let us not abuse such a powerful resource. Let’s consider doing what’s necessary to repair this beautiful country, make things right again. We should focus on re-creating a place we all can love and respect, not only the planet itself but one another and all other life forms.

“I am not here to build a business; I am not here to build a corporation; I am not here to build Schools; I am not here to build churches—I am no Mother Theresa.

What I will do, is—lead a legacy.”

~Dean Mathers


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