Whoa Canada is a film by the young activists who brought us “Shit Harper Did” during the 2011 federal election. It’s a really unsettling tour through the Canadian security state, with great cameos by Edward Snowden, Pam Palmater & many others, all gathered together in one excellent compendium. Check out the phalanxes of cops and guns that the government will produce against a bunch of kids with cameras and giant inflatable eyeballs. Or kids dressed as cookies. The Gufstafsen Lake standoff, Idle No More, the $1 billion spent on security for the 2010 Olympics, Bill C51… Canadians know of most of these stories, but seeing them all in one place solidifies an understanding of the country as anything but free or benign. As Snowden states, Canada conducts almost the least oversight of its security agencies and apparatus of any western nation, and spends a mind-boggling amount of money on it. It’s out of control by any metric.
Access to Information documents show that CSIS, the Canadian CIA, holds meetings twice a year with “energy stakeholders” to inform them of the activities of environmental and Indigenous activists opposing such things as oil pipelines. It describes peaceful lo-fi protests as “executed with military precision.” It would be funny if it weren’t so… unfunny.
Most importantly, the film emphasizes the sheer kajillions of dollars made from military and security responses to the fake “terror threat.” The people making that money are the very same people who manufactured the fake “terror threat” in the first place. It’s a “terror” spiral, or as law professor Michael Geist puts it in the film, “a giant self-licking ice cream cone.”
Worth watching. Please share.
Sadly, some of these same activist kids have backed our developer-friendly civic party Vision Vancouver. I wish they’d stick to federal politics, where they can be progressive, and stay away from promoting bike lane/latté/Big Money fauxgressive politics.
“I have 4 cookies out there….” the security guy says into his phone, perhaps to his boss, about the activists in a lobby who are dressed as cookies (as in computer cookies). He listens to his boss over the phone for a few seconds, then replies into it “They’re cookies.”