Chapters Indigo owners [Heather] Reisman and [Gerald] Schwartz founded the HESEG foundation, which provides scholarships and other support to "lone soldiers" who have been in the Israeli military. [Lone soldiers are Jews who leave their home countries to join the Israeli army. They have no family in Israel, but often want to stay once their military service is done.]
Anyway, this is not the first ultra-lefty social-justicey type campaign the increasingly irrelevant protestant church has got itself tangled up in and it won't be the last.
I decided to investigate whether this was just a "Toronto thing" and checked out my local UC to see what they were up to and whether they were interested in God or Jesus or fuddy duddy stuff like that.
Sure enough, they run a film festival every year for 'social justice', that wonderfully illdefined concept whereby participants are praised - mostly by themselves - for their good intentions, whether or not they achieve any actual results. The same good intentions they fall back on in the event of overwhelming failure.
One of the films they showed was, predictably enough, Michael Moore's stunningly factual documentary "Capitalism: a Love Story", and also a film called "Poor No More" which warranted the kind of further research of which us skeptics are so fond. From the film's website:
Poor No More offers solutions to Canada's working poor. The film takes three Canadians to a world where people do not have to beg, where housing is affordable and university education is free. They ask themselves: if other countries can do this, why don't we?Which world is this?!!
[Here's the trailer on YouTube.]
Apparently, it's Sweden and Ireland.
Didn't Ireland go bankrupt in 2008? Yup, it did. And I spend most of my life there and know from firsthand experience that life there is but a shadow of life in Canada. Living standards don't come close and public services are nowhere near as good as Canada's - and that's with higher rates of tax.
Sweden? Been there too. It is a great place to live, but it's sustained with the kind of taxation Jack Layton can only dream of (during a massage). Now that Sweden have copped that their taxes are not going to help Rolf down the road who is out of work, but are going to help Mohammed and his three Somali brides raise their nine children, they're backpedalling faster than, well, Jack Layton.
Sweden, like Norway, and to a lesser extent Finland and Denmark, survive in an economic bubble of the kind you could imagine if Canada suddenly made a law that doubled the price of everything, including wages. We could all pay WAY more tax because we could import the same amount of stuff from America and China, but the only tourism that would exist would be other Canadians from different provinces.
That's how Scandinavia works: they visit each other's countries for vacation, although you might see the odd German making his way around Akershus Festning. Public transport, eating out are horribly expensive, and a pint of beer costs around $10. I mean a half-litre, which is not quite a British pint. Which is 568ml for the similarly beer-loving.
Anyway, if we want to model Canada on Sweden we start with that. Combine that with what has been virtually a unicultural, classless society for a century. Bye bye multiculturalism. It helps to have been a world leader in engineering, design and manufacture for a while too, and staying out of some wars.
But here's the thing: there's tons of poverty in Sweden, they're importing it by the bucketload. Whole suburbs of Stockholm and Malmo are virtual third world swamps populated by people who, despite insane amounts of money spent on their "assimilation", retain much of their African and Middle Eastern cultures, and particularly the more unpleasant aspects of them.
Not to be dissuaded by such things as 'facts', however, Poor No More's makers have seen fit to portray Sweden as one of the places "where people do not have to beg, where housing is affordable and university education is free."
Yes, there are beggars in Sweden. And a lot of addicts, drunks, and other belligerents. What, did you think "social democracy" would make people into better people??
Here's a house for sale, randomly selected and well outside of Stockholm, priced at well over $400,000 Canadian. And a penthouse apartment? That's over $3million.
Universities? Well, if you're from the EU the fees seem to be subsidised by the government, but you still have to live, and good luck with that in Sweden. In Norway, which is richer than Sweden, the government offers student loans rather than grants to cover fees and living costs. With interest of course. Sociology grads, beware.