UPDATE: Both notcanada.com and notcanada.net have gone offline. The homepage for notcanada.net simply notes that “This site has been shut down.” No further information seems to be available anywhere. It is possible, I suppose, that my exposé hit a nerve, and the sites were shut down in response – but I don’t want to flatter myself.
My post questioning the reality behind the NotCanada website continues to be one of the most frequently read, and most commented on, posts of this blog, so I thought I would go back and revisit the site – and the issue – and also do some browsing through the searches that bring people to that post, to see what else they might be finding.
The NotCanada website continues to maintain that it “is run by a team of former Canadian citizens, who have now permanently left Canada and are happily living and working abroad” [here]. However, despite extensive recent revisions and additions to the site – predominantly the posting of numerous YouTube videos – they still provide no real identifying information. The IP addresses and registrations associated with the site are all still located in Canada. And material included in the site continues to contradict the claims they make about their identity.
For instance, the only entry in their “Editorial Section” concerns the declining birthrate in Canada and seems clearly to be written from a Canadian – not an immigrant or former immigrant – perspective. Consider these suggestions for dealing with the problem of the declining birthrate and aging population:
1) Bring in more immigrants – this is currently being done, but you have to be careful. It makes sense only if the immigrants you are bringing in are young. If they are over age 40, it is useless.
2) Encourage older people to continue working and to aggressively save money! – When people stop working (age 65 or so) the government has to step in and pay for them. Health care costs, pensions, you name it. Where does the government get the money from? From the taxes taken out of the paychecks of the working class.
3) Ban all immigration for parents and grandparents – this may sound harsh, but under the current ‘family reunification’ system, too many old people come to Canada every year. And let’s be honest, they really do not contribute to the country in any way.
4) Bring in more immigrants – wait, didn’t we just mention this? Well the reason we repeat it is because there is another big problem to this. See the job market in Canada, currently cannot provide enough for the existing Canadians. Bringing in more (younger) people will make the competition for the few limited jobs more intensified and this could prove disastrous.
5) Make Canadians have more babies – anyone who thinks that this is going to happen can keep dreaming. Currently it costs about $225,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18 in Canada. It’s a small miracle that Canadians have any children at all.
6) Make the retirement age 70 and expect older people to work, but at less physically demanding jobs – could work, but, what jobs? There are few jobs in Canada!
So what’s the solution? Well, we are not sure. But one thing is for sure, if current trends continue, Canada will become an increasingly older, more expensive, more heavily taxed and decrepit country in the next generation.
It seems unlikely in the extreme that this was written by “former Canadian citizens, who have now permanently left Canada and are happily living and working abroad.” It sounds like disgruntled conservative Canadians.
Similarly, the inclusion on the homepage of a YouTube video entitled “Canadians to Americans: Don’t make your healthcare like ours” – in which “Canadians discuss the aches and pains of waiting on a government-run health care system when they need it the most” – makes more sense if posted by, again, disgruntled conservative Canadians rather than former immigrants now happily living overseas.
A 2005 CTV News program mentions the NotCanada website as part of a story on the problems facing immigrants to Canada, and even asks the then Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Joe Volpe, about it. However, there is no indication that CTV did more than read the website and take it at face value; that is, this report should not be taken as proof that the website is what it says it is, despite the prominent inclusion of a clip from the report on the NotCanada homepage. [I have contacted CTV to inquire if they did any background checks on NotCanada as part of this story, but to date have not heard back from them.]
Underscoring the racist, anti-immigrant nature of the NotCanada website, one of the links that turns up in Google searches on “notcanada” is a virulently racist, neo-Nazi website that has a discussion thread about the site :
[Note: As in the past, in an effort to avoid creating any publicity for or links to profoundly objectionable websites, I have used graphic images without links for the group’s name and for the URL for the thread under discussion.]
The thread includes links to a TV report posted on YouTube with the name “notcanada” that discusses the problems finding jobs of immigrants to Canada. Other than the name, there is no mention of the website in the report, nor any obvious linkage between its posting and the NotCanada site — beyond the obvious content connection. It is not entirely clear, therefore, how the person posting the video on the neo-Nazi site made the connection between that YouTube video and the NotCanada website, so as to include a URL for NotCanada in their initial posting.
It does not seem completely unreasonable to wonder whether there might not be some covert connection between the creators of the NotCanada website, the posters of the “notcanada” news report on YouTube, and members of this neo-Nazi website. It would certainly explain how the news item got posted with the “notcanada” moniker, and how it made it onto that neo-Nazi site with the full URL for notcanada.
On the other hand, it is quite possible — and indeed quite a bit more likely, much as I enjoy a good conspiracy theory —that this is simply a case of people with similar interests or goals finding each other. And certainly critics of Canadian immigration cannot be blamed if their views find favor with racists, if their criticisms are based on something other, less odious, than racism. But I still find this connection disturbing.
The real question raised by following up on the “notcanada” Google searches that bring people to my posting is this: Who exactly is doing searches on “notcanada”? It wouldn’t be people simply seeking information — negative or positive — on immigration to Canada. Rather, it seems like it would only be people already familiar with the NotCanada site. The most likely culprits are people associated with the site who are checking up on it, looking for links to or discussions of their work.
If so, then they are likely to end up at this post — in which case I want to issue a challenge: If you are legit, let come out from the shadows and do something to prove it. Even an email to me explaining their anonymity, and the ambiguity around their site, would be welcome.
Essentially anonymous comments, like those to my original post — all originating from Canadian IP addresses — are not going to cut it as any sort of proof of legitimacy, even if the comments are in fact legitimately from immigrants who may have been suckered by a bogus website.