Minister Kenney’s drive to dismantle the popular image of Canadians as peace-loving, polite, civilized folk, and to replace it with a more fierce, aggressive representation of Canada has been noted and dissected at length by the kind of people who are interested in these kinds of things. And glancing through the horrible, horrible news items of atrocities committed by Canadians in the past ten days, it seems that his plan was successful, though perhaps not quite in the way he wished or could have foreseen. Some Canadians, notably some Young Canadians have been hard at work to ensure nobody ever dares think of Canada as some peaceful quiet backwater where nothing much happens, ever again.
Just judging by the number of people they damaged, the three Ottawa teenagers (one of them the go-to babysitter of her prim neighbourhood) who ran a sex trafficking ring from the comfort of a local community housing block are the worst. Deceiving their fellow classmates into showing up for a party or sleepover (my daughter being at a sleepover party while I type these words, sleepless in Nova Scotia), they would then drug and beat them and send them off to service “johns”, collect payment and gleefully twitter about the money they were amassing. The Nova Scotian high school bullies who tormented Rehteah Parsons about some shady sexual incident -which may or may not have been gang rape by her four classmates- until she hung herself, like Cordelia, come a close second. And not too far behind are the Toronto women who gang raped a young man in the parking lot.
Of course, three incidents do not a trend make. But the hallmarks of these awful events can be easily seen in society at large: obsession and discomfort with sex, a dreadful sense of entitlement and arrogance, the belief that one can get away with anything so long as one is doing what one wants, and the equally pernicious belief that nothing matters much beyond gratification of our immediate pleasures and desires. Combined with a pathologically large dose of cruelty and complete disregard of the feelings of other people- there you have it. Horrible incidents in the press, and a new Canada is being born, right before our eyes.