Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Harperland and the Giant Slaughterhouse

The Con Meat Scandal has produced a lot of disturbing images. 

The sight of Gerry Ritz being hustled away by his handlers, after being unable to answer even a couple of questions from the media. 

All that ghastly shiny hamburger meat, staring out at us from every newspaper and TV set, and almost daring us to eat it. The look on people's faces when I tell them Stephen Harper is planning to fire even more food inspectors.

But the image I find most deeply disturbing is this picture of the monstrous XL Foods slaughterhouse, and those black cows munching peacefully away, oblivious to their fate.

For there is no better metaphor for the country Stephen Harper would have us become.

You have 35 seconds: Gut the cow without damaging its organs, and be sure not to drop the stomach on the floor. Do not cut yourself with the swift-moving blade; do not touch the scalding sanitary surfaces. Then, walk in hot water to clean your white rubber boots. Swap your knife out and start over again. Again and again.

A brutish place where profits come before safety. And industries are ravaged by the Dutch Disease.

As the high dollar eats away the Canadian beef sector’s advantage in U.S. markets, automation at these megaplants has become a necessity, one that governments are supporting.

A low wage economy where unions are The Enemy, and workers have no rights.

Many of the staff are recent immigrants or temporary foreign workers – whoever is willing to take the job, particularly in booming Alberta. Think life on the kill floor sounds tough? Try it without being able to speak English well, or at all, and with your bid for Canadian residency hanging in the balance. The workers have no whistle-blower protection. They won’t rock the boat if there’s a problem..

A country turned into a JUNGLE.

And as for those doomed black cows in the picture munching peacefully away, they remind me of all the dumb Canadians who still can't understand what Stephen Harper is planning to do to them. 

Oh boy. You know the other day the NDP's Megan Leslie had a horrible dream about zombies.

And all over the internet you could hear the sound of Con heads exploding.

But I think Megan's dream is just a gentler version of my nightmare...

(click pic to enlarge)

The horror of Harperland, and a butcher named Steve.

Who would mutilate our country beyond recognition.

And the sound of those exploding Con heads is just the sound of FEAR.

For surely they must know what's coming...

Golly. Turn up the heat.

If we can't have beef, let's have corn eh?

We've got the Cons where we want them.

And we are going to destroy enjoy them...

Vote here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


  1. Anonymous5:54 AM

    Don't you wonder why the meat plant is in Alberta in the first place? Well the temp workers fly in mixed with the other oil workers and the cons can get away with integrating a large volume without pubic notice. The immigration operation is situated in Alberta. A whole industry of ready made workers feed the economy where few Canadians actually live, hence the excuse that temp workers are needed. Decentralize, localize meat production. Farmers are outraged that they are losing money to cheap production. Where's the outrage from Albertans who farmed wheat, lived well by their own profits. Screwed now because owning your own gun was such a big selling point for their vote.

    1. hi anonymous...No, I'm not surprised that this is happening in Alberta, because its right-wing culture has set it up for such a situation. But as I said in my post, I am very afraid that the Cons are trying the whole country into a low-wage economy. Rather than control the development of the oil sands, and exert some control over our dollar, their solution is to restore our ability to compete by turning us into the slaves of foreign interests. It's absolutely crazy, and it could have serious consequences for the future of this country...

  2. Simon, if you're worried about food saftey, there is something new to worry about. IN short, I wouldn't recommend air travel for a long, LONG time!! Remember awhile back, RAdio Canada talked about while Harpercons were scaring us into compliance with underwear scanning machines, which cost lord knows what? Violating our privacy for the sake of security?? Well, while the masses were distracted, being afraid of "terrorists", and not looking, those Harpercons, specifically Transport Canada under John Baird then, cut back on aviation inspectors. Sixth Estate has a whole new blog post reminding us and it's a must read for those considering flying anywhere.


    And yes, air craft maintenance is apparently gone the route of cheap labour done by unqualified folk. Aveos gone, the work is done in El-Salvador now.


    1. hi ck...I read the excellent post at the Sixth Estate, but I have been aware of the problem for some time, since I have a very strong interest in aviation. And the idea of cutting back on inspectors, in a country that depends on aviation as much as this one does strikes me as absolutely insane. Especially since the experience of what has happened in the U.S. should be a warning for everyone. But then these Cons are deranged ideologues, they are only interested in killing government, and nobody will be really safe until they are driven from power...

  3. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Hi Simon: Alberta is already selling its oil to the U.S. at a double discount to the international oil price. After this, it will be selling its beef at a double discount to international beef prices too. The recall has apparently spread to Hong Kong as well. Alberta, the home of dirty oil, tainted beef and di**head politicians.

    Question is why do hardworking and intelligent Albertans put up with this --- all for a quick buck???

    1. hi anonymous...I believe that many good Albertans have been fooled into complacency by the prosperity of their province. Even though as you point out they get ridiculously little for their oil, the Dutch Disease is killing their industries as well, and they risk seeing their working conditions deteriorate even further, as more and more foreign workers flood into their province. They need to ask where they are going just as much as we do...

  4. How long until we reach the depth of America. Why did Obama throw the debate?

    1. hi Steve...I am going to try to write a post on this tomorrow. It's taken me that long to recover from the shock ;) But the bottom line is Romney lied like a thief, he repudiated his whole platform, and Obama wasn't sharp or aggressive enough, to go after him as he should have done. One might hope that the American people might be smart enough to see through those lies, but now that I see that Romney has caught up to Obama, I fear the worst unless Obama finally takes off the gloves...

  5. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Harper is permitting China to buy up the tar sands. Harper did say. China can bring swarms over, to build the Enbridge pipeline. Harper did permit company's, to bring foreign workers over to exploit. Chinese people died at the tar sands and China was found guilty of those crimes. We know Canadians will be replaced at the tar sands by, Chinese slave wage earners. Child laborers in China, only earn pennies a day. Harper really likes Red China's Human Rights because, they don't have any.

    I read. A fellow from Sudan, only earned, $2,100 for a years work. I believe he was working on private property. Many foreign workers who work at such, are many times cheated and ripped-off.

    Premier Redford has given, U.S. Veterans the exclusive rights for jobs in Alberta, to build the Key Stone pipeline.

    Canada is no longer a country to be proud of. Harper's disgraceful behavior, has been noted around the globe. Other country's know. Harper started out with a, $13 billion dollar surplus. Canada is in the worst debt in our history. When Harper started dictating to Germany, they told Harper to go to hell. Harper also lied to Europe, on the toxicity of the dirty tar oil.

    Other country's know, Harper has done nothing for the Canadian people. The world knows, Harper looks after Harper, and to hell with the citizens. They hate Harper, for his bullying and his hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way. They hate Harper attending, the meetings of the Nations. Harper is the trouble maker every time. Harper is known for, co-operating with no-one.

    Even another Common Wealth country wrote. How badly Harper is, destroying Democracy in Canada.

    I have a lot of beef in my freezer, around $200.00 dollars worth. They say, Alberta knew about the contaminated beef, three weeks before informing the public. Is Alberta reimbursing people, who have to throw their meat out?

    1. Anonymous6:52 PM

      Simon, you better hope they don't destory you first. Frankly, I would place my bets on them before you or those like you.

    2. hi anonymous 3:59...I can't believe how badly those foreign workers are treated, and how they don't dare open their mouths to complain lest they be sent back. It's practically slavery as far as I'm concerned.
      But Lord Harper would sell us out to the lowest bidder so we else can we expect?

    3. hi anonymous 6:52... As your hero Ronald Reagan once famously said during a debate, "There you go again." The Cons are going to destroy me? Good luck. Them and whose army? Look, if you can't add anything more intelligent than that, save your ridiculous comments for yourself, and don't bother coming here. I'm willing to let conservatives criticize what I write, but hurling threats and insults is just crazy...

    4. Anonymous6:13 AM

      You talk shit about your "enemies" all the time.....which is pretty much anyone who disagrees with you. Another puffed up lefty with a blog. Same old tripe you can find anywhere. Plenty of we are going to this! And we are going to do that! And in the real world.....nothing. Occupy? Dead. The Prorogue thing? Dead. Antiwar? Dead. Mob for Glob? Dead. Gun Control? Dead. Greenies? Dead.

      Your best isn't good enough, you keep failing. Ahh well, with lefty leadership like we have in Canada Harper doesn't need an army, you do his job for him.

  6. It looks like a con job to me! Thanks for the post

    1. hi Priscilla...yes it is another Con job, and as usual they somehow manage to fool so many Canadians. Their plan is to make us all poorer so that Big Business can become richer, but their faithful followers are too dumb or too fanatical to care. When they find themselves on an assembly line like the one at XL Foods, it will be a real shock...

  7. Anonymous12:37 AM

    There really needs to be a plan in place to attract Canadian workers to Alberta. The economy here is such that there are simply not enough Canadian bodies to fill the need hence the need to rely on cheap foreign labour, leading of course to messes like the one you mention here.

  8. hi Way Way Up...I understand that Alberta needs more workers, but it should be doing a better job of attracting Canadian workers. They can afford to do it, they could set up training centres for young workers to learn the skills that are needed. But those greedy capitalists just want to drive down wages, and aren't willing to invest in the future. As I've always said, we need to take a step back, examine the big picture, and do the intelligent thing for all of us...

  9. Anonymous11:22 AM

    money runs power, power runs governement, governement runs people, people runs empty out of money