Myths for Profit

2009, Society  -   10 Comments

Wide Open Exposure, a group of Montreal-based social justice activists, present Myths for Profit, a film that challenges the notion that Canada is a benevolent country with minimal involvement in global warfare. Claiming the Canadian government and its allies exploit this reputation for profit, the filmmakers rally viewers to question what they actually know about Canada's role as a peacekeeping nation.

Hockey, maple syrup, and Mounties are just a few of the icons mentioned when Canadian citizens are asked what things are commonly associated with their home country. "Not the United States!" one interviewee declares cheekily. According to Sherene Razack, author and Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Canadians enjoy their reputation as a friendly country, and are willing to blindly accept it as fact because it helps distinguish them from Americans. But as the publishers, political activists, policy makers and scholars interviewed here explain, Canada is surprisingly complicit in funding industries of war.

The filmmakers claim that Canada's pension fund alone has funneled significant amounts of money into the creation of nuclear arms. According to the interview subjects, Canada is responsible for creating a significant number of electronic components that are necessary in the construction of weapons used in international warfare. Canada is also attached to many agencies and banks that profess to be aiding developing nations, but it's not uncommon for a chunk of that financial aid to be earmarked for special interest projects that have devastating social and environmental implications.

Using a cute, low-budget animated sequence the film lays out the history of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an international collective defense group that still exists today. The film notes that Canada was the most pro-war of the nations involved in the 1999 Serbian bombings during the Kosovo war, which involved several types of bombs prohibited by law. In a stark contrast to the earlier animated educational piece, the audience is subjected to gruesome footage of smoking limbs, dead children, and citizens in mourning over the ruins of their home.

Myths for Profit: Canada's Role in Industries of War and Peace takes many assumed truths about Canada and turns those beliefs upside down, leaving viewers to question what they really know about America's "friendly neighbor to the North."

Directed by: Amy Miller
Ratings: 6.84/10from 74 users.

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10 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Sophie

    This documentary conviniently left out March 17th 2003. Prime minister Jean Chrétien declared that Canada would not join the war in Iraq for it was not sanctioned by the U.N and 250 000 protesters flooded the streets of Montréal 2 days prior. Is there a better expression of sovereignty than going against the USA regardless of the massive backlash of threats, political tension, boycot and being called "fair weather allies"? Chrétien said "We are not in the business of going everywhere, replacing dictators (...) The citizens are majoritarily opposed and that is primordial to me." He did publicly offer "moral support" and wished Bush and Blair the best of luck.
    Diplomacy, alliances and profit do not prevail when a country has the undeniable ability to DRAW THE LINE.

  2. Skenderbegu

    Totally biased documentary regarding the wars of former Yugoslavia. Serbs killed over quarter million non serbs and they tell in this movie that they were "bombed" and that Nato did this or that! It is obvious that this is paid for by Serbian murderous lobby (Chetniks who were Nazi-Germanys main gyus in the Balkans) in Canada.

  3. bluetortilla

    Isn't a nation by definition already a myth to begin with? Nothing in this documentary was surprising or new.
    The only mystery that remains is while the incidence of homicide by firearms remains frighteningly high in the US, it is low in Canada. And I do wonder why that is.

    1. Fabien L

      Hand guns are very restricted and you can't walk around with a loaded shotgun either unless you are hunting.

    2. Glorianne Hesse

      Our insane National Rifle Association has even suggested that every citizen should pack a gun and then we'd all be safer. Sounds like the rational of a 5 year old to me. A bunch of cowboys who never grew up.

  4. Errol Lowe

    It's so unfortunate that Canada had the opportunity to be different than the U.S. but decided to go with greed. We can no longer rely on or trust the politicians because it's obvious they are virtually all corrupt. I think the fundamental problem is that corporations are only judged on their profit margins and not their social good and this has to change. The manipulation of politicians and countries is all in the name of greed and even the way we analyze economics does not include social and environment impacts. The baby boomers have completely failed us considering they were rebelling in the 60's against the 'establishment' and they became even worse than the previous 'establishment'. The people have to stand up and take their country back.

    1. Glorianne Hesse

      A good many of us are trying to take the country back right now, largely by voting in Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, as our next president. People all over the country are flocking to him. He knows and tells us that he can't do it alone, that we must participate in changing our future in the U.S. In our hearts, we know he's right. Many of us are now educating ourselves about history and politics in an effort to overcome the brainwashing we've undergone since elementary school---lies and trickery devised by the 1 percent and carried out by the Republican Party mostly, but also many in the Democratic Party. They do it partly for personal power, and partly so the billionaires/trillionaires (who are paying them off) can maintain control of the oligarchy we now live in. A BBC anchor woman often says "when the Americans wake up"---alluding to the time difference; but she also seems to be saying Americans have been asleep far too long. And she's right. We're spreading the word on the internet.

    2. Fabien L

      Hard to be different than you principal client in this open market world. The Canadian government failed us with all these free trades agreements. It pisses me off when I see mushrooms from China and pickles from India where there is no environmental regulations whatsoever and growers are grossly underpaid. We used to have a decent manufacturing sector too but they let that go to in favor of a service economy that produces absolutely nothing. The Harper government was mightily stupid with the Canadian tar sand oil exploitation as its main economic priority and they will pay the price for it this coming election. Good riddance I say, hopefully the next government will have a much more diversified economic strategy!

  5. Glorianne Hesse

    The insidious nature of capitalism in Canada, the U.S. and Europe is the culprit. It is not an altruistic ideology, but is a strategy for maximizing profits for the rich, no matter the cost to human life, or the destruction of planet earth. I'm glad to see that groups of people in Canada (just as in the U.S.) have awakened to the problem and are doing something about it. Capitalism has failed the masses of the people. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, see the video by Richard Wolff, "The Game is Rigged" on youtube.

  6. ~Oliver B Koslik Esq

    21:23 Sounds like how vigilante gangs set up their domestic violence regimes.
    (targets are set up so as to seem like a threat)