July 22, 2006

Lebanese Evacuation Fallout has Potential to Explode

Lebanese Evacuation Fallout has Potential to Explode

I was away for part of the week so I didn’t catch the fact that Garth Turner made the most discriminatory comment since January 23rd. This is absolutely abhorrent. He said some Lebanese permanent residents should pay their own repatriation because they aren’t fully Canadian. WHAT! I nearly fell off my chair. That would be the equivalent of making some snowbirds pay for their own evacuation in the event a major hurricane would hit Florida while they were there.

The beauty of Canadian citizenship is that it is an equal citizenship. With Turner’s comments and the misstatement of Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who said permanent residents with close family in Canada are eligible to be evacuated, these Tories are taking something very small and allowing it to come back and bite them. Both should resign.

Word coming in from Beirut keeps shedding light on how bad this is being handled. Firstly, it is being handled from Ottawa, and the embassy officials have to run everything by Ottawa. This is confirmed by a Lebanese evacuee who has returned home to Montreal. My friend Tarek Assaf is still in Lebanon and is still furious that Harper takes less than 1% of Canadians in Lebanon on his private jet and claims success. The photo op was a success. Lebanese Canadians are furious.

Then there was the ferry ride from Beirut to Lonika. While every other country had covered boats that took 5 to 6 hours to cross the Mediterranean to Cyprus, the Canadan-rented ship took 15 hours to cross without covering its passengers leaving all passengers outside in the glaring heat. Furthermore, there were no medical supplies or water on board. My nonna tells me that reminds her of crossing the Atlantic in the 1961. However, SUCCESS is still the buzz word among Tories.

The story only keeps getting more “successful.” 90%+ of the evacuees are still in Lebanon.

12 Commentaires:

Blogger s.b. a dit...

All Americans being evacuated have to pay.

I think that anyone needing resuing anywhere should probably have to pay unless they are children.

If a child get lost in the forest, its free no matter what.

If a dumb adult gets lost in the forest or needs rescuing because they took a kayak into the North Atlantic, pay.

Also, you know what 50,000 people DO NOT need to be evacuated. Those being evacuated to Canada from the South by Israel should not have to pay. Those being evacuated from Beruit should absolutely have to pay. All of them! They could just go to the northern areas outside of Beruit for a while. They are all going to refunds on their plane tickets right from Mastercard. Why sholdn't they pay?

7/22/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger decoin a dit...

Lebanese "Canadians" come to Canada to acquire a Canadian passport. Then they return to Lebanon, in the heart of the world's powderkeg, to live. When the place inevitably blows up, they complain about the Canadian government"s "failure" to evacuate them with the speed and airconditioned comfort they would prefer - all of course at Canadian taxpayer expense. Pathetic.

7/22/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger decoin a dit...

Lebanese "Canadians" come to Canada to acquire a Canadian passport. Then they return to Lebanon, in the heart of the world's powderkeg, to live. When the place inevitably blows up, they complain about the Canadian government"s "failure" to evacuate them with the speed and airconditioned comfort they would prefer - all of course at Canadian taxpayer expense. Pathetic.

7/22/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger knb a dit...

s.b., Condoleeza Rice rescinded that..No americans are paying.

decoin - Most, (not all) of the Lebanese who returned to their homeland, have only done so fairly recently, in view of the relative stability of their country. Obviously, this has changed, thus their desire to return to Canada.

I cannot believe how ungenerous some Canadians have become. Further, I can't get over how many points are argued without fact.

7/22/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...

The evacuation of 50000 Canadian-Lebanese is no easy task. I haven't heard of any other country that has such a large number of its citizens living in Lebanon. However, I can be entirely wrong.

I'd just like to say that I think any goverment, whether Liberal or Conservative, would have probably dithered on this issue, because we haven't had a decent leader since Trudeau.

As for the comments of the Canadian-Lebanese paying to be rescued... well I'm sure a lot of them are fleeing to Canada out of convienence, not because of their strong attachment to Canada. However, you can't start deciding who pays and who doesn't pay. The fact of the matter is that they are all Canadian.

I think we should foot the bill to the governemnts of Lebanon and Israel.

7/22/2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Shoshana,

I don't understand your comparison with the Americans. Aren't you the one constantly referring to the fact that Michael Ignatieff used the word "we" when he was talking to an american audience ?

Paul Martin said that American is our neighbour not our nation... He was right on that.

We have built a strong social net that Americans don't have. I believe in equality for all Canadians.

When people get lost in the forest, they don't pay. It's a service. The police/armed forces are there for that. Would you like getting a bill from the police when you call them because you got robbed and you didn't have an alarm system ? Should people that worked in Asbestos mines pay for their cancer treatments ?

We made a choice, as a society, to have a strong social net.

Obviously, you are not in Beyruth. Tarek was in a "christian" neighborhood and there were bombs being dropped. It is a very dangerous situation.

Israel is targeting hospitals, electricity plants and all of the infrastructure.

Louise Arbour had made strong comments on that both in a press release from the U.N. and on Radio-Canada. Decision makers in the israelian army might be charged with war crimes because they are killing loads of innocent civilians and are destroying the infrastructure with big impact on the civilians.

Hezbollah decision makers will most likely also face charges as they are also killing innocent Israelis.

I can't wait to see all of those people before the "Tribunal Pénal International".

My 2 cents,

Alex

7/22/2006 2:51 PM  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

It is worth noting that permanent residents are not in fact citizens. Whatever you make of Turner's argument it is important to note this fact and not to conflate permanent residency with residency and/or citizenship.

7/22/2006 4:04 PM  
Blogger Czar François a dit...

THANK YOU PETER LOWEN, people are forgetting tha fact when they are letting their emotions get the better of them. Until you get Canadian citizen you are basically a guest of Canada, whether it be 2 or 20 years. The laws HAVE always been clear on that. Once, out of Canada, priviliges are only accorded to citizens. Furthermore, the Canadian government does not have the "legal" responsability to guarantee you COST FREE safe return. One can argue that the moral responsability may be there for war but even then it only extends to citizen.

7/22/2006 5:55 PM  
Blogger ottlib a dit...

Francois:

The Canadian government has the legal and ethical responsibility to assist Canadian citizens who are in distress, regardless of their place of residency.

Indeed, that is one of the primary functions of a sovereign government.

I would say that Canadians trapped in a war zone are Canadians in distress so this should not even be an issue.

With regard to invoicing the refugees that is another matter. But considering what they went through any government that would then add insult to injury by billing them would be a government that would not last long.

7/22/2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

Ottlib: You've missed the point in your criticism of Francois. There is a substantive difference between permanent residents and citizens. Permanent residents have not yet been granted citizenship (thus they are categorically different than citizens of Canada who do not reside in Canada). I think the point Francois was making is that the government has no legal obligation to help permanent residents of Canada stranded in Lebanon. On the other hand, I am sure Francois and you and I would all agree that the Canadian government has an obligation to evacuate Canadian citizens in war zones, whether or not they are currently resident in Canada.

7/22/2006 7:33 PM  
Blogger ottlib a dit...

D'oh!!

Oh well, my comment still makes sense on its own I think.

My apologies Francois.

7/23/2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

Dear Ottlib:

I am not sure that it does. Your argument is that the government has a legal occupation to evacuate permanent residents who are non-citizens. Except, it doesn't. It may very well have a moral duty, but governments fail those all the time.

7/25/2006 11:01 AM  

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