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Author Topic: `Out of Canada, you have no help'
Boom Boom
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posted 11 March 2006 12:01 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
`Out of Canada, you have no help'

Hope this is the right forum for this:

You're heading to warmer climes for Spring Break and you've got your trusty Canadian passport. You know that safety is always an issue; you may even be aware of the recent murder of a Canadian couple in Mexico. Still, deep in your heart, don't you really believe your government will be there for you in a crisis?

Think again. The Canadian government's response to its citizens in crisis abroad appears informal at best and deficient at worst at least compared to the U.S., a country that moves heaven and earth to help distressed Americans. The U.S. has a special Washington-based agency within the State Department, named the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management and devoted to serving out-of-country Americans. There is a strict diplomatic protocol in which officials must be on site within 24 hours, and ready to report to Congress within 72 hours, of any crisis involving an American.

Canada has no such protocol and the Conservative government last month abolished the cabinet-level post of parliamentary secretary with special responsibility for Canadians abroad.

Moreover, Washington has an investigative protocol with countries such as Mexico, where Nancy and Domenic Ianiero, of Woodbridge, were murdered last month. "That means they don't have to wait on Interpol," said Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who used to be parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad. "They just go right in."

The RCMP in contrast waited a week to send its Mexico City liaison officer to the Playa del Carmen murder site, despite statements from Mexican authorities that Canadians were the prime homicide suspects. Last week, the Mounties sent two non-Spanish speaking officers to Mexico, with "observer" status only.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 11 March 2006 12:02 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada has no such protocol and the Conservative government last month abolished the cabinet-level post of parliamentary secretary with special responsibility for Canadians abroad.

Holy shit!!!! How did this go unnoticed in our media?


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
kimmy
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posted 11 March 2006 01:27 PM      Profile for kimmy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
Canada has no such protocol and the Conservative government last month abolished the cabinet-level post of parliamentary secretary with special responsibility for Canadians abroad.

Holy shit!!!! How did this go unnoticed in our media?


From reading the article, one notes McTeague's own experiences and list of incidents that occured under the previous government seem to suggest that having somebody with that job title didn't seem to help much.

Why are the Americans able to be forceful and get results when protecting Americans in other countries, while Canada apparently can't? Probably what it comes down to is that the Americans are bullies. Canadians don't conduct business the same way, and even if we did, we would have far less clout to wield. Consider the Kazemi case, one example where even the highest levels of our government got involved. What was the result? Nothing. Empty threats. When it came right down to it, even the Prime Minister himself had no levers to pull in that situation.


From: Awesometon, Alberta! | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 March 2006 01:30 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kimmy:

From reading the article, one notes McTeague's own experiences and list of incidents that occured under the previous government seem to suggest that having somebody with that job title didn't seem to help much.

Why are the Americans able to be forceful and get results when protecting Americans in other countries, while Canada apparently can't? Probably what it comes down to is that the Americans are bullies. Canadians don't conduct business the same way, and even if we did, we would have far less clout to wield. Consider the Kazemi case, one example where even the highest levels of our government got involved. What was the result? Nothing. Empty threats. When it came right down to it, even the Prime Minister himself had no levers to pull in that situation.


I guess if I'm traveling and detained for no reason in a foreign country, I'll appreciate the American government's efforts to get me home.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 11 March 2006 01:49 PM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why are the Americans able to be forceful and get results when protecting Americans in other countries, while Canada apparently can't? Probably what it comes down to is that the Americans are bullies.

By the same token, you could say that unions which use hardball tactics to negotiate better deals for their workers are "bullies", whereas the Christian Workplace Harmony Bosses Union "doesn't do business that way".

Which is probably true. But then again, which unions have more credibility with their own members?

Countries have an obligation to protect their citizens. If that means looking like the bad guy and "bullying" foreign officials to ensure fair play, so be it. I would expect those foreign governments to do no less for their own citizens in Canada.

(Please note I'm not saying that Canada should run roughshod over foreign legal systems. If I get arrested for smoking pot in Korea, I should face the full weight of Korean justice. But that doesn't mean I should have to wait a week for the RCMP to send me a rep who doesn't even speak Korean).


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 11 March 2006 02:34 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
How did this go unnoticed in our media?

It looks like our job is increasingly to inform the media.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 11 March 2006 02:40 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
I guess if I'm traveling and detained for no reason in a foreign country, I'll appreciate the American government's efforts to get me home.

Sorry. We had a medical emergency quite literally in front of an overseas American Embassy. The Americans refused to even talk to us; letting us in was out of the question. There was no help from them whatsoever. They wouldn't even call an ambulance. Don't count on them.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 March 2006 02:43 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What can the Canadian government really do to protect Canadians abroad who find themselves in trouble with hostile governments? Technically, those governments define the rules (I'm not defending the rules at all) and Canada has no jurisdiction. Also, what's to stop the foreign government from using the Canadian as a bargaining chip?

Does the American government go the distance to defend its own citizens abroad each time? Would the government eagerly defend an American political prisoner in Israel who was arrested and/or maltreated for demonstaring solidarity with Palestinians?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 March 2006 02:47 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cougyr:

Sorry. We had a medical emergency quite literally in front of an overseas American Embassy. The Americans refused to even talk to us; letting us in was out of the question. There was no help from them whatsoever. They wouldn't even call an ambulance. Don't count on them.


What does this have to do with the Canadian government's own unwillingness to help Canadians? Are you saying that the Americans should do what your own government won't do? Just curious.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
goyanamasu
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posted 11 March 2006 05:51 PM      Profile for goyanamasu     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
BUMP UP
Never thought I'd bump something up. But the Allen Abney case (he quit the Marines without discharge papers so he's known as a deserter) is so tightly tied to what's being discussed under "Topic: Vietnam-era war-resister arrested by US border guards " that I'm drawing them closer together on the TAT list.

From: End Arbitrary Management Style Now | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 11 March 2006 06:51 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes. 'lance made the same observation on the other list. I'm always happy when threads converge in this way.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
peppermint
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posted 11 March 2006 07:15 PM      Profile for peppermint     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Canadian embassy here makes quite a lot of noise asking citizens abroad to register with them, though I'm really not sure what that's supposed to accomplish
From: Korea | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
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posted 11 March 2006 07:51 PM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a lot more complicated than simply saying "Canada won't protect its own citizens!" While that's a true statement most of the cases that have dominated the front page of the paper seem to involve people with dual citizenships. When I got a second passport I received very strong warnings that neither government could protect me against the actions of the other.

Common examples abound. Italians born abroad (i.e., children born in Canada of Italian parents) are deemed Italian by that government. Means among other things that they have to serve in the Italian armed forces. If they don't and take no steps to be excluded they are subject to arrest when they set foot in Italy.)

To address front page articles, if, in addition to a Canadian passport, someone has citizenship in an arbitrary mid-Eastern country and are detained there for any reason whatsoever, Canada cannot intervene, no matter what.

The fact that Canada won't intervene is a different matter. The article reference Rebecca Middleton. Sad case but the only difference between that and Natalee Holloway is they found Becky's body (while she was still alive). If she'd been American there would have been hell to pay. As is, nothing happened.


From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged

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