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Premier McGuinty: 'Something is fundamentally wrong when we can't count on the Canadian government to stand up for Canadians'

I’ve sometimes given the Premier of Ontario a hard time for some of his policies, but when he comes out and says stuff like this, he gets props from me in a big way:

Ottawa has no excuse for failing to go to the aid of a Toronto woman who has been hung up in Kenya for nearly three months, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said today. “Something is fundamentally wrong when we can’t count on the Canadian government to stand up for Canadians – I’m not sure I can put it any more directly than that,” he said. Canadians expect their government to help them when they’re in distress, no matter where they are, McGuinty added. “That didn’t happen in this particular circumstance, and there’s no excuse for that.” McGuinty was referring to Suaad Hagi Mohamud, a 31-year-old mother who has been stranded in Kenya since May.

That statement becomes even more relevant as we find out today that the Canadian government and its high commission in Kenya is still doing as little as possible to help this woman, despite her DNA proving she is who she says she was all along – a Canadian citizen. Her lawyer is on Federal Court tomorrow to try to get the Court to compel the government to act a lot quicker then it has been now.

By the way, well said, Premier McGuinty.

UPDATE @ 4:20 pm: The Federal Liberal Party has also issued a press release condemning the Conservative government’s abandonment of Canadians abroad who need their country’s help:

Following yet another case of a Canadian being unjustly detained in a foreign country, Liberal Consular Services Critic Dan McTeague called on the Harper government to apologize to Suaad Hagi Mohamud and review government policies to protect Canadians travelling abroad. “Based on the information we have, Ms. Mohamud is owed an apology from the Harper government for being abandoned and denied due process,” Mr. McTeague said. “Enough is enough. Citizenship used to mean that we were protected by our government when we travelled abroad. What is the value of our citizenship under the Harper government if it no longer carries with it a promise of aid from our government should we land in distress?”

Quite frankly.. she may be owed more then just an apology, due to the government’s neglect and quite frankly wrong decision to declare her a fraud in her case. Again, why hasn’t the Canadian High Commission in Kenya been reprimanded or the bureaucrats/”diplomats” who handled this fired?

27 comments to Premier McGuinty: ‘Something is fundamentally wrong when we can’t count on the Canadian government to stand up for Canadians’

  • Al

    In no way did I mean to deflect blame on Harper and the CONs.They obviously would have been involved considering the control freak Harper is and the amount of press this has recieved in the last 3 months. My point originally was that McGuinty is jumping on the bandwagon here and does not deserve much cedit for his johnny come lately comments

  • knb

    Normally, a leader would not involve themselves in all departments, but this is Harper.

    He reads, every Minister’s briefing book.

    Given the incompetency on his benches, you almost can’t blame him.

  • kwittet

    I agree with Al on his points. To try to put Harper’s name on it is a real stretch to say the least. There is no way the leader can have his nose into everything that is going on.

  • Al

    I don’t think Mr Mcguinty deserves too much kudos on this issue as he is simply jumping on the bandwagon now that her citizenship is confirmed by DNA. Anyone closley following this story would conclude it was the ineptitude and or racism of the Canadian Embassy that caused her ordeal.

  • kwittet

    Scott..how can I agree with what you have to say when you wont allow the original comment to be posted. it is your blog. Its like trusting the CBC to write a fair story on anything the PC party might do!!

  • kwittet

    Dalton can be so trusted after he said he wouldnt raise taxes (over 250 new taxes) and this

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mcguinty-had-hand-in-hiring-former-ehealth-ceo/article1248569/

    lets face it…no politicians can be trusted!!

  • Liam

    Thanks, Scott, for this post.

    There are a number of people questioning the validity of this post, but let’s face the facts: our leaders are cowards and our government is not actively supporting the rights of Canadian citizens when they leave this country. By definition, this means that your passport is worthless and you may as well be a refugee.

    This is an insult to Canadians that need to travel abroad.

    This proves to me that our current regime cares not for the rights of Canadians. More importantly, because they show a callous disregard for the law of the land and ignore the decisions of our judges and courts, they prove that they should not be in a position to create law. Therefore, the Conservatives have abdicated their right to run this country.

    When enough people start saying “Stephen Harper is not my Prime Minister” it WILL be true one day.

  • Joseph

    NAME THE SOURCE, LORRAINE!

    You claim you don’t know all the facts about this case. And you can’t name the news source for the misinformation you’re spreading. Yet you feel you entitled to spread lies about a Canadian mother who went to visit her sick mom and has now been separated for her son for nearly 3 months and has been publicly castigated by Cannon in the press before proving herself with the DNA test she insisted upon.

    The only thing in dispute in this situation at this point are the LIES you’re propagating. So with all due respect, cough up a legitimate source for your tales of deception or shut up. Maybe it’s not a racial thing at all. Maybe you’re just a vindictive, hateful person or likes spreading rumours “without knowing all the facts” as you put it.

  • Lorraine

    Who says I am a conservative supporter. And who says I am not also a person of colour as you put it. I am just stating that there are facts we don’t know here and if you want to make Stephen Harper responsible for the actions of every one of the 100’s of thousands of federal employees all around the world you are really stretching.

    BTW – my eyes are brown, my skin is brown and my husband’s is considered black. So don’t give me the racial baloney.

  • knb

    That means what Frank? You have no intelligent reply, just idiot taunts?

    You personify the tenor (look it up), of this government. Ignorant. Full stop, period.

    • @knb, As you can see, I’ve removed the comment… I have his IP address.. so if he can’t come back with anything more intelligent then that.. he’ll be banned.

      • Frank

        @Scott Tribe,

        I didn’t realize the word “knob” was off limits. My sincere apologies.

        What I meant to say is that folks that read the one-sided news paper reports about the Suaad Mohamud situation, and swallowed all the facts verbatim, are idiot truthers who turn their intellects off when being spoon feed news. They seem to believe everything is black and white, and their understanding of the news business and how it operates is obviously above their pay scale. Their shallow partisan attacks on anything and everything about this government is disgusting, and I wonder where they nurtured their shameful ideas … their families?

        I hope I now used the correct lingo for this site.

        🙂

        • @Frank, nothing to do with lingo.. and everything to do with having nothing intelligent to say and leaving nothing but taunts and insulting other people.

          In my opinion, this latest reply of yours is a rant that has nothing in factual basis behind it, (EVERY fact pointed to this woman being who she said she was, but the Canadian High Commission in Kenya and the Canadian government royally screwed up (at the very least))..but at least this reply isn’t personally attacking anyone.

          Keep replying with half-coherent thought out replies, and you’ll be fine, even if I think your replies are out to lunch.

          But, if you fall back into the pattern of trying to start flame-wars on here with taunts and insults, don’t expect to be allowed on this blog for any longer then it takes me to read the offending comment.

        • Frank

          @Frank,

          Thanks for your consideration Scott… and I’ll take the bait.
          You (rightly) say that folks should have something intelligent to say, and not just insult other folks. For the sake of discussion (if you’re interested) please read the post that I originally responded to. Does that really meet your our own standards? I guess flipping through some blogs I scanned that comment and found it a bit offensive, and my own sarcastic (three word reply, a play on words of sort if you think back and look at the name of the original poster) shot across the bow was a bit off the mark.

          Also, since I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented on your blog before, certainly not in many-many months if at all, you don’t have to worry about my “fall back into the pattern of trying to start flame wars on here”. I’m not a mathematician, but my best guess is that it’s hard to form a “pattern” with a sample size of 1. All in good fun. 🙂

          Cheers,
          Frank

        • kwittet

          @Frank,

          On this blog it is only ok to toss out slanderous insults send flamers and taunts towards the conservative party and their supporters. If it is directed towards a person who agrees with Scott YOU WILL BE BANNED!!

          • @kwittet, Don’t be ridiculous. If someone leaves a comment like Frank did in reply to an opinion that says “You’re a knob”, or something similar, that adds nothing to the debating of the issue. I consider it trolling/flaming, and I won’t tolerate it on here, if I catch it being said. It’s my blog here, and I reserve the right to do so.

  • knb

    No Lorraine…I presume LaMontagne… You didn’t read that on a news site…you read that on an idiot Blogging Tory blog. You know, blogs that prefer to ignore facts or when they do cite them, twist them.

    I am appalled, really, appalled that you would and the god you worship, Harper, would so casually throw away a life based on what? Nothing more than the idiot truthers, birthers and death panel loons, in the US provide.

    The facts HAVE come out! What part don’t you understand? DNA comprehension is obviously above your pay grade. Does your intellect turn off when you read fact?

    Defending this is almost more shameful than the government perpetrating it. Muslims, people of colour, people who adopted this country as their own? That doesn’t fit into your world view, right? Where’d you come from..your family? They are okay in your mind I take it.

    Disgust doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about what the government has done.

    You? I don’t even have a word that could sum it up.

    • Frank

      @knb,

      Comment edited and deleted by administrator. If you can’t contribute anything Frank, then you won’t be allowed to comment here – Scott

  • Ti-Guy

    “This was on a news site – can’t remember where.”

    Well, find out and get back to us.

  • Lorraine

    This was on a news site – can’t remember where. That the original person who showed up in May was NOT the Canadian citizen but was a relative (I heard a sister). When this was all questioned and the passport was revoked then the real Canadian is the one who is claiming it was HER who initially presented herself to the agents.

    So, who to believe until it all comes out after the fact. The government can’t comment on ongoing issues with citizens and all of this speculation is just that until the facts come out don’t you think.

  • Joseph

    Well, Lorraine, the Kenyans arrested her when the Canadian commission cancelled her passport and sent Kenya a letter saying they had done a “comprehensive investigation” concluding she was an imposter. This all began, not because of some sister, but because the person checking her photo thought her lips looked different. So, sorry, blaming the Kenyans or dreaming up some more sinister rationale after the fact doesn’t fly.

    Then again, if you had read any of the articles about this topic, yes, an aunt would show familial relations, but not a 99.99% genetic match. Plus, that says nothing about her husband’s vouching for her identity, or her son, her employer, dozens of neighbors, etc etc etc. I suppose she ought to thank her lucky stars she has a son in Canada or she’d really be up the creek without a paddle, wouldn’t she? I guess the message is to make sure you leave direct offspring behind in Canada if you intend to travel overseas to visit sick relatives.

    But, I suppose in some strange stretch, with a Canadian official totally dropping the ball in Kenya, Cannon practically libelling her as a cheat and a liar in the press (before “going mum” on the topic), and the Harper government leaving yet another Canadian dangling on foreign soil at the whim of nebulous foreign courts (handing her over officially), it has been sort of a “no win” situation. No Win for her. I’m sure everyone else involved has been sleeping just fine for the past few months.

    You really should consider not just blindly gobbling up conservative talking points . . . that crap’s bad for you.

  • Lorraine

    So, why did the Kenyans arrest her in the first place?
    They claimed that she was really her sister who was trying to illegally exit Kenya and enter Canada.
    DNA tests showed that this woman was related to the son in Canada. Would an aunt’s DNA also show a familial relationship?
    Somebody in Kenya either jumped the shark or had a spidey sense that something was amiss. Usually we fault government employees for shirking their duties – this time for being too over diligent. No win.

    • @Lorraine,

      If you don’t understand something Lorraine, don’t make comments and wild accusations. If the woman claiming to be Suaad was actually her sister and not her, then the DNA would have proved that. You get 50% from your father and 50% from your mother. Any match less than 50% means you are not a mother.

      The DNA test proved that she was the mother, not the aunt.

      I’m curious, if the same technology that gets people off of death row on a regular basis and is used by our courts to convict murders and rapists isn’t enough, what, exactly, would you except as proof?

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Lorraine, Cripes Lorraine, watch an hour of Maury Povich and you could have that question answered. His show is all DNA tests!

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