How Canadian you gotta be to be real Canadian?

As a result of Israel‘s bombing of Lebanon, some 20,000 Canadian citizens are being evacuated from Beirut. The Star, the leading newspaper here, asked its readerswhether Ottawa is doing enough to evacuate Canadian citizens from Lebanon”.

I am neither a Canadian citizen (yet) nor from Lebanon, but I found the following answers particularly distressing interesting. Note that these are two replies out of 9, and that could make, unscientifically sampled, 22.2% percent of Canadians who feel that:

  • “High marks for what we are doing. We did not ask these people to go to Lebanon. Who will pay for all of this? I hope it is every person that we have to bring home in luxurious style. If you want to travel you should have to take the consequence’s of what happens. Natural disasters are not included. ”
  • “Yes, Ottawa is doing enough. Let’s not forget that most of the Canadians in Lebanon are not tourist but chose to go and live there (and leave Canada). But now that they are in trouble they are proud Canadians again.

Related debate:

The Star ran a cover story on this very issue today (29 July). I found one paragraph particularly interesting, which concerns the permanent residents (aka landed immigrants) whose legal status, according to this article snippet, is equal to Canadian citizens (passport holders), but were not given preference over those with citizenship:

(Interestingly, a controversy in Quebec arose from the fact that Canadian officials gave preference on the chartered ships to evacuating passport holders from Lebanon over permanent residents of Canada ? what used to be called landed immigrants. Some pointed out that this discrimination is against the law in Canada as a result of the Supreme Court’s 1985 Singh decision, which found that refugees and landed immigrants have the same Charter rights as citizens.)

First Published: July 19th, 2006


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