Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Idiocy in Ottawa

Okay, now this really pisses me off, and that's a pretty rare achievement for Canadian politics. How long have the Tories been in power in Ottawa? Less than a year? Didn't take long for their true feelings on immigrants to be exposed, then, no matter how hard they've been trying to come across all cuddly and caring. The CBC reports that the federal government is now "reviewing the rules governing dual citizenship and whether Canadians living abroad should qualify for social programs when they return".

It gets better, too. Apparently, the review was triggered by the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon during the summer - people who hold joint Canadian and Lebanese citizenship but were living in Lebanon at the time of the attacks on Beirut. Granted, there is a public awareness that some of the evacuees went immediately back to Lebanon as soon as the coast was clear, despite the evacuation costing Canadian taxpayers C$63 million, but to go from this to considering blanket legislation for all dual-citizenship Canadians living abroad?

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Monte Solberg is quoted as saying that "If we're in a situation where somebody's absent, isn't paying taxes but is going to be using our social programs down the road, I think Canadians would feel that that is unfair."

Er... pardon my French, but what the fuck?

Is this guy insane? Does he not realise that us dual-citizenship holders (yes, I am one of them, so you can see my bias) LOSE our access to Canada's "social programs", ranging from free Medicare to even being able to renew our driving licence, once we leave the country and start working somewhere else? Even if we go back to Canada for a holiday, we're on our own as far as health insurance is concerned, and that's certainly not the case for dual citizenship holders in many European countries. Given the cash-strapped nature of the Canadian economy, I'm prepared to let that one slide for now. But for Solberg to somehow assume that we'd just return and start living off government handouts is not only incredibly insulting, it's also factually wrong. For a start, if I were to move permanently back to Canada tomorrow, I would have access to precisely nothing until I had regained my residency status. And secondly, the vast majority of us wouldn't exactly be returning just to sit on our asses and cash welfare cheques, we'd be returning to WORK. And when you work, you pay TAXES. And last time I checked, taxes are used to fund social programmes!!

So screw you, Solberg. I know plenty about my rights and responsibilities as a Canadian.


At December 13, 2006 5:11 am, Blogger Graeme said...

It's unfortunately not only Harper and friends. Jack Layton has effectively outed himself as a xenophobe over Stephane Dion's dual citizenship. From a CTV report:

"I would prefer that a leader of a party hold only Canadian citizenship, because one represents many Canadians, and for me that means that it's better to remain the citizen of one country," Layton told The Canadian Press.

"But for a person that isn't in a position of representing others, holding dual citizenship is fine with us."

Layton seems a little iffy about a few things, but this is bad even for him.


Post a Comment

<< Home