Monday, September 7, 2009

Lawrence Cannon in Running to be Conservative Party's Biggest Idiot

I get so damned mad when I think about the poor Canadian woman who suffered a horrendous ordeal in Kenya, simply because she was not white.

Now our moronic Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, is implying that it was her fault for not trying hard enough to prove her identity.

This idiot needs to be not only fired, but tarred and feathered. Or maybe we'll send him to some third world country and not allow him back in until he proves that he deserves to be called a Canadian.

Dereliction of duty
By Janet Bagnall,
The Montreal Gazette
September 7, 2009

The zeal and speed with which Canadian consular officials declared Suaad Hagi Mohamud an impostor, fraudulently claiming Canadian citizenship, should not have come as a surprise.

There have been plenty of other recent cases suggesting that our Foreign Affairs Department thinks that if Canadians get in trouble abroad, it's because they did something wrong, were conspiring to do something wrong, or another country rightly thinks they knew someone who had done something wrong.

The list includes William Sampson, tortured in a Saudi prison and sentenced to death on trumped-up charges of smuggling alcohol; Omar Khadr, who is still, despite Canadian court orders demanding the federal government request his return, facing murder charges in Guantanamo Bay; Maher Arar, tortured in a Syrian jail following his rendition from the U.S. at the suggestion of Canadian agents; and Abousfian Abdelrazik, for whom it took a Federal Court order to win the right to return to Canada after six years in Sudan.

It would be easy to conclude there is an anti-Muslim bias within Canada's consular ranks or the federal Conservative government, but the horrifying example of William Sampson, who is not Muslim, stands in the way of that theory.

Where other countries come to the aid of their citizens, law-abiding or not, Canada either leaves its citizens at the mercy of whatever regime is holding them or, worse, throws them to the wolf itself.

When these citizens come home, angry, ill, or psychologically broken, it is virtually unheard of for anyone to be held accountable for failing to help them. Arar, an exception, was given compensation and an apology following a public inquiry.

If Canadians hoped the federal government and the Foreign Affairs Department had taken needed lessons from the Arar case, what happened to Mohamud should set them straight. A Toronto resident, she was in Kenya on her way home from visiting her ailing mother in Nairobi. At the airport, the single mother was detained by a Kenyan official who said her lips did not look the same as in her four-year-old passport photo. Mohamud, 31, believed the official wanted a bribe.

After "conclusive investigations including an interview," Canadian officials sent her cancelled passport to Kenyan officials, urging them to prosecute her.

Mohamud's identification papers -- ranging from an Ontario's driver's licence to a dry-cleaning receipt -- were rejected by Canada. Foreign Affairs finally agreed to a DNA test, which showed Mohamud is the mother of her 12-year-old son in Toronto.

Of course, if her son had been with her in Kenya, one supposes both of them would be on the streets of Nairobi today.

No one has had to answer for what happened to Mohamud. The consular official who claimed to have conducted the conclusive investigations has returned to Ottawa because she has "concluded" her tour of duty, the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi told the Toronto Star.

Probes are said to be under way into the case by Foreign Affairs and the Canada Border Services Agency. There is no assurance that the probes include procedural standards.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has said it will take up to a month for the federal government to determine what happened to Mohamud. He refuses to say whether the results will be made public.

This is unacceptable. The minister responsible for safeguarding Canadians abroad failed utterly in his duty toward Mohamud -- as well, it now appears, as toward a second Canadian citizen in Kenya, a young man suffering from autism who has also been labelled an impostor.

Preposterously, Cannon accused Mohamud of not trying hard enough to prove her identity -- at the same time as his department refused her offer of a DNA test. He now seems to be standing by while his department apparently spreads rumours that the full truth is not known about her. This same ugly tactic was used against Maher Arar.

Cannon should make public the facts of Mohamud's case, apologize to her and then resign.

Canadians are not safe under this minister.

Back to: The Lawrence Cannon Story: Intelligent Incompetence

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