Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Harper Tired of Suing Us is Now Just Blaming Us

Ok. I lied. He's not really tired of suing us, but he clearly blames us for Jason Kenney's latest fiasco.

Harper blames Canada for visa furor
Steven Chase
Guadalajara, Mexico
Globe and Mail
August 10, 2009

Stephen Harper is trying to repair frayed relations with Mexico despite his refusal to roll back new entry restrictions for its citizens, emerging from a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon Sunday night to say it's Canada's dysfunctional refugee system that made him do it.

Blaming Canada for the move is Mr. Harper's attempt to soothe the feelings of an insulted NAFTA partner just before three-way talks begin on a raft of other pressing issues – from the economy to trade.

“This is not the fault of the government of Mexico – let me be very clear about this,” Mr. Harper told reporters, explaining his mid-July decision to clamp down on soaring bogus refugee claims from Mexico by requiring Mexicans to obtain visas before entering Canada. “This is a problem in Canadian refugee law which encourages bogus claims.”

He and Mr. Calderon met for 40 minutes Sunday evening just before they joined U.S. President Barack Obama for the start of the two-day North American Leaders' Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The normally chummy goodwill of these annual summits – known informally as Three Amigos get-togethers – has been strained by Ottawa's sudden visa clampdown. Mexico has taken the less-than-neighbourly move as an affront and countered by slapping visa requirements on Canadian diplomats.

Mr. Harper insisted the visa obligation for Mexicans will remain in place until Canada's refugee system is fixed, calling on opposition parties to join his party in reforming Canada's refugee system to discourage bogus claimants. “The visas will stay as long as the problem exists,” he said.

Gee he didn't blame it all on the Liberals this time? He's slipping.

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