Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Question of Allegiance

The criticism leveled at the Canadian government over the unprecedented evacuation challenges in Lebanon is in my mind totally unwarranted and confounding. Of course, the most vitriolic comments are likely emanating from a minimum of ingrats, and amplified by the spiteful media. The government seems to be doing everything humanly possible to assist stranded Canadians.

Many rescued Canadian citizens; especially those caught in Lebanon for a vacation are expressing gratitude and relief. Others condemn Canada and the Red Cross for not being instantly available when the bombing first started.

What bothers me though, is this issue of dual citizenship. How is it possible to declare allegiance to two different countries? When push comes to shove, which one would you choose? And how would you not bring your attitudes and prejudices from one country to the next? How can you park those feelings of anger at the border?

It should be interesting to see how the evacuees who haven't lived in Canada for years start to adjust to this country. If and when things cool down in Lebanon, will they go back? Will we have to pay once again for their retrieval if war breaks out again after that?

We are paying an undisclosed but staggering amount of money for this effort, which I don't think anyone begrudges at this point. However, I do think we need to reconsider this concept of dual citizenship at some point.

Last weekend there were various 'peace marches' by Arab Canadians, calling for peace in the Mideast and demanding that Canada condemn Israeli attacks on Lebanon. The Record quoted a few people, and I found these remarks rather disturbing:

"All of my family is there and it's my country," said Mazina Kaddoura of Cambridge, standing behind her children, who were bracing a large Lebanese flag. "We're all very worried."

"This is now an issue for every Canadian," said Jamila Ghaffar of the McMaster Solidarity for Palestinian Student Rights, who spoke at the rally.

"When the prime minister stands up and says the death of civilians is a 'measured response,' that's the business of every Canadian."
(Really? Every Canadian? Even the Jewish ones?)

"The Canadian government needs to help stop the bombing so the two sides can talk," said Naila Katerji of Waterloo, whose parents and brother are still in Lebanon. "It hurts when you see it on TV. They've hit everything. You can't imagine what it would be like there. It's going to take us years and years to rebuild."

Am I the only one feeling somewhat alarmed by these remarks?

Then I read this morning's National Post headlines: "Majority Supports Israel", with mainly Quebec being the only province at odds with the rest of the country in their feelings that Canada is too pro-Israel. (H/T to Conservative Life).

Perhaps we should all be praying for peace in Canada as well.


Sara said...

check out todays Ottawa Sun hahaha... the indians have stopped the O train ... this is just too funny

Let them stop it, it will cost Ottawa a fortune and then some. The plan is weak they need to rethink the whole thing

TrustOnlyMulder said...

on topic, perhaps we should take the number of citizenships someone has and give them that class of citizenship in Canada. i.e. someone with dual citizenship would be class 2, and someone with three citizenships should be class 3, etc.

Sara, they arent stopping it. Just collecting a massive compensation at our expense.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mulder, interesting thought. I think at the very least that if someone wishes to live permanently in a volatile area, that they should be prepared to flee at their own expense.

On the other hand, Caldedonia is volatile too, and the only ones being looked after are the natives.

Thanks for the news item, Sara. I'll have to check into that.

BTW, big news item: Stephen Harper is going to be on our local am station at 10! (Newstalk 570)

Steph said...

Really? Harper's going to be on 570? Thanks for the head's up!

I confess, I haven't been paying too much attention to the details of what's going on in Lebanon right now. Thanks for doing this post. It's making me want to learn more of the details.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

My pleasure, Steph. ;)

Here is a link to the whole program this morning!

RGM said...

TrustOnlyMulder: some representatives of immigrant groups already claim that they are treated as "second-class citizens," making that title official isn't a good way to go about things, it will only heighten their concerns. I've never been a fan of "hyphenated Canadians" as a means of identifying somebody. They're all Canadians.

On costs: I think this will end up running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe only $200M or $300M, but a very large amount of money.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I've never been a fan of "hyphenated Canadians" as a means of identifying somebody. They're all Canadians.

The fact is that this is their choice to be hypenated Canadians, whether they live here or abroad. It is the basic philosophy behind multiculturalism vs. the melting pot concept. People in Canada are encouraged to retain their cultural identity and separateness here.

This is the source of a basic schism in our society. You can't serve two masters at the same time (IMHO).

Sara said...

thanks for the heads up jo, I got it on now...


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Me too! I'm so excited!!!

Sara said...

WAHOOOOOOOOOOO first thing Jeff did was read my email I LOVED IT LOL

Joanne (True Blue) said...

He just read mine too!! Jeff and I are good buddies. I met him once at an all candidates debate. He is awesome.