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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Canadian Goverment Does not help Canadians Overseas

Ottawa is not required to help out Canadians in trouble overseas. A law should be passed to protect us

How sad is this.
That If Canadians are in trouble elsewhere then too bad. Who takes such crazy insulting decisions on our people.?

No laws govern this relationship, the government says. As then-Mr. Justice Konrad von Finckenstein of the Federal Court wrote in an earlier case, “Canadians abroad would be surprised, if not shocked, to learn that the provision of consular services in an individual case is left to the complete and unreviewable discretion of the minister.” Except for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the minister's exercise of the prerogative is absolute.

To translate: If you are in trouble overseas and go to a Canadian embassy, Canada's government believes that it has the option, but not the obligation, to help. If the government is fond of you, like Brenda Martin, it may help with papers or a private jet home, but if it scorns you, like Mr. Abdelrazik, it may revoke your passport and exile you. The choice is the government's alone.

Wake up Canada and take examples from other goverments.
Other governments long ago passed laws that bind their discretion and make it mandatory to help their citizens abroad. For example, the German Constitutional Court has written that the German state has “a constitutional duty to provide protection for German nationals and their interests in relation to foreign states.” In the United States, a similar obligation is included in statutes requiring the government to provide consular services.

What do you say?


  1. While traveling in Asia during the 90's I occasionally met Americans who claimed to be Canadian. They felt Canadians were viewed more favorably overseas and were therefore less likely to be harrassed. Nowadays not only are Canadians being victimized as much as other nationalities, they seem to have fewer guarantees of protection from their own government.

  2. Just because we don't hear anything doesn't mean nothing is happening. The Canadian government has a policy that they don't pay ransoms. That policy is shared by various countries and is a policy that to some extent does protect other canadians abroad. How quick do you think other Canadians would be at risk if we automatically paid ransoms to those who kidnap canadians? I'm speaking as a Father who has a daughter in a country where foreigners are often targetted for kidnapping.

  3. Think of the Roman laws 2000 years ago. Roman citizens were protected by a different set of laws that protected them from mis-treatment and ensured fair trial for their citizens. Yes, it was enforced in the Roman influenced areas only, but it shows the value they put on their citizens.

    Should not our government exert any influence they can in order protect Canadian nationals.

  4. I thought Amanda and Nigel were warned against going there by the government. Now what is their responsibilty in this?

  5. Maybe the Canadian government should pull an old American trick, have the CIA or in our case, the inept CSIS, fund and hire freelance revolutionaries to go in there and kill the captors and take her and Nigel forcefully.

  6. I gotta say that I truly hope Amanada and the photographer are released safely, but Canadian citizens can't go into war zones and unstable countries, against common sense and government warnings, and expect to be bailed out no questions asked. Paying ransoms is a dangerous game, that only makes the threat of further kidnappings more likely.

    Yes, journalism is important, and telling the story of what's happening in Somalia is a valuable thing. But when conditions are so dangerous that Western journalists are just as likely to become the story as they are to report it, then the decision to go into places like that should be reconsidered. Going there was irresponsible, plain and simple.

    If anybody should be leading a campaign to raise the funds to ransom this pair, it should be the French News Agency that sponsored the trip.

    All of this said, I'd contribute to that campaign.

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  8. The Canadian Government doesn't care in the slightest, for those abroad. I had my Canadian Passport seized in London, England, while on route to work in Nigeria to pay my arrears. I was shown the door and left to sleep on park benches, airports. Steal food, etc. They do not care!