Friday, August 21, 2009

Good News / Bad News


It appears that there might be good news finally for Abdihakim Mohamed who has been stranded, by our government's actions, for 3 years!
Canadian man who has been stranded in Kenya for three years after a dispute over the legitimacy of his passport photo may finally return to Canada in coming weeks, the man's lawyer said Thursday.

Abdihakim Mohamed, a 25-year-old Ottawa man who has autism, has been stuck in Kenya since a 2006 attempt to renew his passport was halted by Canadian officials who claimed his ears looked different in a new passport photo, said his Ottawa-based lawyer Jean Lash.
His ears? Seriously? Mohamud was held back because her lips looked different and now someone is basing this case on his ears? Besides the absolute subjective absurdity of this being a valid method to grant someone travel permission, are we really relying on non scientific methods to determine who people are? I know the Conservatives aren't science fans, but really?
While this is good news, do not kid yourself. It's difficult to believe that this case would have been resolved so quickly had the Mohamud case not come to the fore. This is classic 'clean up' folks, but it's unlikely to work....in that, this is too public now for the government to cover up.
They are going to try of course, as they illustrated the other day, but alas, they seem to forget that they do not control the facts.
As for all of this being forgotten? I'm afraid that's not going to happen either.
A Toronto woman who was stranded in Kenya over false claims she was an impostor is suing the federal government for $2.5 million.
Between fighting against Canadian's rights in court and defending themselves for same, you have to wonder how much the Harper government has cost the country.
We have a sense of what it is doing to our reputation, with various stories appearing:
Norwegian Ambassador Tor Berntin Naess:
"[The past four years in Ottawa] leaves me with an impression that Canada has changed," Mr. Naess says. "Canada is not the same as it used to be. I feel, personally, that politically it was [once] closer to Norway['s] thinking than it is today. I dare say that we feel Canada...used to be [a] more like-minded country to Norway....
As to what it has cost us in dollars and cents? Don't hold your breath for an answer on that one.
h/t - to Impolitical for that last quote.

14 comments:

Morgan said...

I read that Canadian consular services receive more than 1 million requests for services per year.
How many of these fall through the cracks like these two?
And, who hires the consular staff who are depended upon to make the value judgements on the ground?
And how many of these judgements are then passed to Ottawa to be second guessed because maybe the staff are incompetent?
Logistics would dictate that the sheer volume of situations could not and should not be micromanaged from Ottawa. It is the quality of the consular staff that should be questioned when there are now two from the same country (Kenya).
The boy from Somalia did not have a birth certificate or any identification and he originally came to Canada as a refugee. If things were so bad in Somalia why then did he go back?
Questions that need answering don't you think?

Scott Tribe said...

If you would read some of the news stories, Morgan a bit closer, you'd get your question answered:

"He had been struggling in Canada, and a doctor felt that being around his extended family might do him good."

The young man is autistic, in case you missed that part.

It's rather a dead giveaway that you're a Conservative supporter, Morgan, when you start implying it was these folks fault for the trouble they were in. That seems to be the prevalent theme amongst Conservative supporters in trying to defend the appalling actions of their government, that it was somehow the person's fault.

Tomm said...

Scott,

You raise an interesting point. Anybody whose comments express something other than disgusted outrage is being accused of blaming the victim.

I think you are doing all these people an injustice. Consular officials in Kenya make bad choices. OK, this a bad thing and shouldn't be happening. But have these bad choices only begun since 2006? Where is the policy and vindictiveness pipeline to CPC party HQ? I thought DFAIT was one of those departments that had armored itself against change? Show me the link.

I think what we are seeing has been occurring for years. The media has a rat to pin it on so they are now gleening through the files to find more and more of these cases as part of their political witch hunt. There appears no evidence that these mistakes were not occurring in the same number under any previous administration. The difference is the of of shining the media spot light on them.

There isn't a scintilla of evidence that any of this links back to Canadian party politics.

KNB said...

Except for the record of the Conservatives who labelled Arar a terrorist, (cpc members still do) and in general have displayed a rather obvious distaste for some groups, even though they have no proof that they have done anything wrong...Khadr.

This party has to be FORCED by the courts, or public pressure to stand up for it's citizens.

On this case, Cannon himself told us that Mohamud simply wasn't trying hard enough to prove her identity.

I could go on and on, but there is more than a scintilla of proof Tomm...there are truckloads.

Did things happen while the Lib's held power? Of course...Arar, Sampson, but those were meant to teach us and an opportunity to make changes. That obviously didn't happen and listening to the nonsensical rhetoric from Cannon, Nicholson, Day, Van Loan, Toews and Harper himself, that suits them just fine.

The attitude of the CPC makes all the difference in the world here. This is not the media's fault. That hoary old straw man is ridiculous in this case.

The CPC are recieving scrutiny that they have brought on to themselves. Their reputation proceeds them.

Tomm said...

KNB,

The Canadian government has always defended the actions of its public servants even when they appeared to have done wrong things. It is a requirement of stability to maintain solidarity of the service. To suggest that there is political pressure placed on the Kenyan cases is without any proof whatsoever. Your "truckloads" are indirect, innudendo, or puffs of smoke.

To bring up Khadr and Arar as examples simply illustrates this point The cases could not be pried further apart with a crow bar. Why not bring up the case of Fateh Kamel as well. You don't because it shows the wrong side of the issue. Without the Harper government's appeal to a Charter based judicial order he too would be crusing the world on a Canadian passport.

DFAIT has problems. They are specific to DFAIT, and trying to turn this to partisan advantage is a little misplaced. Canada has an obligation to all of its citizens to try and ensure that they are treated fairly in foreign countries. That is the attitude of this government and of all Canadian governments.

I respect your posts on Canadian's on foreign soil. I am not as crazy about your spinning this as a partisan political thing.

KNB said...

Tomm, this government has as good as come out and said that if you travel abroad, you're on your own.

They have gone to court to force their ideology that they can pick and choose who to assist.

Just last wk they did a good thing by not deporting a child soldier, but refuse to recognise Khadr as same.

Sorry my friend. DFAIT does have problems, I agree, but this government has made it abundantly clear where they stand and it is different than previous governments, including PC ones.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Tomm you fucking moron.

Is that the party line now? DFAIT has some problems?

The Connies have put their stamp on all government departments.
Mr. Cannon has been hiding since he weighted in on a case and is now waiting that the media/collectives memories has waned before he will step out.

This is a partisan issue because Harper and many Conservatives are racist/bigoted/xenophobic fools.

Khadr ? Just goes to show how much contempt Harper has for Canadian law - he's been trying to do a run-around this one for the longest time.


Why is it so hard to just admit that most Conservatives and many Canadians are racists.

Simple no?

Anonymous said...

CWTF, you've gone complete off of your rocker, the time is long past due that you seek professional psychiatric help.

Tomm said...

This lady should not have been shunned. There appears absolutely no reason for any of this.

She deserves compensation.

But that being said, it is a chasm to be leapt that ties culpability to the present government. Did Peter Van Loan or Lawrence Cannon personally advise DFAIT to leave this lady twisting in the wind?

Not bloody likely. Yet there is this circling of sharks and a tiresome attempt to link the CPC to racism and bigotry. It is embarrassing and even more so when the media starts banging the same drum.

KNB, your comments are valid.

C_WTF, you wouldn't know the difference between a moron, an imbecile or an idiot. I happen to have had my IQ tested so I know where I stand. You may want to sit for this simple but revealing exam.

Omar said...

Trumpeted IQ test scores, the last bastion of a scoundrel!

Are you a member of Mensa too, Tomm?

LOL

Tomm said...

Omar,

If C_WTF is going to use technical terms:

(i.e. "Tomm you fucking moron.")

...to attack me. I at least have the right to defend myself by assessing his argument on the terms he has put on the table.

So I looked up "moron" and sure enough I noticed that what he said was provably not true. Buttressed with this new knowledge, I posted back.

Thanks for noticing.

Cherniak_WTF said...

a moron, an imbecile or an idiot
Cute Tomm, now I'll assume that you are referring to the "Stuff you Should Know" Podcast...

If you actually listened to it, they did point out that those medical terms have evolved - you twit...

Tomm said...

Binet will be disappointed to learn that all his hard work is being ignored.

I guess we still have dimwit, halfwit, and nitwit to work with.

Is "twit" a contraction fron nitwit?

It's all so confusing.

FredfromBC said...

Tomm, you can expect the fanatical Liberal supporters here to turn on you every time you make a point that shows a Liberal (any Liberal) to be less than perfect, or a Conservative to be less than evil. They refuse to hear the reality about consular staff around the world in the same way that they refuse to acknowledge that Omar Kadr is NOT a 'child soldier' (according to the the original Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court or any other legally accepted definition). They also won't mention, strangely, that Kadr was in custody for 3 or 4 years before they began clamouring for his release (funny how that coicides with the defeat of the Liberals and election of the Conservatives, isn't it?)...they hypocritically attempt to gloss over Arar, Sampson and others as a 'learning experience' while crucifying the Conservative Party for doing exactly what the Liberals did...etc...etc...

You'll find no reasonable, rational discussion here...only mindless, knee-jerk zealotry and immediate personal attacks on Unbelievers. These people could teach Islamic Jihadis a thing or two about hardcore fundamentalism.

(but it's going to be fun watching them crash and burn in the next election...:)