About freakin' time

Welcome home, Suaad Hagi Mohamud.

Now, Mr. Harper. It's about that Inquiry, the one you should be holding on the appalling treatment of a Canadian citizen, and the shameful lack of response on the part of our government to her plight.

I'm sure you can appreciate, with your lengthy blather about accountability during the last election, that we now eagerly await your enthusiastic pursuit of the truth of this case, and who's responsible for the shabbiness of our dealings with our fellow Canadian.

Realistically, what I'm expecting to happen is...absolutely nothing. Mr. Harper's effectiveness on immigration-related topics has been approximately equal to his level of personal warmth, charm and charisma*.

Canada used to have a reputation for being a nation concerned with human rights around the world. I could be proud of my country for, for instance, leading the charge on land mine use. And we were proud not to join Bush's Coalition of the Willing to invade Iraq.

I'd like to get back to being proud of my country's reputation abroad, Mr. Harper. This would be a good place to start.

*This is not a compliment, for those unfamiliar with our Prime Minister./
Ceçi n'est pas un compliment. On a deux langues officielles en Canada.

A sample letter I'm sending to my local MP. I suggest re-writing before sending your own; it's harder to dismiss an individual letter than a form letter. Shaker Fionnabhair suggests, wisely, that a letter of thanks to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, for pressing for action from the federal government, would be a good choice.

Good afternoon (name of local MP),

I'm writing today to express my hope that the government will be holding an official inquiry into the shabby treatment of Ms. Suaad Hagi Mohamud, recently stranded in Kenya when the Canadian government failed to protect her rights as a Canadian citizen.

It's one of those little pieces of the immigrant experience that many native-born Canadians are unfamiliar with, but we - immigrants, I mean, as I am myself a naturalized Canadian - have to take an oath to our country, where native-born Canadians don't. And yet we who have sworn to defend her, fall under suspicion for the simple fact of being immigrants. Of course, as an immigrant from the UK, I fall under the "expats" label, being from one of the "good" countries.

As an immigrant, I fear falling into a similar situation abroad - will my country defend my rights if I am unjustly detained abroad? We, all Canadian citizens - immigrant and native-born alike - all deserve the same treatment from our government. Please press your caucusmates to urge that an inquiry be held, and appropriate policy and training programs instituted to help reduce the chance of this kind of travesty occuring again. We are shamed before the world when this happens. Please help restore that pride, sir.


(CaitieCat's real name, mailing address, and phone numbers)

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