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Canadians Marched Against Gadhafi in Ottawa

According to the 2006 census, one in five Canadians is foreign-born. With such a diverse population, it is hardly surprising that events across the world resonate in Canada.

The recent wave of revolution in the Middle East and the unrest that has swept the region didn’t leave Canadians indifferent. Some foreign-born Canadians worry for their family back home and hope for the best outcome, while Canadians of all walks of life call for democracy.

On this cold Saturday, hundreds of Canadians gathered on Parliament Hill, right in front of the Peace Tower, to march in solidarity with the people pushing for democracy in Libya and Yemen. The protesters peacefully called for the end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya and a loosening of oppression in Yemen. Despite worrying reports from Libya where violence escalates and demonstrators clash with Gadhafi’s brutal security forces, people were optimistic in Ottawa and hoped for a better future.

As countries scramble to evacuate citizens, some people complain once again that their tax money is being used to rescue “hyphenated-Canadians,” i.e. Canadians with dual citizenship. Comments such as these can be found on the Web:

it’s sad what’s happening in the Mid East …….. but if you’re a Canadian wanting the better of both worlds, such as nice weather there and live there then come back here for a few months for our health care and everything else here …… you can pay for your own transportation back to Canada (in other words, government will have plane there but bill you for flight back) and not get a freebie from us. tired of bailing people out!

The question is….”Why are we using tax dollars to save these “Canadians”?” If you work or visit…or live there like most of them are….then that’s your dumb fault. It should cost them the full price if they want out. airfare, taxes,fuel and even the insurance policy money all divided up by the number of people using the plane. If you have been in the country for more than a month, you should be on your own to find a way out. I am tired of us taxpayers rescuing “Canadians” who choose to live outside of Canada.

These ignorant comments really piss me off, as a dual citizen myself (France and Canada) and as a traveller. First, becoming a Canadian citizen is not as easy as people think. You don’t become Canadian overnight. You have to go through the immigration process to become a permanent resident (and that can take a few years). Then there is a residency requirement to maintain your permanent resident status: you must live in Canada for at least two years within a five-year period. You are eligible to apply for citizenship after three years in Canada a permanent resident and it takes at least a year for the application to be processed. So these Canadians abroad actually lived in Canada to become Canadian citizens.

Second, Canadians who leave the country for an extended period of time lose their provincial health plan coverage and won’t benefit from many social programs upon their return. They will have to establish residency in Canada again to be eligible.

Is repatriating Canadians abroad a waste of money? Absolutely not. And if we really want to get into this childish “my tax dollars are being wasted” war, I’d rather my tax dollars be “wasted” on human lives than on G8 submits.

I’m sure some people hold Canadian passports for convenience. Let’s face it, it exists. But I’m equally sure that a lot of Canadians have dual citizenship because life brought them to Canada, and then abroad again. Is that a crime? Not in my book.

Kid Among Flags
Coming in Peace
Protesting for Democracy
Go Out Ali Saleh
Peace Rally in the Cold
Waving the Flags
Wrapped in the Flag
Talkin Bout A Revolution
In The Crowd
Standing in Front of the Parliament
Women and the Flag
Kids and Placards
A Protester
Khadafi Must Go
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French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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