As a Canadian who has lived outside of Canada for a dozen years (and yes Mom, we are coming back eventually, honest) this kind of headline turns my blood to frozen concrete. Ottawa says it has no duty to protect Canadians outside country
A lot has been done to help Khadr in Guantanamo: Justice Department
By JANICE TIBBETTS, Canwest News
ServiceJune 3, 2009
Canada's legal duty to protect its citizens, even children, ends at the border and there is nothing in domestic or international law that obliges the government to seek Omar Khadr's repatriation, say federal arguments filed in court.
The government contends it has done plenty to ensure the "well-being" of the Guantanamo Bay detainee - from supplying him with magazines to ensuring he receives medical treatment and facilitating contact with his family - and any further protection is at the discretion of the state, not the courts.
This is not happy-making news for all us expats, especially those of us who live in countries where "the usual suspects" means anybody foreign.
This could mean I am one misunderstanding away from life imprisonment since the government of Canada doesn't feel that they have any duty to assist me in any way should the police pick me up and imprison me for any reason at all.
And that does happen in a lot of countries. Police in Tokyo routinely stop foreigners riding bicycles to confirm the bike isn't stolen. Bikes here are supposed to be registered and usually carry a sticker with the owner's name - and if your bike happens to be registered in your Japanese wife's name, well, welcome to jail in Japan, where you don't have a right to a lawyer during police interrogation and are not even officially presumed innocent. This hasn't happened to me, but it does happen.
And that's in Japan, a nice civilized G8 country. Anyone care to try their luck in Central America or Africa or Saudi Arabia without any assistance from "Canada's New Government"?
Ottawa says it has no duty to protect Canadians outside country