Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Evacuees Stiff Canadian Taxpayers

Getting 15,000 people out of Lebanon, many of whom had no stronger tie to Canada than a passport tucked away in the sock drawer for just such an emergency, was not quite the miracle of Dunkirk, but it did take significant effort with few resources in very little time.

Already about half of them have gone back to Lebanon, and we're going to be stuck with the bill:

The tab for the large-scale evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon during Hezbollah's conflict with Israel cost taxpayers $85-million, CTV News reports.

The government won't officially divulge what the running total is, nor will it reveal how many people returned to Lebanon after the fighting stopped in mid-August.

Canada hired several ships and chartered aircraft to ferry about 15,000 of the estimated 50,000 Canadians living in Lebanon to safety between July 19 and mid-August.

But sources told CTV that about 7,000 evacuees have returned to Lebanon since hostilities ended last month.

As a rule, Canada asks citizens to reimburse the government for their evacuation from foreign lands, but decided in this case that taxpayers would foot the bill.

What a cowardly and cynical lot most of the evacuees were, when you think about it.

A good many of them only stayed in Canada long enough to get their bolthole citizenship, and probably considered themselves Lebanese first and foremost. Yet when it came time to come to the defence of their motherland, to stand by her in her hour of tribulation, they ran for the docks and airports.

Loyalty wasn't even worth a scrap of paper to them.

A man cannot serve two masters. Indeed, given the choice, he will serve neither.

Both countries can never be sure of a dual citizen's ultimate loyalty.

For that reason alone, the practice should be scrapped.

Source: Globe and Mail

1 comment:

jeff said...

blind devotion to the nation state really meant alot......about 200 years ago.