Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Fisking" Peter Worthington

I should start a "Toronto Sun Stupid Column Watch (As I See It)" on this blog. I am sure with Michael Coren and Peter Worthington on their staff, that section would never be short of new material.

Worthington's latest article is "Convenient Canadians".

First, he makes the ridiculous statement that "there are twice as many Canadians [50,000] in Lebanon as there are Canadians in the army". As far as I know, the strength of the Canadian Armed Forces is 62,000 [Wikipedia]. Moreover, only 40,000 Canadians have requested evacuation.

Worthington, half of 40,000 is 20,000, not 62,000. Please get your facts straight.

He writes "most are dual-citizenship Canadians who've chosen to return to the motherland to live as Lebanese -- until trouble strikes and then they want the Canadian government to rescue them, not the Lebanese government". We have no way of knowing how Worthington came to this conclusion. Does he know the average age, wealth or status of Lebanese-Canadians? Some have lived for decades in Canada before choosing to retire there. Lots of snowbirds do that. They live for 6 months in Florida. It doesn't make them any less Canadian.

Others, after spending considerable amount of time here, have returned to start a business or venture there. They may still have family, property here.

The venom continues: "frankly, any dual-citizenship Canadian who chooses to live in one of the danger areas of the world should not expect Canada to rush to his aid and rescue him and relatives when danger threatens."

So I guess we should also not rescue any mountain climber, skier who gets stuck on the 'Danger' terrain, spelunker or a hiker. And if you choose to live in a desolate part of the world (like Northern Canada) you should not expect a rescue when danger hits either. Remember, two weeks ago, Beirut was a peaceful capital city of a thriving multicultural country recovering well from a civil war.

Then Worthington gets to his point of view that deserves its own blog entry - "The view that "a Canadian is a Canadian" and all should be treated equally may need revising".

A Canadian is a Canadian. Period. Across all political aisles, there should be no dispute. We should not have categories of Canadians.

The Lebanese-Canadians who were living in Lebanon are no less Canadian than the thousands of Canadians who live and work in the USA. You know, like Worthington's daughter and son-in-law, a certain Mr David Frum.

Mr Frum and his wife, Danielle Crittenden, have both emigrated to USA. They are now US citizens. They live and work there [Wikipedia]. And so, Worthington concludes, in his bid to deny dual citizens full Canadian status, "If someone wants to be a Canadian, that person should give up citizenship in his birth country.An exception should be made with the U.S. on grounds that we are geographically, traditionally and culturally close.

Ofcourse. You cannot serve two masters. Unless it's the US. Then it's OK.

One other statement from the column caught my eye.

"Although Lebanese have settled in Canada for well over a century and are productive citizens, Canada's current policies risk clogging the country with people who shouldn't be here and whom we don't want."

Who do you not want to come to Canada, Worthington? And why?

PS. I actually submitted a Letter to the Editor, that got published today, however it's a truncated and edited version.



Anonymous said...

Look ... Peter Worthington is a fucking bigot, what else is new. No immigrant will ever be Canadian enough for him. In typical Worth(less)ington fashion he makes sweeping generalizations not on facts but by his gut -- his poisened, alcohol besotted, immigrant hating, Archie Bunkerish gut. That the Toronto Sun and he still live off each other is pathetic. The Toronto Sun has only ever good for wiping one's ass; I have never however, used it for said purpose because I've always thought my ass deserved better.

Grit Stew said...

Worthington cracks me up. His columns are laughable, but what I find even more hilarious is his picture. I don't think this guy is capable of cracking a smile.

He is one pissed off individual.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to debate dual citizenship. It's another to say Canadians who live somewhere else for a while are not real Canadians.

- Z.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the Worthington article and yes in this instance I would agree with you the Lebanese Canadians should be 'rescued'. But this mass exodus gives us as a country the opportunity to examine to what extent we do wish to give liberal Canadian citizenships. And how long should one maintain total Canadian priviledges while living as a participating citizen of another country?

You're naive if you're not aware of how many people from all over the world come here get our citizenship, then contribute very little if at all to our country, socially, economically or culturally but want to reap all our benefits - healthcare, pensions, and more- in perpetuity - while they re patriate into other parts of the world. Do you support this?

The example of snwobirds is inappropriate as they're Canadian citizens who also reside here. Snowbirds are not allowed to live in the US for more than 6 months per anum.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... Anonymous at 10:59. The only reason why snowbirds live in the US for six months is so that they can return to Canada and to continue to fulfill their residency requirements in order to receive Canadian publically paid for health care. So is that not a case of wanting to "reap all our benefits?"

OttawaCon said...

No support for Worthington's position, but note that the Canadian Armed Forces and the Army are not the same thing. 62,000 is Army, Air Force, Navy, and Joint.

Army was gutted over the Trudeau and Chretien years to reach a pathetic total of....20,800. Not enough to meet our international obligations, let alone project power - pretty much Worthington was saying about our capacity.

Should probably look to the facts before you throw the charge around - particualrly because the real point is that Worthington's position is rather abhorrent.

mezba said...

Anon (9.37): The Toronto Sun should turf Worthington. I don't agree with the bigot claim, but in my opinion his articles ... something about them I don't like. Too angry tone perhaps?

Grit Stew: I had that exact thought - does he every smile?

Z: Well.. yes.

Anon (10.59): I would say immigrants who come to Canada originally arrive with the intent to stay here. As they are not given jobs in their fields, some eventually decide to leave. Before we tackle the problem of Canadians deserting Canada, I would say first give immigrants jobs in their fields that the gov of Canada is duty bound to do. If gov of Canada does not make it easy for foreign credentials, why does it recognize them when evaluation immigration applications? If that problem is tackled, then I can comment on how some Canadians leave Canada.

Even then, most of these Canadians while they have been here have contributed by paying taxes, social work and others. They deserve to be treated as other Canadians. Besides once you come back you dont get many benefits except old age security and healthcare. And these older Canadians who come back after living abroad to enjoy healthcare probably have kids living here, working and paying taxes.

Anon (11.33): I heard lots of Canadians living in Buffalo do the same thing.

mezba said...

Ottawacon: thanx for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, for someone who wants others to "get their facts straight," you sure don't mind making sweeping generalizations in your arguments.