While the government says it might take a month to investigate just what happened in Kenya with Suaad Hagi Mohamud’s passport, it appears that the diplomat who declared her to be an “impostor” is back in Canada. But just to be clear, she wasn’t recalled and her being back in Canada has nothing to do with Mohamud’s case – she was just finished a two-year rotation at the very same time is all. Um, okay. We could maybe chalk this up to coincidence – or maybe the continued lapse in ministerial responsibility and the chain of accountability.
Possibly more disturbing is the fact that Harper says he only became aware of Mohamud’s case last week. Except that her case was in the major papers (most notably the Toronto Star, the largest daily circulation paper in the country) since July 1st. You’d think that his media staff would have flagged it at some point, possibly. Or apparently not. And when Maclean’s Aaron Wherry looked into the history of coverage on the story, Harper’s becoming aware of it seems to coincidentally only have happened when the CTVglobemedia machine finally picked up the story – many weeks after other outlets picked it up. Does this mean that the PMO only watches CTV or reads the Globe and Mail? Evidence might suggest so.
There’s now another case of a Canadian of Somali origin stranded in Kenya because of a passport photo that “doesn’t match” now being reported on CBC, and like Mohamud’s case, it looks like it all began with not wanting to pay bribes. I know it takes three cases to demonstrate a trend, but could it be long before that third case emerges?
Speaking of the Prime Minister, it appears that he can’t leave his MPs unsupervised while he takes his trip up North to board naval frigates and tour submarines. While he was gone, Ontario MP Larry Miller broke ranks and said that the plans to harmonise the sales tax in his province were all from the provincial government – despite his party’s own finance minister pushing for harmonisation. Cracks in Harper’s iron-fisted control? Or just the mice coming out to play while the cat’s away?
And over in Prague, it seems that the new visa restrictions on Czechs planning to visit Canada are a success if you ask the Immigration department. After all, we’ve only had three refugee claims in the month since the restrictions went into effect, rather than the 155 claims made in the two weeks before the restrictions. But I have a hard time tracking how this is the huge success that it’s supposed to be, because I also recall that a significant portion of Czech claims were actually accepted. That would seem to me to indicate that we’re screening out a lot of genuine refugees in the process, which is perhaps not the best thing considering our international reputation as a safe haven and a place that respects human rights and so on. The baby just might have been thrown out with the bathwater on this one, and I don’t trust that the government will use the opportunity to offer genuine fixes to the system rather than these kinds of band-aids which undermine the whole point of the system in the end.