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"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any attention?"

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.


Thursday, July 11, 2002

Beautiful day. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful in Toronto. I played hooky for the afternoon and spent time at home with family. The fox came back to our backyard yesterday afternoon! Still no sign of a return visit from the duck, though.
Smooth move, Federal Court. Raim Shalhoub, came to Canada on a student visa two years ago. He then filed two refugee applications using fake names and subsequently used the aliases to defraud instant banking machines. Having been convicted of fraud and forgery, he served 30 days and was scheduled to be evicted from Canada.

But he fought the deportation on the grounds that "he fears the Israelis and because his family's home has been demolished in fighting in the West Bank town of Nablus." Yesterday, the Federal Court agreed with this logic.

Naturally, the court ruling has been praised by some as "an acknowledgment of the potential 'human rights abuses' against Palestinians in Israel."

But before people get too enamored of Shalhoub, they might want to consider this: before latching onto the successful (so far) strategy of blaming Israel, Shalhoub first applied for refugee status by claiming that his life was endangered by Islamic militants:

[Shalhoub claimed] that he faced danger at home for having a pre-marital sexual relationship with a teen whose father was a high-ranking member of the militant Islamic Al Jihad movement. Mr. Shalhoub said in court documents that he was captured and tortured by the man's associates because pre-marital sex is considered a serious sin.

This Shalhoub guy seems to have trouble getting along with everybody!
Strike continues. I transported my garbage to the "temporary collection area" off of Keele Street this morning around 9am. No wait. No picketers (although I think I saw some signs leaning against a nearby fence, perhaps for use during the busier hours). Very polite people helped me unload the cans from my car. All in all, a low-stress event.

In the meantime, the provincial government was unable to pass back-to-work legislation yesterday, as the agreement broke down over who would get to pick the arbitrators. So far, the NDP is getting the blame. There's a bit of deja vu in this. Let's hope voters don't forget by the next election.

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