What Happened To My Old Friend Canada?
Date: Friday, September 16 2005
Topic: Canadian News
By Heather Mallick
September 4, 2005
Two weeks ago, I woke at 7 a.m. with more than my usual “Oh what is the point of it all, do tell me” torpor. I was preparing to arise and go to a courthouse on University Avenue in Toronto where one of five men imprisoned without trial by the Canadian government would beg a judge for a hearing seeking access to a bail hearing. The accused-of-something was Mahmoud Jaballah. Some of his six children were to be there. I was planning to offer moral support, the polite Canadian kind which translates as radiating thought waves at the judge: “This Canadian-born citizen opposes internment without trial and so should you.”
The reason I was comatose was that I knew I was not going to go to that courtroom. My motives were selfish. I knew that if I went, I would fall out of love, sorry, like, with Canada. I knew Mr. Jaballah would basically get nowhere. I did not know that, as justice activist Matthew Behrens told me, the lawyers representing CSIS, Immigration and Justice could not even bring themselves to look into the eyes of Mr. Jaballah's playful, naive little kids, aged 7 to 11, one of whom looked at them and asked with genuine curiosity, “Are those the guys that are against us?”
Do I love Canada? No. Why would I? It's a country, not someone I'm sleeping with. I was born here, have lived all over the country and think it is a pleasant place populated with good, intelligent people. There are Canadian things I love: Edmonton skies, Scotty Bowman, Margaret Atwood, skiing on Lake Louise, the béchamel sauce crepes at Au Petit Coin Breton in Quebec City, the CBC (locked-out employees only). And it is a fact that Newfoundlanders are the best people in this country.
Put it this way. I like Canada.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on September 18, 2005]