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Sudden citizens
Calgary Sun ^ | 2006-07-21 | Rick Bell

Posted on 07/21/2006 4:15:33 AM PDT by Clive

I can hear those Canadians of convenience from all the way over in Beirut. Look at me, I'm a Canadian. Look, look, look at my passport. It says CANADA.

And so it does. The people I'm talking about are those passport holders who don't live in Canada, don't work in Canada, don't pay taxes in Canada.

People who have freely chosen to pledge their primary if not sole allegiance to the flag with the cedar in the middle and not the maple leaf.

They are not tourists or emigres caught in the crossfire while on a temporary visit to the Middle East. They're full-time Lebanese, voting with their feet. But now, when the doo-doo hits the fan, these Canadians of convenience are Canadians all the way. No. 1 citizens. True patriot love, glowing hearts, standing on guard and all that jazz.

And Canada ... well, Canada is Canada. The Canadians who live here and pay taxes here and who see here as the place they want to call home not only let the Canadians of convenience hitch a ride out of the lunacy of Lebanon, they pay for it. You pay for it. We pay for it.

We do this because the individuals in question hold Canadian passports and the eggheads choking on their skim lattes say it would be shocking, appalling and insensitive to insist these people pay their own freight, even though they haven't thrown any money into the pot covering the tab for this mass exodus, the biggest evacuation since Dunkirk in the Second World War and a bill expected to be in the hundreds of millions.

Garth Turner, the speaks-his-mind MP for Halton, a riding containing the lovely Ontario town of Milton and parts of Oakville and Burlington, has been one public figure with enough guts to pose a few brainteasers about what is up.

He calls it "waking up and checking the common sense meter."

No surprise. I met Garth in the last election as he knocked on doors of homes on Burlington's Butternut Crescent and the man does not mince his words. He is willing to even challenge the PM if duty calls and his constituents want action.

Well, Garth's constituents are getting in touch with him on this deal.

One local man is in Lebanon with his family, waiting like so many others to get out, and who does he see getting on the ship and getting on gratis? Some folks who live in Lebanon 24/7.

You can see their house from the point of departure.

"We are talking about people, some who went back to Lebanon after the last conflict. They don't pay taxes here, they don't live here, they don't have a loyalty here. We're not their first country. They have a first country," explains the parliamentarian, who describes himself as "just a little soldier asking who passes before they get to the public treasury.

"That's where they have their house, their car, their bank account, their dentist. I ask: You moved out of this country and you're not contributing here. Why would we come and get you? Or why would we do it for free?

"I'm getting a huge reaction, and not from racists who hate people with brown skin. The issue is: What the hell are we doing? People scratch their heads when they hear about 40,000 Canadians in Lebanon. Are there really 40,000 tourists? That's a hell of a lot of tourists."

In fact, many aren't tourists.

Garth says he's heard total bookings to Lebanon from all of Canada for the whole summer is about 14,000 and we're only halfway through the season. Do the rough math.

The MP also says nobody had any idea there would be so many people wanting to leave. No one calculated accurately all the non-residents with Canadian passports.

"We had no idea we would be stuck in this web. And now there's a precedent being set so Canadians who are not even residents can be sent halfway around the world for free."

TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: canada; citizenship; sunshinepatriots

1 posted on 07/21/2006 4:15:35 AM PDT by Clive
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To: Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; Cannoneer No. 4; ...


2 posted on 07/21/2006 4:15:52 AM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive

My husband was a Canadian citizen and holds a Canadian passport but was naturalized as a US citizen a couple years ago.

I guess if there were a "disaster" in our state, we could call the Canadian government and they'd come rescue us. (end/sarcasm)

3 posted on 07/21/2006 4:23:12 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Clive
I ask: You moved out of this country and you're not contributing here. Why would we come and get you? Or why would we do it for free?

Maybe because you've set your standards for citizenship so low that virtually anyone setting foot on your soil can technically become a Canadian.

4 posted on 07/21/2006 4:26:00 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: Clive

Very interesting, Clive. I've been wondering about yet another facet of citizens with dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S. I suppose they get to vote here even though they don't live here. And, does anyone know whether the U.S. gets taxes from dual cits.?

5 posted on 07/21/2006 4:26:28 AM PDT by kitkat (The first step down to hell is to deny the existence of evil.)
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To: Clive; GMMAC; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; Ryle; ...
The population of Canada is said to be 32 Million.
If that includes these Canadians of Convenience, perhaps there really are only 20 Million Canadians here.
Alternately, if these people are not included in the census, what is the total number of Canadian passports in circulation? More than 32 Million? Grrr.

Canada ping.

Please send me a FReepmail to get on or off this Canada ping list.

6 posted on 07/21/2006 4:40:25 AM PDT by fanfan
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To: kitkat
I don't know about the US but Canada collects taxes on the worldwide income from Canadian residents and on income from Canadian sources only from non-residents.

Note that citizenship does not oblige anyone to pay taxes to Canada unless he or she is resident in Canada or drawing income from Canada.

People who have come to Canada, taken out Canadian citizenship and then returned to their birth country and again become permanent residents there have no obligation to pay taxes to Canada.

But they do have a claim on the protection of Canada whenever they find it convenient to fish out their Canadian passports from the back of the drawer and blow off the dust.

They also have the right to bitch about Canada while Canada is struggling to evacuate them from theor own country.

7 posted on 07/21/2006 5:09:40 AM PDT by Clive
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To: kitkat

Yes - my husband has to file his US taxes until he renounces his US citizenship. We don't mind a bit ;)

8 posted on 07/21/2006 5:12:39 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada! (Steve's won my vote in the meantime))
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To: fanfan

Methinks both Canada and Australia will be thinking twice about allowing dual citizenship after this. There is even talk here about making such Australians meet their fares back to Australia. I sure hope out government follows through with this.

9 posted on 07/21/2006 5:25:07 AM PDT by Fair Go
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To: Clive
Are there really 40,000 tourists? That's a hell of a lot of tourists.

yeah, but aren't there 60,000 Iranian tourists there too? Funny, but I haven't heard a peep about them being evacuated!

10 posted on 07/21/2006 5:43:06 AM PDT by whatexit
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To: Clive

I wonder how many U.S. "citizens of convenience" are the anchor babies of illegal Muslim invaders who returned to their mideast hellholes.

11 posted on 07/21/2006 6:07:54 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help m)
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To: Clive
We're not as nice to our expatriates as you are in Canada. U.S. citizens are theoretically taxed on their worldwide income, from any source, regardless of where they live. They are able to get a tax credit for most foreign income taxes, though, and therefore may pay very little if the tax rate in the country in which they reside is higher than the US. I think there's also some special deductions they are able to take.

Even if they don't owe US taxes, one thing an honest expatriate would definitely need to pay is an accountant to fill out their tax returns, since the rules are very complex. As a practical matter, since many countries and some non-US companies probably don't report an expatriate's income to the US government, I'd be willing to guess that a fair number of expatriates aren't totally honest and don't pay what they really owe.
12 posted on 07/21/2006 6:08:24 AM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: conservative in nyc; Clive

Citizenship which costs nothing is worth nothing...

13 posted on 07/21/2006 12:17:39 PM PDT by CaptainCanada ("Macht doch Eiern Dreck aleene!" (Take care of your own mess!).)
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To: fanfan

It's perplexing alright.

14 posted on 07/21/2006 1:32:00 PM PDT by Irish_Thatcherite (A vote for Bertie Ahern is a vote for Gerry Adams!|The IRA are actually terrorists, any questions?)
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