Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he's happy Suaad Hagi Mohamud is back in Canada but admits he's waiting for answers about her nightmare at the hands of Canadian officials.
Harper suggested he became aware of the case only last week, even though her well-publicized plight of being stuck in Kenya had begun 11 weeks earlier.
"When we became aware of the case last week, we asked our officials in various departments to give us some information," Harper said at a news conference yesterday. "Obviously there (is) some troubling information here. It's a complex case. I have asked my officials for a thorough review of the matter ... (then) we'll decide what further inquiry we do have to do."
The case has become a major embarrassment for the Conservatives amid criticism that the government is slow to assist Canadians in trouble abroad.
Privately, officials say the Prime Minister is upset at how the case has been handled and that "heads could roll" once the internal review is finished.
Mohamud, 31, returned to Canada Saturday after being stuck in Nairobi for 86 days because authorities said her appearance did not match her four-year-old passport photo. When she appealed to Canada for help in May, consular officials doubted her citizenship, called her an imposter and voided her passport.
Ignorance is no excuse for Harper in this case, said Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who served as a parliamentary secretary looking out for Canadians in trouble abroad from 2003 to 2005.
"It's either that he did know about it – and he's saying he didn't – or he's incompetent. Either way, the buck stops with the Prime Minister," said McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East). "If he's going to say he didn't know about it, that's his fault and he's going to have to wear this.
"Does he not read the papers?"
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
And here I thought that Harper was doing such a bad job as PM because of a severely misguided dogma. Turns out his staff are insulating him from the ol' liberal media. (My emphasis in bold - new abbreviation: MEIB)
Recommend this Post
Good question. Or maybe a progressive blog or two. Perhaps someone might tell him about the isotope crisis. Or the economy. Or any number of other things he is screwing up. Can't hurt.
Posted by Constant Vigilance at 8/19/2009 06:34:00 AM