Thursday, December 16, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
It's Thursday, December 16th.
The Federal Finance Committee decided not to release a pre-budget report this year... After a Conservative staffer leaked it to several lobbyists.
Currently, And that children, is how a lowly Conservative staffer saved Christmas.
This is The Current.
Trapped in Saudi Arabia - Nathalie Morin
Nathalie Morin says she is stuck in Saudi Arabia. She went to Saudi Arabia five years ago, along with her first son, to be with her husband. They have had two more children since then. Nathalie wants to return to Canada, something she cannot do in Saudi Arabia without her husband's permission.
We first brought you this story in May, when we spoke to her mother. We've been trying to arrange a conversation with Nathalie Morin ever since. But we had to wait until she was alone and able to talk without arousing suspicion. Yesterday, we finally managed to connect with her. Unfortunately, the phone line was problematic. So for clarity we've had someone voice-over Nathalie Morin's very words.
Trapped in Saudi Arabia - Paul Dewar
To follow this story in Canada, we requested interviews with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, his Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai ... and the Prime Minister's Office. No government official was available to speak to us. Instead the ministry sent us a statement.
It calls this a very complex family dispute with no easy solution. It says two ministers, and a parliamentary secretary have raised this issue with Saudi officials in meetings this spring and fall. It characterizes government involvement on this file as very active, saying representatives have spoken to either Nathalie or her mother 300 times in the past year. It says Canadian officials facilitated her return to Canada twice and advised her not to return to Saudi Arabia this time.
The Canadian government says it is working cooperatively with the Saudi government on her case. But it also says that Canada is bound by Saudi law and the International Convention on Child Abduction under which children need the consent of both parents to leave a country.
The government statement we received ends with this point - It is important to remember that when Canadians leave Canadian territory, they are subject to the laws and customs governing the country where they are.
Paul Dewar has watched various governments struggle to deal with Canadians who find themselves in trouble abroad. And he thinks something has to change. Paul Dewar is a Member of Parliament and the NDP's Foreign Affairs Critic. He has tabled a motion in the House of Commons asking the federal government to enact legislation that would enshrine the government's responsibility to protect Canadians abroad. He was in Ottawa.