Canada is a joke

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PoundTheRock, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. "vile, vicious hatemongering" maybe she should try border patrol in Fallujah

    OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government on Friday condemned a show by U.S. late-night television host Conan O'Brien that insulted people in French-speaking Quebec and seemed to suggest everyone in the province was homosexual.

    Ottawa and the province of Ontario paid $760,000 to help O'Brien -- who appears on the NBC television network -- bring his show to Toronto for a week to boost the city's profile after a deadly SARS outbreak last year.

    But the federal government said O'Brien had gone too far with the show broadcast on Thursday in which he went to Quebec, a province which has had separatist governments for much of the last 20 years and is a delicate political topic in Canada.

    "We want to disassociate ourselves from the comments which were broadcast last night because we do not support them in any way," junior government minister Mauril Belanger told Parliament.

    At one point in the show, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- a hand puppet that is a regular on the show -- said to a Quebecer: "You're French, you're obnoxious and you no speekay English." It told another: "I can smell your crotch from here."

    O'Brien's team were also shown replacing street signs in the province with those that read "Quebecqueer Street" and "Rue des Pussies."

    Alexa McDonough, a legislator for the left-leaning New Democrats, described the program as "racist filth" and "utterly vile" and demanded the government seek the return of the C$1 million subsidy.

    "There may be those who would say, 'Isn't this interfering with freedom of expression?' It's not interfering to say we will not publicly fund this kind of vile, vicious hatemongering," McDonough told reporters.

    Belanger did not commit to asking for the money back.

    Peter Soumalias, a Toronto businessman who helped bring the show to the city, said the sketch was just a joke and called the furor a "tempest in a teapot."

    "Quebec is the home of some great comics and comedians," he said. "They understand comedy."

    No one at NBC was available for comment.

    The complaints over the puppet's comments come on the heels of a similar uproar following criticism of European French-Canadian hockey players on CBC television by the country's best-known sports commentator, Don Cherry.

    The "Late Night" show, which taped in Toronto all this week and featured guests such as Jim Carrey and Mike Myers, was broadcast in Canada by CHUM television, which said it regretted any offense that may have been caused.

    "We offer our apology and assurance that it is never our intention to air programing that offends any of our viewers," the station said in a statement.

    Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has landed in trouble before, most famously when it had an altercation with rap singer Eminem at a music awards show in 2002.
  2. (CNN) -- Canadian Border Patrol officials Monday found a grenade in the glove compartment of a car that was trying to enter Canada from the United States, Canadian authorities told CNN

    The find forced a brief closure of the border crossing between Blaine, Washington, and White Rock, British Columbia from around 1 p.m. PT (4 p.m. ET) and re-opened about an hour later, officials said.

    The car was driven by a 28-year-old woman who said her husband, who is serving in the military, just got back from Iraq, according to Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Tim Shields.

    "She was trying to drive to Vancouver, Washington, but followed the signs for Vancouver, British Columbia," explained Shields. Vancouver, Washington, is in the southern part of the state, near the border with Oregon.

    Shields said the woman told authorities her husband was based in Fort Lewis, in Washington.

    Canadian Border Guard Agency spokeswoman Paula Shore said the incident will be investigated, but it appears to be innocent.

    "After speaking to my colleagues at the RCMP, they're quite satisfied that this is just something that was a mistake," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

    An RCMP explosives disposal unit removed the grenade from the car and secured it, Shore said.

    "We don't take chances at the border," Shore said