Total number of Canadians in Libya evacuated by Ottawa: zero

Canadians hitching rides with other countries


While many Canadians have managed to find their own way out of the chaos consuming Libya, the Department of Foreign Affairs has not yet evacuated a single person from the country. Poor coordination and delays have reportedly led to a charter plane leaving Libya empty, while Canadians have managed to hitch rides on other countries’ planes. So far, other countries have evacuated 177 Canadians from Libya, with 26 Canadians departing on a U.S. boat to nearby Malta. Meanwhile, a thousand employees of the Quebec-based company SNC Lavalin have successfully been bused from Benghazi to Cairo. A second flight chartered by Canada was booked to depart on Friday, but Foreign Affairs has warned anyone who has not yet made it to Tripoli International Airport should not attempt to get there, given the indiscriminate violence being targeting against civilians in the capital.

CBC News

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Total number of Canadians in Libya evacuated by Ottawa: zero

  1. And we landed a plane – there were no Canadians – and we didn't take out other nationals. Cannon told us this was a joint effort. Other countries are helping us but we don't reciprocate? NYT and the Guardian are reporting this.

    • As is the Washington Post. Kind of makes one proud of one's government, doesn't it? (NOT)

      • Yes, Jan and prescott – if you both read the article in the Washinton Post, you would see that the representative from Canadian foreign affairs said "there were no like-minded nationals to take on board" from other countries. The plane could not stay on the run-way for a prolonged period of time so it had to leave empty.

        • "no like-minded nationals"?

          What does that even mean? Luckily other nations are not leaving Canadians behind for not being "like minded" enough.

          This is shameful.

          • I hope I'm not wrong, but I believe that all that "like-minded nationals" means is "nationals who also want to get out of Libya".

          • It might be a bit more nuanced than that. It might be "nationals who want to get out and are from countries who have hastily arranged reciprocal rescue agreements with us, and-or from Commonwealth countries, and-or from Francophonie countries, and-or from NATO countries…"

          • True, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that necessarily.

  2. This is a worse mess than Lebanon!

    Why on earth hasn't this been turned over to the Foreign Affairs people?

    They have knowledge of the area, and experience.

    • They seem to have only had one plan – airlift from Tripoli. It's where the fighting is – gangs roaming the streets, helicopters shooting. And now MacKay is blaming Foreign Affairs.

      • Probably the only name they could remember in Libya…..shores of Tripoli song and all that.

        Just ONCE I wish someone in this govt would take responsibility for something and get it done!

        • There is no other major airport to airlift out of besides the one in Tripoli. Yes, people can take the buses to Eygpt.

          • Benghazi has one

          • Emily, as much as I enjoy slapping you down when you don't do any research….Benghazi airport has been destroyed! Try again.

          • Well you never have, and won't now. Sorry.

            Everyone else is getting their people out….Benghazi is operational.

          • You can watch the flights here

            Other people's flights, not ours of course

          • Emily, the Egyptians reported 3 days ago that the runways were destroyed so exactly what size are these planes that are flying out of Benghazi airport?

          • Well they aren't, it's an international airport after all, and people are using it.

          • Emily I went on your and went on the map to Africa. I could not even access the Libyan airports.
            Regardless, you can tell if large planes are leaving that airport. The Egyptians said the runways are destroyed. The said that they could not be used to airlift people out. That was three days ago. There may be short runways that are working that allow small planes to take off. If you can access the information on the flightradar just tell us the size of the planes that are taking off from the airport.

          • Not my problem.

            Canadians are all out now anyway, no thanx to us.

          • So Emily the Egyptians were lying. You really should try at least occasionally to pretend that your hatred from Mr. Harper doesn't color all of your commentary. Your credibility is suffering.

          • I don't know what your problem is, but don't put words in my mouth or make up motivations for me.

            It's not MY credibilty that's suffering.

            Now, since you can't be either civil or honest….ciao.

      • Jan, Peter MacKay said that Foreign Affairs told Lawrence Cannon there would be 200 Canadians waiting at the airport in Tripoli for the plane. There were no Canadians and no other "like-minded nationals" from other countries to give a ride to. The plane could not stay at the airport. It had to leave.

        • So people just fleeing for their lives don't count…we'd rather have an empty plane?

          • Gee Emily I thought you and Jan were complaining that Canada was reciprocating by helping nationals from other countries that we have a "deal" with evacuate. Now you are saying we should take anyone who shows up at the airport onto a plane. I do not think that was the deal that the government made with Gadafi. I somehow don't see him let us pick up just anyone "fleeing for their lives" and taking them out of the country. He is kind of controlling that way.

          • In an emergency we have a deal with everyone….same as at sea.

            Our govt made no deal with Gadaffi….and he's otherwise occupied anyway.

            Please stop messing about on here….this is serious.

          • Gadafi is making all the calls Emily. We land planes there at his pleasure.

          • LOL riiiiight.

          • Yes I know it is hard to believe that a dictator as kind and generous as Mr. Gadafi might not always be amenable.

    • Lebanon? Do you mean when the Prime Minister went in his own plane and picked up Canadians…..



        Good one!!!

        • Is that your denial that it happened?

          • Au contraire….I think he should do it again. LOL

          • Well maybe if he was on a trip he would.

          • Not without a camera handy he wouldn't. LOL

          • Emily has no credibility. She just likes to spew off and think she knows what's what when, in reality, she's not even on the same planet as the rest of us.

          • Boy, talk about projection! Best thumbnail sketch of Harper I've ever seen!

    • Because there's no Foreign Affairs ppl on the ground, anywhere!

      • Um yes, we have an embassy there.

  3. As a diplomatic spouse, I can say that our diplomats are bailing out of DFAIT in droves in order to evade the long-unresolved spousal employment and family financial/taxation hardship inequities that get inflicted upon them overseas. While Canadian society has evolved to embody such things as dual-income couples, DFAIT Management's family values still desperately cling to those of the Pearson Era. Here is a letter from the FAC DM to the Clerk of the Privy Council explaining that spousal employment is the #1 reason for overseas posting refusals (i.e., the spouse calls it):

    Both Liberal and Conservative governments equally haven't had the guts to address the problem.

    So while on hold listening to “Girl from Ipanema” on the DFAIT Emergency Operations Centre hotline (“If you have been arrested and are being tortured, press 4”), Canadians can at least rest assured that they're getting the consular services they paid for. In the meantime, diplomatic families will be safely back in Canada, working (finally) and paying taxes. Canadians made their bed, now they can sleep on it (or huddle under it).

  4. Cannon's over there? Say no more.

    • Cannon is in Rome.

      • He went there to greet the rescued. Primo photo op opportunity.

        • Yeah, and they should have photographed his face when being told that the plane returned empty !.

  5. I can cut the government and civil service some slack on this one, sometimes things can't be planned. it is kinda funny to send out a plane that comes back empty though.

    • It's not funny, it's criminal

    • More criminal than funny…although I know you mean odd.

    • They are french, not canadians. Try and get that part straight. By the way, is SNC-Lavalin broke? Could they not afford to get their french boys out? Let them eat cake. Cost us trillions to pander to this bunch.

      • They are Canadians. France is in Europe.

        And SNC-Lavalin got them out, not Harp.

  6. The moral of this story no one will want to catch:

    When in a tight spot halfway around the world, use whatever resources you have at your disposal to get yourself and your loved ones to safety, and for the love of your own behind don't wait for Mommy Maple Leaf (or anyone else) to do it for you.

    Mommy Maple Leaf even tried, through aviation insurance messes and non-zero risk, to touch down in Tripoli to do some plucking. Nobody there. Communications (and safe travel throughout the city) are a mess, for which only a massive NATO assault might fix at great cost in blood & treasure (i.e. not gonna happen).

    But, hey, usual suspect(s), don't let that stop your petty partisan cheap shot BS. We wouldn't be able to recognize you otherwise.

    • If you can't do the job, just say so.

    • MYL in danger zone: "hey everyone! This local with a beat up old van says he'll drive us to the border for only $10 a head! He's obviously an entrepeneurial free market actor who will perform the job far more efficiently than any government agency! And get this – he not only will transport our valuables too, he INSISTS we bring them! I doff my cap to you, good sir!"

      In all seriousness, while exercising prudence is good advice from any source, if the government (or anyone else) says they will be sending a plane, I see no reason to not take that into consideration when planning an exit. I have no reason to believe this was a case of the parable of the man on top of his roof in a flood, denying help because he knows God will save him.

      • Anytime you want to get a clue, Mike… "use whatever resources you have at your disposal" could include government action. But to wait around expecting it in a danger zone is a good way to thin the herd of the bottom end of the IQ bell curve.

        Mike T in a danger zone: "I'm just gonna sit tight right in the middle of this mob and live-fire mercenary thug party because I'll be fine with the maple leaf on my backpack and DFAIT wouldn't possibly let anything bad happen to me…"

        • Your comment now makes sense if you referring to "this story" as people in Libya generally (and on the assumption you are in a better position than they are to judge when they should be leaving, but heck…)

          "This story", though, was about the plane coming back empty.

          Clues indeed.

    • Amazing how other countries and companies managed to get large numbers of people out.

  7. One notable thing when it comes to evacuations is that many Canadians don't register with their embassy on consulate upon arrival. This repeats itself in many countries in the time of civil conflict or natural disaster. In many ways, they may not be aware that there is government aid and therefore need to find their own ways out.

    DFAIT has been running this show from the start as is the case with similar situations. The military plays a backseat to the diplomats, who represent the civilian government.

    Going in full bore with military forces can be both costly and can turn back all the efforts made by the opposition. Does one want that to happen?

  8. Ridiculous attacks on foreign affairs or the government over this issue make the attackers look stupid and naive. Canadians who choose to go into countries that are unstable or run by communist nuts like Khaddafy are willing to take the risk, they must be smart enough to realize that the Canadian government won't always be able to help them out, if not then they shouldn't be allowed out of the house let alone travel.

    • What should be noted as well is that a lot of these people decided to go to Tripoli to leave. To the city that is currently wracked by violence. Most of the successful evacuations have been in the east where the violence had died down.

      This is a lot like someone who's allergic to bees but keeps going towards the beehive.

      • Remember…all media except state-run media was shut down, so how do you know to avoid Tripoli.

        The Canadian government had about seven days to see what was developing, and did nothing by the looks of it. In fact, over the time of all of the uprisings, our government has been so thoroughly out to sea and behind everyone else it's been embarrassing.

        • The Canadians in Libya had forty years to see what had developed there – a socialist regime run by an insane terrorist dictator who has killed thousands. That's how they should know to avoid the place. Foreigners who work there make lots of money, they should be smart enough to figure a way out when it all goes up in flames.

  9. This headline no longer applies. Maybe now the critics will STFU.

    "A total of 24 Canadians were among the 46 people that flew out of Tripoli early Saturday on a flight that also included 12 British citizens and a three-member Australian diplomatic team.

    The C-17 aircraft landed at the airport in Tripoli without permission from Libyan authorities at about 5:30 ET, and returned to Malta after picking up the passengers"

    • Headline is worse …0/2 Friday
      He said the two empty charter flights on Friday “speaks to the success that was achieved in arranging transport for Canadians in conjunction with our partners during daylight hours,” and was not an indication of lack of organization.

    • Maybe now the critics will STFU….

      You must be new here, Leo?

      • Sigh…..guess the mindless ranting from the resident choir got under my skin, lol!!!

  10. Ghadaffi is the same man he has been since he came to power.
    He does today as he did yesterday
    Canadian Businesses have contingency plans for all its foreign operations.
    Department of Foreign Affairs foreign contingency plan is to spend and spin as much taxpaying money.
    1. Refuse all passengers of any nationality out of Libya
    2. Waste valuable airtime of other countries who have helped many nationalities to safety
    3. Plan to sanction Canadian Businesses who work in Libya
    4. Refuse to name the insurance carrier company….because there is not one to name
    5. Hire bitter people like Mark Dip's wife to play personal financial politics in a war zone

    • Joyce you are so right about Gadafi. He has not changed in the decades that he has ruled Libya. My brother-in-law worked on an oil rig there 27 years ago for 2 years. All the Canadian rigs pulled out when Gadafi stopped paying. He had learned all he needed from them about how to get oil out of the ground and then expelled them from the country owing them months of pay. Canadian business take a big risk working for him. Many of the employees take the jobs because they can establish non-residency and pay no Canadian income tax. They know he is crazy and it is a risky place but the money is good. They also know the Canadian government will come to their aid in instances such as this. If the Canadian government sanctions Canadian business that continue to work in Libya, it is a good thing.

  11. One downside of Canadian-style Multiculturalism is the tendency of 'new Canadians' to return to unsavoury, troubled hotspots whence they came – and then have their remaining "Canadian" relatives crank up the pressure on Canada to leap to the rescue when the balloon goes up. This is pretty annoying stuff. If we individual Canadians don't appreciate excessive heat, we should avoid certain global kitchens.

  12. Harper, Cannon, Foreign Affairs = losers

  13. Remember, it was the french that got the military kicked out of Dubai. The Americans told them to go home from Afghanistan, they have nobody left. You better pray for North American Union.