Word "Canadian" So "Reviled in Some Places" that Visiting Canucks Say They're Americans

An odd turn.

I'll confess that I own a backpack with a prominent Canadian maple leaf that I've lugged around Europe once or twice since the invasion of Iraq. Not as some kind of self-conscious act of political protest, mind you,  just to avoid the kind of casual sneers that were fairly common for U.S. travelers during the Bush years.

Perhaps that's why this story, from The Toronto Star, jumped out at me:

Canadian mining companies are facing allegations of abuse and assault on local citizens in dozens of developing nations.


The word "Canada" is so reviled in some places that traveling Canadians mask their citizenship by wearing American flags on their caps and backpacks.

Who'd have thunk it?

The allegations are severe: From Ecuador comes a lawsuit, filed in Ontario, alleging that in 2006 a Canadian company's armed security forces attacked unarmed locals with pepper spray first, then fired guns to dampen protest near a proposed mining site.

In El Salvador, allegations of violent attacks against anti-mining activists. In Mexico, allegations of human rights and environmental abuse that led a Mexican court to close a Canadian-owned mine.


The allegations of human rights abuses come from at least 30 of the world's poorest countries and have named companies of all sizes, from giant corporations to junior mining companies.


Thanks to reader Larry C. for flagging the article,which features some truly beautiful corporate propaganda.

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