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January 20, 2011

Ben Ali and his family are not welcome in Canada

The Canadian Charger

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Well-informed sources are saying that Tunisian ex-president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, his wife, his family and his wife's family are expected to head to Canada after a stay of several months in Saudi Arabia. Canadians hope that the Harper government does not welcome one of the world's most corrupt leaders. France did not grant Ben Ali's plane landing rights and asked all members of his family already there to leave the country.

Many Tunisian Canadians took to the streets of Montreal last week celebrating the departure of the 74-year old Ben Ali and objecting to news report that say Ben Ali, his family and his wife’s family may settle in their city.

“I want to congratulate the Tunisian people for their sacrifices," Noureddinne Khemili a Canadian Tunisian told Al Jazeera.

"For the first time in history we are seeing a digital revolution, a cyber-revolution,” Khemili added.

Many of the 20,000 Canadian Tunisians live in Montreal. They are French-speaking and highly educated.

Canada's foreign minister Lawrence Cannon said that Canada regretted the loss of life in the last month of violence in Tunisia.

But unlike the Canadian response to the ending of communist rule in Eastern Europe, Canada did not congratulate the people of Tunisia for gaining their freedom and getting rid of an oppressive regime.

Cannon added that "Canada welcomes news that free elections will be held in the near future, which will give all Tunisians a voice in building a new government committed to democracy, human rights and the rule of law."

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M. Elmasry

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