Monday, August 24, 2009

FREAK OF THE WEEK: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

** This week’s FREAK OF THE WEEK is brought to you by the letter U **

It was a week full of freakiness on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. To the south, right-wing freakiness continued spreading lies about “death panels” while the Obama administration started downplaying pieces of its own healthcare reform plans.

To the north, Prime Minister Stephen Harper continued to insist that he had no idea that Canadian citizen Suaad Hagi Mohamud had been held against her will and abandoned by Kenyan and Canadian officials in Nairobi – even though Canadian media had heavily covered Mohamud’s plight for 3 months!

As freaky as Harper can be, you would think the Prime Minister would at least know how to spell the names of major cities in his own country.

However, that seems not to be the case.

You see, Harper put out a press release detailing his five-day tour of the Canadian Arctic, which included a stop in the capital city of the territory of Nunavut.

What is the capital? It’s Iqaluit, which in the native Inuit (Eskimo) language of Inuktitut means “many fish.”

But Harper spelled it “Iqualuit,” with an extra U after the Q. Not only is this incorrect, but it also changes the meaning of the word in Inuktitut.

“Iqualuit” – with that extra U – means “people with unwiped asses.”

Not only did Harper get it wrong, but his spokesperson then tried to turn his mistake into a public good by telling the Canadian Press news service, “Hopefully this unfortunate typo, which we have corrected, will inform the greater public that there is no [extra] ‘u’ in Iqaluit.”

Typo? Couldn’t someone have looked this up in a book or online beforehand?

Mr. Harper, before you try to teach everyone else a lesson, you should learn to get it right yourself.

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