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February 17, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

Candian Citizenship Laws

  |   Video
  • A Mesa man is waging war with Canada over that country's citizenship laws.
Keywords: immigration, law,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: As state lawmakers attempt to challenge the U.S. constitution's definition of citizenship, a man in Mesa has been challenging Canada's citizenship laws for years. Here to explain is Don Chapman, the founder of Lost Canadians, which advocates for people it believes have been wrongly denied citizenship in Canada. Good to have you here, thanks for joining us. This is a -- I want to keep this as simple as possible. Boy this is a complicated issue. Lost Canadians, what are we talking about here?

Don Chapman: Canada became a country, if you will, in 1867 under what was called the British North American act. A year later they adopted their first form of unique Canadian identity. But it was written by the British. Here's the exact wording. "married women, minors, lunatics, and idiots will be classified under the same disability for their national status."

Don Chapman: And it took only 142 years and somebody from Mesa to try to get that law off the books.

Ted Simons: So a lost Canadian is someone who was what born in Canada, has --

Don Chapman: there were 12 ways to lose citizenship. In fact I was born in Canada. Had I been born in United States I would have been Canadian. Don’t try to make any sense out of these things, but if somebody goes to my webpage, which is, you can download and look at the 12 different ways to lose citizenship. It could be that you were born in Canada, born out of Canada, that your birth was to a Canadian mother. Or maybe a foreign mother. In wedlock, out of wedlock. It was so nutty, it became where even the parliamentarians didn't know their own laws, and it wasn't until I started proving -- several members of Parliament weren't Canadian, that they took an interest in this bill.

Ted Simons: This all goes back to a 1947, which kind of established Canadian citizenship? Is that correct?

Don Chapman: Canada was the first country -- yes. Canada was the first country that made an allied landing in Europe. They did it I believe -- I want to say it was August 19th of 1941. The Canadians just got massacred. The Brits were very good at sacrificing their commonwealth cousins. It was after World War II that a senior cabinet minister went, there saw the graveyards, 707 Canadian soldiers and realized that these soldiers died not as Canadians, but as British subjects. There was no such thing as a Canadian citizen until 1947. They were British subjects. Canadian nationals. And Canadiens aren't really that familiar with these laws. If you go around and talk to Canadiens, they really are quite unaware. And the median -- media has not been very good at publicizing a lot of this.

Ted Simons: If you were born out of wedlock before 1947, are you a Canadian citizen?

Don Chapman: Let me give you two examples. One was denied because he was born in wedlock and one was denied because he was born out of wedlock. I have fixed the law for 95% of the people, but I'm an airline pilot. I'm not satisfied if I ditch an airplane in the Hudson river by leaving 5% of my people behind. What general would be revered if they left 5% of their troops behind? Canada and the current prime minister is happy leaving 5% behind. And my law fixed it for almost everybody but we have problems with the pre-'47 births. So living in the valley right here is Jackie Scott. Jackie was born out of wedlock to a British war bride mother and a Canadian soldier father. And because these Canadians were in Europe and they knew they were probably going to die, the government didn't want them to marry before they went to battle because then they'd have a financial liability of a wife and a child. So they would not allow the soldiers to marry until after the war. Jackie's parents married, they came to Canada. Because Jackie was born out of wedlock, today they're saying you were property of your mother, not your father and therefore you're not Canadian.

Ted Simons: When they say therefore you're not Canadian, for a lot of these folks, born pre-1947, you're getting ready for benefits, you’re getting ready for all sorts of things and the government is saying you're not a citizen?

Don Chapman: That is not just that, here's one that would raise the hairs of every American. Born in Canada in 1926, in Montreal, to a Canadian mother and U.S. father now in wedlock. Gi voted in Canada, paid taxes, married, had a family and he was a Canadian soldier in World War II. But because he was born in wedlock, when he had a stroke a few years ago, they denied him his medical benefits. And the answer is yes, they are denying medical, they're denying pension benefits. These are people that have served for Canada, even general Romeo Dallaire, he's now a senator. He was stripped of his citizenship.

Ted Simons: I know there was a bill passed in 2009 --

Don Chapman: That was the bill I was behind.

Ted Simons: Which you were very much behind. And it seemed like it did some good.

Don Chapman: 95%.

Ted Simons: So that's the 95 one right.

Don Chapman: That's the 95%.

Ted Simons: What -- I know this is coming from a distance here, but why doesn't the government look at this and go, there's a whole lot of trouble here, there are 12 different ways we can mess up people's lives. Let's just tie it up in a bow and get this issue over with.

Don Chapman: That's the million dollar question that needs to go to the Prime Minister of Canada. Right now the Canadian government in doing what they're doing, three weeks ago we had a little 3-year-old baby girl turned down for citizenship only because of gender. So the government of Canada is violating two Supreme Court decisions of Canada. Three United Nations conventions on human rights, chart rights in freedoms, the rule of law and the 1948 declaration of human rights written by a Canadian. So I'd have to ask the prime minister. Why? It's so simple. One time I testified before the senate of Canada, and they asked me that question. And I said, I give the government the same advice as I give my children. Admit your mistake, correct it and go on with life.

Ted Simons: Is that it, basically just you have to admit a mistake? These are antiquated laws.

Don Chapman: they are antiquated laws. I even have a gentleman whose a registered native Canadian Indian. And they're denying him citizenship. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? He could be the chief. He could be the guy squaring off with the prime minister saying, but you're in my country.

Ted Simons: OK, what kind of recourse do some of these Lost Canadians have? Take an individual case, will they address these and make amends individually or just not --

Don Chapman: They want to do it individually. What I find interesting is it's been through the Supreme Court saying you cannot deny citizenship based on gender. I brought that up one time before the senate of Canada and what was the bureaucratic answer? We didn't like the Supreme Court decision, so they said we're not going to honor it anymore. This is a huge difference between Americans and Canadians. Quite Frankly, the best is kind of a hybrid. Canadians should be more like the Americans and Americans may be more like the Canadians. We're children of a common mother, but the Canadians are very complacent. And here is the Supreme Court of the country being ignored and they're ignorant of that or they say it doesn't affect me.

Ted Simons: Apathy.

Don Chapman: Apathy -- in the United States, there is no way that you could take World War II veterans and strip them of their rights and people wouldn't come just unglued on this. But Canadians seem OK with it. I don't -- that's a question -- since I was brought up in the U.S., and I have that side of me, I don't get it.

Ted Simons: Yeah. It just seems like -- it's -- if it's that number of folks who have been there for that long, and are de facto Canadian citizens, make them Canadian citizens.

Don Chapman: Make them citizens. It's really quite clear. And here's another thing. Just follow the United Nations laws, the conventions they've signed up to. Canadians love to put their nose in the air a little bit and say we're number one. On human rights, compassion, fairness. They touted that very much in the Olympics, but if you went to the Olympics on the opening ceremonies, the first four people that were carrying that flag in all were kind of had Lost Canadians in their family and the closing ceremonies, three out of the several entertainers were lost Canadians.

Ted Simons: We've only got about 30 seconds. So you’ve got to make it quick, but why are you so passionate about this? You're not apathetic, how come?

Don Chapman: I think that's my American side. I think that the fact is that my father was a World War II soldier for Canada, when he died he was not Canadian, he couldn't even be a member of the Canadian legion. It's not that he cared to be a member, it was -- but I want it to be his right. These people who fought for us in World War II, they're too old to fight their battles, so I decided I'll fight it for them.

Ted Simons: It's All right. Very good. Don, thanks for joining us fascinating story.

Don Chapman: One person can make a difference.

Ted Simons: Apparently. Good for you. Thanks for joining us.

Ciyt of Glendale and Phoenix Coyotes

  |   Video
  • The latest on what the city of Glendale is doing to keep the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena.
  • Rebekah Sanders - Arizona Republic
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: coyotes, glendale,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The city of Glendale is preparing to sell $116 million in bonds as part of a deal to keep the Phoenix coyotes from leaving the state. Here with the details is Rebekah Sanders, she's been covering the story for "The Arizona Republic." Good to have you back on the show. Thanks for joining us.

Rebekah Sanders Great to be here.

Ted Simons: What is the latest on this deal?

Rebekah Sanders: We seem to be approaching the end of this saga. It's not complete yet, but right now what’s happening is Glendale is looking for investors to buy bonds, essentially to finance a loan that would help the new buyer purchase the team. And would also give Glendale the right to charge for parking around the arena.

Ted Simons: So the owner is basically waiting for $100 million in bonds to be sold, that is money that goes to him and now is that like a done deal right there, or --

Rebekah Sanders: It's not a done deal yet. Because basically what they have to do is convince investors this is a good investment, you'll get a good rate of return, there are risks, but convincing investors that risk is worth it.

Ted Simons: Let's go back, he's getting this $100 million as far as his bond sales are concerned. How much is the owner putting into this deal?

Rebekah Sanders: About we're guessing around $70 million or so. That Hulsizer and some of his minority investors will put into it.

Ted Simons: You guys got ahold of the preliminary bond statement. Correct?

Rebekah Sanders: Correct.

Ted Simons: What did it say? What were they telling investors? What kind of case was the city making?

Rebekah Sanders: This was the draft statement that goes out to investors kind of alerting them we're getting ready to sell these bonds, are you interested. So we got a copy of it from an investor, and it says, look, this is a fairly risky deal, we've got threatened lawsuit by Goldwater institute who are saying this might violate some of our laws about government subsidizing private business. Also, this is how we think we're going to pay back the bonds, but it's not -- it's never a hundred percent sure this is going to get paid back.

Ted Simons: Right there real quickly, how are they saying they're going to pay back those bonds?

Rebekah Sanders: The city will pledge its sales tax base, basically, and so it's pretty strong because the city sales tax base is large. But what that would mean if things got difficult is maybe some services might be compromised for residents if things go poorly. But Glendale's hoping that charging for parking around the arena will be lucrative and will, you know, pay for these bonds for the most part.

Ted Simons: I know studies have been done to see if the parking will indeed be lucrative enough. What are those studies showing?

Rebekah Sanders: There's quite a few studies that the city has commissioned. One showed parking will be so lucrative that all the bonds plus the interest should be able to be covered by parking. That's not included in this bond statement. Instead, investors are getting studies that show that parking will cover maybe a third of the principle even up to a little over the principle. That interest is kind of out there as might have to come from sales taxes.

Ted Simons: I guess the bottom line is, as with many of these kinds of situations, the city is saying the interest rate is enough, the return is enough to, what, make this not necessarily the biggest of risks? Is that the --

Rebekah Sanders: Sure. I mean, if -- it's all about demand. If something is risky you've got to entice the investor with a higher interest rate. That interest rate has not been set, but we're guessing it's going to be at least a bit higher than what would normally happen in a municipal bond sale.

Ted Simons: That would make sense with this kind of risk. All right, now, also the owner, the city pays the owner to manage the arena as well?

Rebekah Sanders: Correct. So this is a second part of the deal. There's lots of parts to this deal. But this is about the owner and his business partners managing the arena, putting on the concerts, having the lights on for the coyotes games, all that goes into keeping that arena running, the city will pay him $97 million over five years for that service, and potentially more after that five years based on a lot of different factors.

Ted Simons: Where does that money come from?

Rebekah Sanders: It's not entirely clear. But the city is hoping that the team will be successful, and in turn the area around the arena will grow, that will generate more business, more revenue for the city, but there's a lot of ifs.

Ted Simons: And I want to get to some of those ifs in a second here. One more thing, this account now, that the city is putting $10 million into an account, and it sounds like the city is basically doing this because if a future city council doesn't want to pay off this stuff, this is insurance so to speak?

Rebekah Sanders: Indeed. There is supposed to be 10 million put into an escrow count that -- account that the team owner could draw on if the city fails to make some of its payments. It's a rainy day fund essentially. And some people say you would think Glendale after all of this negotiating and all of these things they've agreed to, would be all right without this rainy day fund, but sure, there's questions. Will a future council be OK with this? Or will they try and break it?

Ted Simons: What happened, let's get to this possible lawsuit too, because this has to be a factor here. What happens if the bonds are sold and the city winds up losing a lawsuit? What happens?

Rebekah Sanders: It's still up in the air, because there's so many decisions a judge could make. If Goldwater sued and won, it could mean that the bond holders don't get any of their money back. It could mean that the judge orders the money to be returned to the bond holders and then how does Glendale get it back from Hulsizer, who knows? It's really unclear right now.

Ted Simons: We should mention the Goldwater institute's position, this is an illegal subsidy, correct?

Rebekah Sanders: Correct. But they haven't taken any formal legal action, and the city is confident that they've structured the deal to show they're not overpaying for the value they're getting from the lease, and they think Goldwater won't have a case.

Ted Simons: As far as I know a lot of city council meetings on this and a lot of discussion, what are the major concerns? What are folks out there who are against this deal, what is their biggest concern?

Rebekah Sanders: The opposition, which is mainly Glendale taxpayers, residents who -- they think we have already spent so much to build the arena, our baseball stadium, etc., our debt levels are getting too high, we can't afford to spend any more, and we'll be OK even if the team leaves. There's another faction which is more in Canada, which is against this deal because they want the team to return to Canada and say, hockey in the desert doesn't work.

Ted Simons: That's -- we'll be talking about Canada in a different respect shortly. I would imagine that taxpayers in Glendale would have the stronger say there, and it just seems to me that's their side, but the city is basically saying, if the coyotes leave, that thing sits there and there's no hockey.

Rebekah Sanders: An empty, hulking beautiful arena without a main tenant is how the city says it. Perhaps they could fill it with other concerts or a minor league team or something, but Glendale makes the point, nothing will equal what a professional hockey team brings as far as fans, business, prestige, all of that.

Ted Simons: Last question, what kind of timetable are we looking at here as far as selling of the bonds, and getting the owner to get that money and move ahead -- in general terms, what kind of timetable?

Rebekah Sanders: The hope is within a week perhaps two weeks if interest is reasonably high from investors. But that all depends, it really all depends on whether they can get enough bids for the bonds.

Ted Simons: Yeah. Well, great work covering this. It's a complicated story. Thanks for joining us we appreciate it.

Rebekah Sanders: Thank you.

Gas Prices

  |   Video
  • What's behind the recent increases in gas prices? We'll talk with AAA Arizona.
  • Michelle Donati - Triple A Arizona
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: money, gas,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Triple A Arizona is keeping an eye on gas prices and advocating for a number of bills working their way through the state legislature. Here with the latest is Michelle Donati of Triple A Arizona. Good to see you again.

Michelle Donati: Good to see you.

Ted Simons: What's going on with gas prices? Where are we by the way as far as the numbers are concerned?

Michelle Donati: Statewide average today is $3.18 per gallon. We're at a 28-month high. Motorists have not paid this much for gas in quite some time and their taking note of it.

Ted Simons: As far as the state is concerned, how are we doing in Phoenix compared to other parts of the state?

Michelle Donati: It's going to vary. Phoenix is usually right in the middle in terms of the statewide average, Tucson typically pays the lowest and they've held on to that lowest spot, Flagstaff is the highest, they're in the $3.26ish range. They're paying more than anyone else in the state right now for gas.

Ted Simons: Why are we all paying more? What's going on here?

Michelle Donati: Well, a couple of things. A couple weeks ago we had a situation in Egypt, which caused crude oil to spike to a multi-year high, it settled at above $92 per barrel. The interesting thing is, nothing happened tangibly in that process, the canal, the pipeline remained open and operational, they still do. But the threat of something happening in an oil sensitive region of the world was enough to cause the market to spike. That threat has since receded in terms of the market, so we've seen crude oil recede back to the mid 80 range, but prices have continued to increase, in fact the price in Arizona has increased almost a dime about 8½ cents over the last week.

Ted Simons: If it's receding after the turmoil in the Middle East, which by the way is still going on, continuing concern, if that receded, how come our prices keep going up?

Michelle Donati: There's a couple things unique to Arizona. A few weeks ago we had the cold snap that took place, that knocked a couple of refineries off line. Arizona receives its fuel from two pipelines, one from the east which comes in through the gulf, and another that comes in from the west. Which derives from California. The cold snap knocked a couple of refineries in the gulf offline, as a result we saw a tightening and slowing of that line. And looking forward we have refinery maintenance approaching. So as a result of that, we've really seen the east line slow in terms of production, supplies have tightened, we're relying now on the west line more heavily than the east line for fuel. That west line starts in California, you look at California's average gas price, they're at $3.50 a gallon. So Arizona's fuel prices have been tugged higher, and then if you look at the price of wholesale gas prices, those are climbing even quicker than the price of retail, retail margins are down, so Arizona not in the great -- not in a great situation in terms of gas prices right now.

Ted Simons: So not necessarily a supply and demand situation here. It's more of a bottleneck?

Michelle Donati: Yeah. Exactly. It's more of a situation where we're relying more heavily on the west pipeline, and it's really a perfect storm if you look at it by way of the situation happening in the Middle East. The cold snap, now these refinery issues, it really underscores the volatility that can take place in the market. We were talking before the show that Arizona motorists, the last time they saw prices this high it was more of a sigh of relief. They were coming down from the highest price they've ever paid at the pump. Many areas of the state above $4 a gallon. So they were really looking at $3 a little differently than they were looking at them now. Now it's really starting to affect consumer budgets, it may affect travel decisions come spring and summer and business decisions as well.

Ted Simons: Talk to us about the summer driving season. That's when the prices are usually the highest. Are we just going to see a ramp-up now until summer?

Michelle Donati: You know, the fact that prices are at nearly $3.20 a gallon, we're in the second month of the year, does not bode well for motorists. In 2010 the highest fuel price we experienced was $2.72. We're in the second month of the year, we're well above that, so that's certainly not going to mean good things for motorists come spring and summer.

Ted Simons: Before we let you go, another three bills of note Triple A Arizona is looking at as far as the legislature is concerned. A ban on texting, this booster seat bill, and a bill to get people to move over when emergency vehicles are in the inside lane, or in the rail lane. Correct?

Michelle Donati: That's correct. So all three have made great progress at the legislature, the move over law passed out of the senate last week with an overwhelming majority. The booster seat passed out of the house, transportation committee unanimously today. We're excited about this piece of legislation, very hopeful. Arizona's one of three states without a booster seat law. So right now children between the ages of 5-8 and are not required to ride in child passenger safety seats. And as a result we see children losing their lives, being extremely injured, parents believe that parents follow the guidance the state sets. In terms of laws. We polled parents last year in Arizona and found they believe, nine in 10 believe the state has an obligation to update traffic safety laws that are out of date. And provide them with the proper guidance. We believe that house bill 2452 will do just that.

Ted Simons: Before you go, this texting ban, I think we all understand texting while you're driving is not the smartest idea in the world. However, let me get this straight, you can't even read a text as far as this bill is concerned, and yet you're still allowed to enter a telephone number. It seems -- that isn't necessarily all encompassing is it?

Michelle Donati: We really want to get the word out about text messaging in terms of it's not a full cell phone ban, but it does ban text messaging, which Triple A considers to be one of the biggest public health issues on the roads. The good news about this bill is it did pass out of the senate natural resource and transportation committee Monday, and again we believe that all three of these bills have life saving potentials, and so we're extremely hopeful and optimistic about the progress we made so far and looking ahead this legislative session.

Ted Simons: All right. Michelle good to see you. Thank you for joining us.

Michelle Donati: Thank you.