Canadians expressed outrage Thursday after the release of Guy Turcotte, a cardiologist who in 2009 confessed to killing his children as they slept in their beds.
What many wanted to know was how a father who stabbed his children dozens of times could be free after 46 months of confinement. Those voices echo the grief of Turcotte's ex-wife, Dr. Isabelle Gaston, the mother of 5-year-old Olivier and 3-year-old Anne-Sophie.
As Gaston pored over her children's autopsy reports, she wished she had no idea what they meant. But as a physician and a coroner, she knows it's true: Her children suffered a long, gruesome death.
"I knew it was not a short death. You know, my little boy received 20 stabs of a knife, he had seven marks of defense," she told CNN in an interview at her home before Turcotte's full release. "He had no wound that was the one that gave him death," she added, trying to hold back tears.
I spent the Christmas holidays in two very similar nations, with two radically different histories.
Country 1 is my native Canada: a resource-rich nation of 33 million people that has grown from an exporter of the products of forest, mine and farm into one of the world's most advanced economies. Gross Domestic Product per capita in 2008, according to the World Bank: $42,031 U.S., just behind the United Kingdom, just ahead of Japan.
Country 2 is sunny Argentina: a resource-rich nation of 39 million people that started as an exporter of agricultural products. A century ago, Argentina was probably a richer country than Canada. Argentina's GDP per capita in 2008: $8,236 - just behind Brazil, just ahead of Montenegro.
The Argentine experience is one of tragic falling away from a once glorious promise. It's a story often told, even the subject of a musical, and I'm not proposing to retell it. Instead, in this season of intense debate over the future of American capitalism, let me just draw two morals, one for the political left, one for the political right.
For the left:
Here's a story I heard last week from a onetime foreign investor in Argentina. The thing that drove him out of the country was a 5 percent tax on his company. Five percent may not sound like much, but what mattered was not the amount of the tax. It was the way it was imposed. The tax was not enacted by Congress. It was not even ordered by the president.
AC360° Associate Producer
President Obama is in Canada – a key and often overlooked U.S. ally and economic partner - today for the first foreign trip of his presidency. I find myself waxing nostalgic for the trips my friends and I made some years ago to Montreal. It was a time when Canada was still known as the land of hockey and Celine Dion, long before it became the Sarah Palin Buffer Zone.
Our first trip up there, by car from New England, was when I was 17. The allure was that the drinking age in Montreal was 18. I know what you’re thinking. But it turns out the word “Montreal” is French for “eh, close enough.”
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