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"I don't think I will ever really feel comfortable in your country again," said an e-mail from a writer who did not indicate in what city or state in the U.S. he or she lives.
'The more I hear of the reactions of Canadians, the more I think we should shut our borders and keep our money at home...'
The Town Hall meeting was held in the atrium at the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto before a live audience. CBC TV's Peter Mansbridge hosted the event. A panel of experts answered questions and made observations throughout the live presentation. Many in the audience also made comments and asked questions.
Peter Mansbridge hosts the CBC Town Hall
The show was carried across the U.S. by C-SPAN, a cable channel that often carries CBC Newsworld.
There were live feeds to Ottawa where Defence Minister Art Eggleton, Alliance leader Stockwell Day, and NDP leader Alexa McDonough replied to questions and made observations.
Most in the audience expressed sympathy for lives lost in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. But the discussion and debate also dealt with such matters as the need for concrete evidence before the United States begins bombing anyone. Many in the audience urged caution and responses other than military strikes, for which they were loudly applauded.
"Oh, Canada, I thought until I watched your Town Hall meeting tonight that you were with us Americans in spirit, in heart, in cause, in grief...." says a letter from Dallas, Texas. "...I am ashamed of you. If your cities were attacked, do you think we in the USA would sit by and do nothing to help you?"
Another American who watched the Town Hall called Canada "the world's best Boy Scout."
From Omaha, Nebraska: "I am absolutely appalled by the response I have seen by the young generation tonight. Do they not think that generations of grandparents and parents do not care about the long-term wellbeing of their children? (Our leaders) are not war-mongers, but protectors of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
From Long Beach, California: "The more I hear of the reactions of Canadians, the more I think we should shut our borders and keep our money at home...."
From Detroit: "Last night I watched the Canadian National Town Hall meeting. I have to honestly say it was one of the saddest moments of my life. I have been raised to believe that we were friends, brothers and allies. Last night as I watched the Canadian town hall meeting that illusion was dispelled."
The majority of e-mails Americans have sent to CBC News Online since the events of September11th have expressed appreciation of Canada and its assistance in the wake of the attacks.
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