MONTREAL – A major issue arises instigated by the FYROM Canadians who, as The National Herald reported on July 26, took out an advertisement in the Canadian newspaper Toronto Star, which includes a counterfeit map of the FYROM reaching into Thessaly, Epirus, and Thrace.
On the evening of July 25, TNH received correspondence from August 2015, between the Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario and executives of the Canadian newspaper after a similar issue two years ago.
In her reply to James Karas, president of the Macedonians of the Canadian province, Sandy Muir, a spokesperson for Star Media, acknowledged the newspaper’s mistake in publishing the counterfeit map that also accompanied the ad for the annual Ilinden celebration the Canadians from the FYROM hold in Toronto.
“You are right, of course. The map is inaccurate and should not be published. The ad was taken and promoted by one of the ad managers who did not know the map was wrong. Thank you for informing us of the mistake,” Muir replied after Karas’ protest to the newspaper. She also promised at the same time that internal procedures will be changed to identify such errors before publishing any listing.
Nevertheless, the mistake was repeated again this year. With the so-called Canadian “Macedonian” Association – signing the entry – painting the map of history, international law, and legality in a red color.
Karas wrote in his letter to the Toronto Star, “The nonsense about Alexander the Great contained in the ad may require far more nuanced knowledge for the advertising department to understand it but showing a part of another country as belonging to ‘Macedonia’ goes over the top.”
“And he was right. They will have to stop at some point all these challenges that only succeed in jeopardizing the climate not only between the two countries but also for us, here in Canada, the Greeks and the people of FYROM,” 47-year-old George Karagiannidis of Toronto, a mechanic originally from Pella, told TNH.
Dimitris Papadopoulos, editor of the monthly newspaper Chronika, based in Montreal, also contacted TNH in order to point out the Canadian newspaper’s acknowledgement of its mistake two years ago, which was repeated again only a few days ago, in exactly the same way.
On the part of the official Greek government, there is already a first reaction from the Consulate General of Toronto which, however, was not published in the Toronto Star correction column or in another article by the morning of Wednesday, July 26.
By the time the newspaper was published, there was no formal reaction on the part of the Macedonian organizations in Canada or the United States but, as reported by TNH, there have been several phone calls of protest from their members to the newspaper from the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and from northern New York.