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Canadian MP strikes back at Colbert's attack on Windsor, Ontario

[PoliticsWatch updated 4:55 p.m., March 14, 2007]

On his March 12 The Word segment, talk show host Stephen Colbert alleged that Windsor, Ontario is among "the worst places in the world." 

OTTAWA - A Canadian politician is striking back after an American talk show host slammed  Windsor, Ontario, this week suggesting it was the worst place in the world.  

Comedy Central late night funny man Stephen Colbert took the unprovoked shot at Windsor during his Monday evening "The Word" segment on the popular The Colbert Report.

"It's clearly an attack on the city of Windsor," said New Democrat Brian Masse, who is the federal Member of Parliament for Windsor West. The NDP is Canada's left-wing party. 

"(Colbert) feels threatened by the fact that we have low crime rates and our citizens don't have to carry around guns to feel safe and we have free medicare," he said in an interview with PoliticsWatch. 

"We're clearly a threat to the general ideology of Colbert and the Bush administration." 

On his program Monday, Colbert  criticized billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for spending millions of dollars to assist developing countries. 

The faux conservative Colbert blasted Gates' do-gooder routine, arguing it was taking away "home field advantage" for Americans by assisting the health and welfare of its competitors in other countries. 

"Bill Gates is spending millions to fight poverty and disease in Africa, Asia, South America -- the worst places in the world," Colbert said as the words "Windsor, Ontario?" appeared on one side of the split screen. 

The jab at Windsor elicited laughs from Colbert's New York studio audience.

It's not clear exactly why Colbert decided to single Windsor out, although he already has a track record of starting feuds with medium-sized Canadian cities. 

Colbert, who recently became a fan of the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit after the team named their mascot in his honour, engaged in trash talking with Oshawa Generals fans and urged fans in Saginaw to throw General Motors' financial earnings reports on the ice during an Eagles game against Oshawa in January. 

That prompted Oshawa Mayor John Gray to make a bet with Colbert. If Oshawa won the game, Colbert would have to wear a Generals jersey for an entire show. However, the Spirits won, so the mayor had to declare Colbert’s birthday “Stephen Colbert Day” in Oshawa. 

The OHL Windsor Spitfires play in the same league division as Saginaw and are currently in last place. 

Windsor was also the subject of some negative press when Detroit hosted last year's Super Bowl and was given the name "Sin City" because of its casino gambling, lower drinking age, strip bars and Cuban cigars. 

Masse can't figure out exactly why Windsor was singled either, but has his suspicions.

He noted that the Department of Homeland Security is putting riverboat gun boats on the Great Lakes, bringing in Blackhawk helicopters, watch towers and fencing along the northern border, so maybe Colbert is concerned about cheap medicines from border cities like Windsor reaching American consumers. 

Masse, who said he watches Colbert's program, said the comedian is "always welcome to Windsor" if he feels a need to slam the city again. 

"For Windsor to be singled out (by someone like Colbert) is not a thing to be concerned about. It's a thing to be proud of . It's a medal of honour that the city of Windsor gets singled out given the city we have is very strong and vibrant."

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's office offered no comment or defence of Windsor through his aides. 

PoliticsWatch.com is still awaiting comment from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office and Windsor mayor Eddie Francis' office 

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