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Welcome to Canada, where the little guy loses

Last month, I wrote about how professional hockey players cut in front of old ladies waiting for flu shots:

TORONTO, Canada — Professional hockey players are used to being transformed from heroes to bums depending on their performance in a game. Rarely, however, do they attract the fury of even those who care little about the sport.

It happened in Canada last week when news broke that players on two teams — the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs — jumped to the front of the line to be vaccinated against swine flu.

The news came as lineups reserved for high-risk groups stretched around city blocks. That meant that highly paid athletes had jumped ahead of pregnant women, children below the age of 6, and people with chronic illnesses, many of whom had waited up to seven hours at immunization clinics. The preferential treatment also came as some clinics were forced to shut down because they ran out of vaccine.

As outrage grew in Canada, the players and coaches for the most part ducked the media. But a few tried to justify the move. ...

For more on how the little guy loses in Canada and why a Chinatown grocer got charged for catching a thief, click here.