Jann Arden sorry for 'middle of nowhere' remark
Published Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:42AM EDT
Many journeys across the vast, barren wilderness have inspired soulful ballads from singers over the decades.
Will Jann Arden's stopover in the "wilderness" of Oshawa, Ont. also end up immortalized in song?
Canadians have to wonder after the singer was booted off a VIA Rail train earlier this week, "in the middle of nowhere" as Arden tweeted, for carrying her pet dog, Midi, in a passenger car.
Insensitive though that may seem to dog lovers like Arden, VIA was following company rules.
The railway prohibits passengers from carrying pets in passenger cars, with the exception of guide dogs. Instead, the company places pets in the baggage car, a move that clearly benefits passengers with allergies.
That logic escaped Arden, who was travelling from Toronto to Ottawa to perform at the National Arts Centre on Sunday, March 11.
Arden complained to the world via Twitter after she was escorted off the train for breaking the company's rule.
Arden's refusal to see her dog caged and relegated to the baggage car left her stranded in Oshawa, where she spent four and a half hours trying to rent a car to take her to Ottawa.
"Via Rail you guys suck…a four pound dog in a bag and you boot me off in the middle of nowhere?" Arden complained.
Today, however, Arden's hardships in the wilderness are all water under the bridge.
"I never asked for special favours. I didn't know. I really didn't think I'd have to get off in Oshawa," Arden told CTV National News after the incident.
Arden's angry tweets also gave way to apologies, especially to the citizens of Oshawa.
"I am so sorry for anything negative I may have said...you certainly are NOT the middle of nowhere! just a figure of speech!!," Arden wrote.
"And besides…I LIVE in the middle of nowhere in Alberta!!!! I really am sorry for any misunderstanding. Proud of my country!!!" Arden tweeted.
VIA Rail has certainly done its part to settle the dust of this storm. Earlier this week, a VIA spokesman tweeted to say the company was sorry for the "unfortunate situation."
John Henry, the mayor of Oshawa, also bears no grudge.
Prompted by an onslaught of emails from Oshawa's citizens, Henry contacted the singer.
"I've sent a letter and invited her to come to Oshawa as my guest," Henry said on Tuesday on CTV's Canada AM.
"I'll even pick her up and bring her into town in a vehicle that's made in General Motors in Oshawa," Henry said.
From three universities to a booming downtown core, Henry said Oshawa has many features to show off -- including an off-leash park that Arden's dog, Midi, might enjoy.
"Even the train station has a $7-million expansion going on by VIA," said Henry.
How Arden's contrition will play to Canadians, however, remains to be seen.
While some supported Arden's complaint, others took issue with the singer's actions.
"Rules are there for a reason," tweeted one parent. "My 4 year old is allergic, wld suck if she were sick bc of a dog."
Another Canadian tweeted, "Funny. The rules about no pets applies to everybody. Why are you crying?"
By all accounts, the audience at Arden's Ottawa concert took no offence. They laughed along with Arden as she relayed details to the crowd.