The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is calling on the Canadian Immigration Minister to immediately overturn the outrageous decision by the Canadian Border Services Agency to ban British MP George Galloway from Canada for his anti-war views. Today the British media reported that Mr. Galloway has been deemed inadmissible to Canada on national security grounds under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Government spokespersons have apparently declined to cite what precise “threat to national security” is posed by Mr. Galloway who is about to start a North American speaking tour and is due to speak at a public forum entitled Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar, hosted by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.
BCCLA Policy Director, Micheal Vonn: “This is shameful conduct from our government. We could not agree more with Mr. Galloway that this is a dismal reflection on Canada. It strikes at the core of the essence of our democratic rights. If the government or some border agent is allowed to determine what speech Canadians get to hear, one of our most precious freedoms will be shredded. This decision is clearly ideologically motivated and has nothing whatsoever to do with national security. It is yet another in the seemingly endless list of abuses and violation of our fundamental freedoms that the rhetoric of national security has spawned.”
In 2008, the BCCLA spoke out against the possibility of Canadian Border Services preventing an American anti-gay group from entering Canada in order to protest.
Micheal Vonn: “It doesn’t matter what end of the political spectrum the expression comes from and it doesn’t matter if it is the most profound wisdom or the most piebald idiocy, Canadian Border Services Agency should not be in the business of screening what viewpoints are presented to Canadians in Canada. Full stop.”
Micheal Vonn, BCCLA Policy Director, 604-630-9753