[R-G] MEDIA RELEASE - Picket at MP's office to demand that George Galloway be admitted to Canada
shniad at sfu.ca
Mon Mar 23 15:41:04 MDT 2009
March 23, 2009
The Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War will hold an informational picket outside the Greensville constituency office of David Sweet, Conservative Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, to demand that George Galloway be admitted to Canada and to speak at scheduled lectures in Toronto and Mississauga on March 30 and 31, 2009 and in Montreal and Ottawa on April 1 and 2. Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Immigration, denied Galloway's entry to Canada, because Galloway opposes the increasingly unpopular Canadian role in the Afghan war. An aide to Kenney was quoted as saying he did not want Galloway "to pee on our carpet."
As one commentator, Tyler Kinch, noted, foreign visitors to Canada should not be barred just because they do not agree with the Conservative government's position: "This is an affront to free speech and our democracy. We have laws in this country to protect our national security, but when they are abused to prevent someone from opposing government decisions, they are not serving their purposes.
The Immigration Minister is becoming the Censorship Minister. We need to give the Immigration Minister an ear full about this."
Former US president, George W. Bush, the architect of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was recently admitted to Canada to make a speech in Calgary, where he earned himself hundreds of thousands of dollars. This double standard is unconscionable in a federal government.
The topic of Galloway's lecture is "Resisting war from Gaza to Kandahar." Galloway is probably the world's best-known anti-war orator, having even debated the Iraq war inside the US Congress. His denial of entry is a violation of Canadians' Charter right to freedom of expression. Galloway has been to Israel. He has previously spoken in Canada. Canada has become the only country in the world to ban Galloway. That Canadians are being denied the opportunity to hear the views of an elected member of the British Parliament in 2009 is an outrageous abuse of power on the part of the Harper government. The anti-war movement in Canada asks: whom will they ban next?
Galloway says it best: "This idotic ban shames Canada. [...] This may be a rather desperate election ploy by a conservative government reaching the end of line, or by a minister who has not cottoned on to the fact that the George Bush era is over."
The informational picket will take place from 3-4 pm on Thursday, March 26, at the corner of Highway 8 and Kirby Avenue in Greensville.
For more information, please contact Brendan at 905-383-7693 or hcsw at cogeco.ca .
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