British MP denied entry into Canada

Honourable Jason Kenny
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister,

I have just learned that you have denied entry into Canada for British Member of Parliament, George Galloway, for his planned speaking tour of Canada. This seems unbelievable - even for the Conservative Government - but apparently this is the case, based on "security reasons" that your office will not disclose.

I find it reprehensible and outrageous that you would suppress this well know MP from coming to Canada to speak, for what can only be determined as purely partisan, political reasons by the Canadian government. That Mr. Galloway is outspoken on his views concerning the Middle East is not new, nor should it be of any concern to warrant this kind of action from the Canadian Government.

As a duly elected member of the British House of Commons and a notable public figure, Canadians should not be denied the opportunity to hear, meet and engage in public discourse with MP Galloway.

Parliamentarians of all political persuasions, from around the globe, play an important role in fostering public understanding and debate of key current affairs that affect us all. The conflict in the Middle East, and Mr. Galloway's active work for Palestinians, including his recent mission to Gaza to deliver aid and support, are of great interest to many people in Canada. I simply cannot understand why you, as Minister, would deny him entry to Canada, and on what basis this decision was made.

I ask you to re-consider your decision. It is wrong and narrow minded, reflecting the ideological views of your government, which you have no right to impose on the Canadian people. Your government does not have a majority in Parliament, and even if you did, it would not warrant this kind of undemocratic pronouncement. Please respect the ability of Canadians to hear information and make their own decision about what they do or do not support.

Yours Sincerely,

Libby Davies
MP Vancouver East

This Open Letter to Ministers & Public Officials was posted on March 20, 2009

4 Comments

George Galloway barred from Canada

I read this in the news and looked up my MP, Ms. Davies, to register my protest IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS. I am delighted to see that Ms. Davies is already on the case.

As I recall, Mr. Galloway appeared before the US Senate a few years ago to vehemently deny the charity he worked with was supporting terrorism.

Mr. Galloway defied the Senate to charge him, saying something like "if you had any evidence whatsoever you'd present it now".

The Republican Senator from Minnesota Norm Coleman hinted that Mr. Galloway may yet be charged with perjury. That was 4 years ago.

So they had nothing on Galloway. Why does this country bar a sitting UK MP?

Make no mistake about it: Galloway is not an undesirable, and recent revelations are indicating that he was right all along. We did in fact allow a former US President, now a known liar and likely war criminal, to speak in Calgary a few days ago. But I wouldn't have barred him from entry to Canada either.

Shame Mr. Harper. Shame on you!

P.Carew, Vancouver

Thanks, Libby--a suggestion?

Just e-mailed about this to your MP box. Then Twitter pointed me to your blog. I suggest that civil disobedience is necessary here.

All NDP and Bloc MPs should sign a document that supports some minor Hamas municipal decision or official in Gaza; the person or action should be carefully chosen so that it would technically breach anti-terror laws. Then all signatories hold a media conference and affirm their support for the document.

For added complicity, you could also donate a token amount of one dollar to a humanitarian charity for the rebuilding of Gaza that has links to Hamas, then bring an oversized cheque to the media conference. Your "support" for terrorism will draw attention to Kenney's absurd response to Galloway's arrival.

Your letter is much appreciated. This Canada is becoming more and more unrecognizable.

your letter to Jason Kenny

Thank you Libby!

You said it all. I am outraged at this ban to George Galloway when George Bush gets welcomed with open arms. I'm not very good at articulating myself but will try to send my own letter to Mr. Kenny.

On George Galloway...

Ms. Davies,

Thank you for your principled stand on this subject! I was just visiting your website in order to ask that you bring this subject up with the minister.
I am currently living in South Korea, and have for the first time been able to garner insight into how Canada is viewed by the world. Actions like this one are an honest embarrassment to Canadians abroad like myself. To refer to Mr.Galloway as a threat to Canada's national security is laughable, to bar him access to Canada on those grounds is to deny Canadians their democratic rights.
I urge to to raise this matter during question period. As anyone is aware, we live in a time wherein our rights as citizens are strained in the name of "national security." The only recourse private citizens like myself have is through our elected representatives.
Thank you for hearing and representing your constituents, and fighting for their access to honest and uncensored discourse.
Sincerely,
Neal O'Reilly