Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Protestors decry ban of British MP

Protestors outside Immigration Canada offices in Vancouver today wore duct tape over their mouths to protest the free speech concerns of barring British anti-war MP George Galloway from Canada.

The activists were calling for the government to reconsider the ban placed on Galloway and allow him into the country for his speaking tour.

The ban is a violation of an elected official's right to speak and Canadian citizens' right to hear him, said Bob Ages, a national executive with the Council of Canadians.

“We’re very concerned about what the government is doing and what it says about Canada,” he said. “It’s an embarrassment for all Canadians.”

Today's protests are in reaction to Friday's news that the outspoken parliamentarian was deemed inadmissible to Canada on security grounds and that Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney would not intervene to overturn the ruling.

“Across the country people are protesting the decision,” said Derrick O’Keefe, co-chair of the Vancouver StopWar coalition. “We think this is an outrageous attack on free speech,” he said, adding the decision sends the wrong message about Canada.

“It makes us look like a very backward neo-conservative government and that we’re afraid of open debate and dialogue.”

Organizers of the speaking tour said they will set up a live feed to broadcast Galloway's speech to Canadian audiences if the parliamentarian is not allowed to enter Canada.

He is expected to speak in Toronto on March 30 with other engagements planned in Mississauga, Montreal and Ottawa.

Galloway wrote in a blog today that the ban has just expanded the range of his message and would not stop him from relaying it.

“For now, I've been declared inadmissible. Of course, the audience for what I would have said is now vastly greater than before the blundering flatfooted immigration minister stepped in.”

Morgan J. Modjeski is a reporter for The Hook.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus