Press Release: British MP banned from Canada: Ottawa must reverse shameful decision

OTTAWA – March 20, 2009 – The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group is calling on Ottawa to reverse its decision and allow well-known British MP and peace acitivist, George Galloway, to enter to Canada.

“The Canadian minister for Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney has the discretionary power to issue a permit allowing Mr. Galloway to enter Canada,” said Roch Tassé, national coordinator for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. “Barring a British member of Parliament who doesn't share our government's views is embarrassing and shameful: this is clearly censorship and an attempt to stifle freedom of opinion and freedom of speech.”

A minister's spokesman told reporters in the U.K that the Respect MP is inadmissible on national security grounds because of his views on Afghanistan and the presence of Canadian troops there. He warned that he would be turned away if he attempted to enter the country.

Galloway is due to speak at a public forum Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar, hosted by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, at a downtown church on March 30, 2009.

Responding to the news, the MP said he would fight the ban: “This decision, gazetted in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, is a very sad day for the Canada we have known and loved – a bastion of the freedoms that supporters of the occupation of Afghanistan claim to be defending.” Please see full story at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/20/george-galloway-banned-canada

The ICLMG is a pan-Canadian coalition of civil society organizations that was established in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. The coalition brings together 38 NGOs, unions, professional associations, faith groups, environmental organizations, human rights and civil liberties advocates, as well as groups representing immigrant and refugee communities in Canada.

Information : Roch Tassé – 613-241-5298