The Subject who is truly loyal etc: Galloway to Sue Harper


UPDATE: The group bringing Galloway to Ottawa says the show will go on:

The Ottawa Peace Assembly — the city-wide coalition of groups committed to peace and human rights — affirms today that we will defy this travel ban. One way or another – whether by streaming video or in person – Canadians are going to hear what George Galloway and the peace have to say, whether the Harper government likes it or not.


George Galloway isn’t too pleased with the Federal government’s decision to ban him from the country:

“We’ll be in court soon to try and overturn this,” Galloway said. “Canada remains a free country with an independent judiciary. They will have to review whether he has acted reasonably in these circumstance.”

And this:

“I’m not a supporter of terrorism,” Galloway told the Citizen from his London office on Friday.

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The Subject who is truly loyal etc: Galloway to Sue Harper

  1. I’m pretty sure that the Canada is allowed to prevent any foreigner from entering our borders for any reason. We are a sovereign country, last time I checked.

    • Yeah, and last time i checked we revere free speech! Let him in, maybe he’ll go too far and he’ll be charged under the hate laws, or whatever. I don’t care about Galloway, i do care about muzzling those you disagree with. What the hell, maybe Harper wants to have the chattering class focus on this instead of…whatever!

    • We have to have a legal reason not just because Harper said so he over stepped hes position

  2. Even Israel let him in! Harper’s gang just don’t get it. Or maybe they do, it’s all politics for these guys. Trouble is those who already support them only have one vote a piece. I get it, they’re the upholders of free speech – how’s that going?

    • This has nothing to do with free speech.

      • C’mon! It has everything to do with it!

        • Galloway can say whatever he likes; his British citizenship protects his right to free speech according to the laws of that country. He doesn’t have some kind of magical right to enter Canada. He’s not a citizen of this country.

          • Technically true, entirely irrelevant. This has EVERYTHING to do with freedom of speech.

          • Explain how.

          • It’s entirely free speech. Galloway can’t be denied entry on the whim of Kenney and Co anymore than the Minister of Transportation can arbitrarily deny me a driver’s license.
            What are we living in, a Conservative autocracy?

          • It’s amazing how many people don’t understand what “free speech” means. As I said on Kady’s blog, “free speech” is a right that Canadians have thanks to our laws and constitution. George Galloway is not a Canadian. Foreigners do not have some sort of “free speech” right to enter our country.

          • And government’s can’t make such decisions on a whim. Despite the Kenneysian rhetoric, Galloway is not a terrorist (and Kenney and Co. had better tread carefully with their inferences) and if there is no legal reason to deny his entry, then I doubt they can do it. They could be setting themselves up for another embarrassment like the one last week with the Federal court and that dude on death row in the States.

          • CR
            So yr saying the govt of the day is free to ban anyone from entering the country, arbitrarily, on whatever grounds! And you don’t see this as a freedom of speech issue?

          • Any government in any country can prevent any person from entering their country for any reason. This is pretty basic, guys.

          • Galloway’s a showboater, and he’ll skewer these guys over this if he chooses to make it an issue. Watch Kenny’s tail go between his legs when he backs away from this.

          • Oh, I’m sure Kenney is shaking in his boots because of Galloway’s little dog-and-pony show. No doubt the 1% of Canadians who care what this clown has to say will rise up in righteous indignation because Border Service refused him entry.

          • I understand the prerogative of countries to determine who passes within thier borders, but this goes beyond that. Like, Canadian audiences can only hear opinions from foreigners if they meet some undefined criteria set by the government? Foreigners (fellow commonwealth-er at that) can only enter the country based on the say-so of Jason Kenney? With no reason or justification, other than the fact that Kenney doesn’t like what Galloway might say?
            What sort of Contocracy is this?

          • CR – We are a country of laws!
            If parliament wants to pass a law banning a certain class of individual from entering this country, then i’ll except yr pt. Absent that, the govt of the day shouldn’t be banning anyone. What next, ban G. Dyer or F. Mowat because the tories don’t like their worldview – funny enough the US did ban Mowat, and for the same dumb reasons.

          • Kenney didn’t cause him to be restricted from entering Canada. CBSA did that all by themselves. If you have evidence to the contrary then out with it, because it would be the scoop of a lifetime.

            Like, Canadian audiences can only hear opinions from foreigners if they meet some undefined criteria set by the government?

            Like, Canadians can hear any opinions they want from any foreigner who has something to say. The foreigner does not need to be physically present in Canada for this to happen. Technology is wonderful that way.

          • And i suppose the CBSA isn’t answerable to Parliament? I just want to know what law underpins this?

          • CBSA is an independent agency. It is answerable to Parliament in a general sense but not directly.

          • At the whim of the government? I don’t think so. I hope Galloway smokes out the dirty culprit and makes him eat his shoddy decision.

  3. I don’t agree with much – if anything – that Galloway says. He’s a bit of a blowhard. But, the fact is even George Bush’s America allowed him into their country.

  4. If I am not mistaken people who openly aid terrorists organizations breaking the law forfeit their right to come into our country and spread their hate here. This MP has not only offered moral support to terrorists, but when visiting Gaza during the latest conflict with Israel, he spoke proudly of providing financial assistance to internationally recognized terror groups. He told the Web site Islam Online, “I have offered [Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh] corporeal and financial support. I know that what we have offered is not enough, but it is highly symbolic. It should be noted that financing terrorist organizations is illegal in Britain.

    • I suspeect you are mistaken on yr first pt, if i’m wrong please show the law? By yr logic Galloway would already be in jail in Britain. I don’t want to defend Galloway, merely a little matter of free speech, but i suspect yr quote is taken out of context – again Galloway would be in jail.

      • Was just about to say the same.

        If financing terrorist organizations is illegal in Britain clearly Galloway is not guilty of it since he is a sitting MP and allowed to leave the country.

        • PS: I am not mistaken it is clearly laid out in balck and white in the law. Maybe his own gov’t is afraid of doing exactly what we are doing and rightly so. We are a soveriegn country and can invite or disinvite anyone we want for any reason we want … If he wants to battle harper in court I’ll be following the case and that’s for sure ….- well done CPC keep up the good work.

          • What law Wayne – enlighten me? If yr right, then let him in and charge him!

          • what law is this that your delusional mind quotes? Dont you have a farm, business and political office to take care of like your blog profile states?

          • Well KC it is illegal to give money to terrorist organizations and since he by his own words on his website gave money to a terrorist organization he has admittyd to breaking the law : case closed!

          • Then we/you/Steve should lay charges against him. Case closed – oh by the way were you planning on a trial?

          • I’m pretty sure Wayne’s quite right technically. Galloway hasn’t just broken the law, he’ll look you right in the eye and TELL YOU he broke the law, and dare you to charge him for it.

            It’s quite true that the British authorities have never actually charged him (to my knowledge) but I don’t think there’s much dispute that he’s broken British law, and he’d be the first person to admit it (read: brag about it).

            Now, whether any of that constitutes breaking Canadian law, I’m less sure. Certainly, if he’d done what he’s done in Britain here in Canada, he’d have broken the law (who knows if Canadian officials would charge him), but has he technically broken Canadian law ever (given that any illegal activities he committed didn’t happen in Canada)? I can’t say “no” for certain, but I’m not sure the answer is yes either.

            If it is “yes” perhaps the Torie should consider letting him in…

            … and arresting him as soon as he steps on Canadian soil. (I’m not saying that’s what I’D do, but it would seem consistent with the Tories “strong” stance on “law and order”).

          • LKO, Canada has no reason to arrest Galloway because he hasn’t violated any Canadian laws and there are no arrest warrants outstanding from other countries with whom we have an extradition treaty.

            In the UK there was plenty of reasonable suspicion of Galloway’s misdeeds but not enough evidence to convict.

          • On the Canadian law I think you MIGHT be right CR. The only caveat would be that I’m not certain that one needs to have financed a banned organization WHILE IN CANADA to be charged with financing a terrorist organization (in other words, I think the law might be worded such that even if you paid the money while sitting in Britain, to a group outside of Canada, you could still technically be charged with violating Canada’s law). Again though, even were that the case I’d be surprised if Canadian authorities chose to charge him for something the Brits won’t charge him with.

            Then again, I was surprised Canadian authorities would ban him at all, given that American and Israeli authorities apparently won’t.

            As for why the British won’t charge him, I’ll take your word for it. I don’t know enough to say,

          • lko
            Well that is strange. I’d assumed he’d broken no law, i’m not convinced he has. It would be bizarre in the extreme for him to still remain an MP if he has. My concern here is whether the govt of the day is making arbitrary decisions, they’re not in a majority situation. Even if they were, i want parliament deciding who can or cannot come into this country.
            As to yr other post re: US/Israel not banning him, perhaps it’s all very subjective [not that it should be] remember the US banning F. Mowat. I believe Trudeau was once on their banned list – it’s like a badge of honour!

  5. This has nothing to do with terrorism or free speech. This is yet another pillar in the still unannounced Kenney for Conservative Leader campaign. He is a hero at Small Dead Animals, for example. The Rush Limbaugh of Canada, if you will.

    • if Rush Limbaugh looked like Randy from the Trailer Park Boys for sure.

  6. Diodn’t Harper and Co. just get their butts handed to them on a platter by the Federal Court because they were making policy on the fly re: death penalty clemency appeals? In addition to poor policy, governing by ideology has the additional drawback of being inconsistent.
    But this will be fun to watch. Galloway excorciated a US Senate hearing committee when they enfairly accused him of having been involved in the ‘oil for food’ programme. The US Senate has credibility….wait ’til he sets hsi sights on the Clownservatives!

  7. I can’t for the life of me figure out what grounds he would have to appeal a border denial – which, contrary to what some posters, both pro- and anti-ban, seem to have mistaken for a ministerial decision, has nothing to do with Kenney or his department. Canada Border Services Agency is a quasi-independent agency, and questions about the judgment used in this case would properly be put to Peter Van Loan, since it falls under Public Safety, not Citizenship and Immigration. (The decision not to grant a permit, of course, is entirely up to Kenney, but it’s important to differentiate between the two issues here.)

    • yes, Kady’s right: CBSA made the decision on “operational” grounds. Kenney is merely opting not to overrule it. The only possible grounds for POLITICAL impropriety here would be if someone in the government had leaned on CBSA, or had asked someone else to lean on CBSA, to keep Galloway out.

      And there is no evidence of that, that I am aware of. Of course, anyone with such evidence is invited to email me at jandrewpotter@gmail.com, or call me at 613-596-3623.

    • But surely there’s some criteria beyond a danger to the public in a CBSA ban?

      • Putting aside whether it is legitimate that CBSA is able to stop people from entering the country on whatever grounds they wish (aside from Canadian citizens or foreign citizens with permanent residency), they’re able to do so. It’s possible that they have additional grounds and are choosing not to tell us.

        Bands going to Vancouver from Seattle frequently have to cancel shows when they’re turned away at the border for a variety of often not divulged reasons.

        • Honestly, I think in this case, it would probably be a good idea for CBSA to give a little bit more information on how that specific section of the law was applied in this case. I’d be curious to know if this is based on information or reports received post-2006, when he was last in Canada. If this decision by the agency sets a precedent, it would probably good to make sure that groups that regularly arrange visits and presentations by foreign speakers are aware of the difficulties that these invitees could face at the Canadian border, so that they could at least make an attempt to secure the necessary ministerial permit.

          • I wholeheartedly agree. That was just in response to ‘kc’ about whether or not there is criteria beyond being a danger to the public.

    • So this is strictly about his views and not the highly likely proposition that he was in the pocket of Saddam Hussein? Peculiar, I must say.

      The relevant evidence for that statement, by the way, comes from the Sixth Report of the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges in 2006-07:

      “66. Essentially, the evidence in this case, while largely circumstantial, is also powerful. The Commissioner takes the view that, taken together, the evidence before him demonstrates that:

      a substantial part of the donations made to the Mariam Appeal by Mr Zureikat came from moneys derived, via the Oil for Food Programme, from the former Iraqi regime, and that consequently Mr Galloway’s political activities conducted through the Appeal were thus, in part, funded by the regime; and
      Mr Galloway at best turned a blind eye to what was happening and, on balance, was likely to have known and been complicit in what was going on.

      67. Mr Galloway rejected the notion that funding through the Oil for Food Programme could be described as “Iraqi money”. This is, however, purely a matter of semantics: those selling oil under the programme first required options granted by the Iraqi government. While it was from commission earned on sales that actual resources were generated, the value stemmed from the granting of the option.

      68. As we have demonstrated in this report, we agree with the Commissioner that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Oil for Food Programme was used by the Iraqi government, with Mr Galloway’s connivance, to fund the campaigning activities of the Mariam Appeal. In acting as he did, Mr Galloway breached the advocacy rule and damaged the reputation of the House. We believe he was complicit in the concealment of the true source of the funds for the Mariam Appeal. He was also in our view reckless in the terms of the authority he gave Mr Fawaz Zureikat to act in his name in relation to the Mariam Appeal. Further he was clearly irresponsible in refusing to enquire into the source of Mr Zureikat’s substantial donations. His obligations to the House under the advocacy rule required nothing less, given the dependence of the Appeal at that point on those donations.”

  8. Out of curiousity;

    How many people here who agree with this banning were in favour of publications being allowed to reprint the Danish Cartoons of Unprecedented Overhyping?

    Those cartoons were controversial, yes, but as adults we could see no laws were broken in what was portrayed in them and any publication ban on them would be ridiculous, especially with the internet.

    So why would we ban someone who has not broken any laws in a Commonwealth or NATO country based on his personal views? His views are available on the internet, with Canadians having full access to them.

    We are adults and can handle a controversial MP from the UK coming and giving a speech or two.

    This would be a good opportunity for The Honourable J. Kenney or P. Van Loan to show that even the hardliners in the Conservative party can respect free speech and show some moderation.

    • Not only is there evidence but by his own words he admits breaking the law visit his website and it’s there in black and white. He has broken the law here and in Britain only in Britain they are more than likely afraid of the very things being posted here about free speech and all the other irrelevant distractions as the issue here is : as canadians do we want him here promoting his hatred and more than likely raising even more funds for Hizbollah? … I don’t think so not on my dime as they. Your comparison to the cartoon issue is way off and has little to do with this issue as that author of the danish cartoons didn’t want to come to canada and then be denied entrance – then there might be some similarities .. maybe … I don’t see it though.

  9. What I find fascinating in a broader sense is that Canadian officials are willing to ban a person that Israeli and American officials are not. You’d have never convinced me that the Canadian government would ever go farther in an “anti-terrorism” stance than the U.S. and Israel, but here, apparently, it is.

    • The discretion of the bureaucrat is mighty.

    • Yea, I agree. It gives good insight into just how radically right wing these current clowns in Ottawa are.

      • Again, for the record, CBSA banned Galloway from entering, not the current clowns in Ottawa.

        The clowns in Ottawa are simply refusing to overturn the CBSA ban. Which, in many ways, is a good instinct (just in the sense that you want the security people making these decisions, not the politicians). However, many would argue that this is EXACTLY the type of case where you’d want the Minister overruling the security people, so there’s that!

  10. I accept the arguments above from CR and others who rightly point out that CBSA made a decision that the Minister chose not to overrule, and they are within their legal rights to do so.

    But we can learn something from the U.S. here. During the Bush administration there wasn’t much to admire about America. But when they let Ahmadinejad into the country, and when he spoke at Columbia I was impressed.

    Not with Ahmadinejad of course, he is offensive and vile.

    But with a country who gave an open mic to a guy who is basically the enemy.

    I thought it hurt Ahmadinejad’s case more than it helped him, and I suspect the same would be true with Galloway.

    Now Kenney had two options – and as is often the case with politicians – he did not take the high road.

    • Well said, and an excellent analogy to boot.

      Anyone care to argue that Galloway is worse than Ahmadinejad???

      • nope don’t care : I think the yanks made a mistake and took the low road.

  11. Just wondering…did Galloway make any comment after Britain banned Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders?

    Couldn’t find one by googling…did Galloway speak out for or against?

    • Good question.

      From The Guardian, April 24, 2004:

      Mr Le Pen is to be the BNP’s guest of honour at a fundraising dinner in the West Midlands, where he will address a gathering of Britain’s far right for the first time in more than a decade.

      The details of his visit have been closely guarded in an attempt to prevent anti-racism protesters disrupting the event. But the Guardian has learned that the £50-a-head dinner is scheduled to take place tomorrow evening in Oswestry.

      Earlier this week George Galloway, MP for Glasgow Kelvin, called on the government to stop Mr Le Pen entering Britain. But the home secretary said yesterday that Mr Le Pen was a French national and was therefore entitled to travel. “He is a European citizen, he has the right to travel around Europe. It is ironic that a rightwing fascist party should invite a foreigner to join them but the contradictions of the BNP are well known,” he added.


      • LOL. Hypocrisy, thy name is Galloway.

        • He’s unique in that regard.

  12. Galloway said: “On a personal note – for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home.”

    Who does he think he is? Canada is a sovereign country and this guy thinks our country is his personal playground.

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