So it turns out that the final decision on George Galloway’s admissibility to Canada will be made by the CBSA officer on duty when he rolls up at the border, according to the letter sent to the British MP by the Canadian High Commission in London, which has finally gone up on the website of the organizers of the speaking tour:
If we do not receive any submissions on or before March 30, 2009, and you present yourself at the Port of Entry, the Canadian Border Services Agency officer will make a final determination of inadmissibility based on this preliminary assessment and any submissions you make at that time.
In order to overcome this inadmissibility, you could submit an application for a Temporary Residency Permit. I have been asked to convey to you that it is unlikely the application would be successful. However, a final determination with respect to a temporary residency permit will only be issued upon application.
Yikes. I wouldn’t want to be that border guard.
“Asked to convey” by whom, exactly? Does this explain how Jason Kenney’s office got involved before Galloway had even been informed of his looming inadmissibility? Does CBSA always consult with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to find out if an application for a temporary residency permit would “likely” be unsuccessful, and advise the target accordingly? And finally, the increasingly frequently asked, yet still pointedly unanswered question: Why was this “preliminary assessment” prepared in the first place? Was it conducted on CBSA’s own initiative, or was it the result of a request by a third party?
Final thought: Seriously. That poor, poor border guard.
UPDATE: Galloway’s official response to the CBSA, which was prepared by his Canadian legal team, is now available. A sampling:
We are writing to respond to the invitation to Mr. Galloway to make submissions as to why he should not be determined to be inadmissible to Canada. This invitation does not appear to have been made in good faith, but merely to give the appearance of fairness when it is clear that a decision has been made – not only with respect to admissibility but as well with respect to an exemption from the inadmissibility bar. The letter is misleading because it leaves out reference to the ‘reasonable grounds’ standard which governs the conclusions drawn. An officer need be satisfied that it is possible that Mr. Galloway is a member of the Hamas and engaged in terrorism. Even on this low standard, however, such a conclusion is perverse. […]