Dieudonné arrives in Canada, hints he has to leave

Contentious French comic says he would return to Canada on Wednesday

MONTREAL – A French comic charged multiple times in Europe with hate-speech violations landed in Canada on Tuesday and then hinted several hours later he had to leave the country.

Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, known simply as Dieudonné, arrived in Montreal ahead of several shows he was set to give, beginning Wednesday night.

Later, Dieudonné said on his Facebook page he had to do a “there and back” but that he would return to Canada on Wednesday.

His arrival came a few hours after a fresh conviction in France for another violation of that country’s hate-speech laws.

He was sentenced to pay 10,000 euros and given a suspended two-month prison sentenced for anti-Semitic language during a performance.

Dieudonné was scheduled to give 10 Montreal shows before heading to Quebec City and to Trois-Rivieres.

He has been charged numerous times in France for violating anti-Semitism and hate-speech laws, prompting Jewish groups, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and many Canadian politicians to say he is not welcome.

Dieudonné’s fans say he is misunderstood and that they appreciate his comic performances, which offer pointed critiques of France’s cultural and political elites.

The promoters for Dieudonné’s Quebec tour say they have reviewed his material and don’t believe he will run foul of Canada’s hate speech laws.