Canada unfairly blocked British MP George Galloway, court hears

Brendan Kennedy
April 28 2010

Senior government officials, including Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, acted unfairly, with political bias and an intent to punish George Galloway and his supporters when they banned the controversial British MP from Canada last year, lawyers for a coalition of groups opposed to the ban told a Federal Court hearing Wednesday.

“There was no threat to national security,” said Hadayt Nazami, who is working with human rights and immigration lawyer Barbara Jackman for the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and other groups who had organized Galloway’s 2009 Canadian speaking tour.

Nazami and Jackman argued that the decision to bar Galloway from the country was made by senior officials in the Immigration and Public Safety Ministries because they did not agree with Galloway’s views on the Afghanistan war.

Galloway, a controversial anti-war politician, was supposed to make a four-city Canadian speaking tour in March 2009, but was barred from the country for allegedly providing financial and material support for Hamas, the political and paramilitary group that governs Gaza and is denounced by Canada and several other countries as a terrorist organization.

He was allowed into the U.S. last year, ended up addressing Canadian audiences from New York City via a video link.

“This was clearly an exercise in taunting Mr. Galloway by senior levels of government,” Jackman said.

The lawyers argued the government’s decision to ban Galloway was inconsistent with immigration policy and politically motivated. It also infringed on Canadians’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly by preventing them from hearing Galloway speak.

“Freedom to speak and freedom to hear are inseparable,” Jackman told Justice Mosley.

Jackman said while Galloway is not a Canadian citizen, he is still entitled to fair treatment by immigration officials, regardless of his political opinions, and if Canada is to follow its own laws, Galloway must be allowed to enter and speak in Canada.

Labelling the polarizing politician a terrorist is a misuse of Canada’s anti-terror laws, Jackman said.

“When our parliament passed that legislation it was to protect our country from people who throw bombs, not people who buy incubators,” she said, referring to the medical supplies Galloway’s envoy delivered to Hamas.

Government lawyers will make their arguments when court resumes Wednesday afternoon.

Galloway’s 2009 envoy mission to Gaza was humanitarian in nature, and does not make him a member of Hamas or complicit in their paramilitary activities, Jackman argued, noting that Canada also provided aid to the region after it was attacked by Israel.

“If in fact Mr. Galloway is a terrorist for providing aid to the elected government of Gaza, then our Prime Minister is as well.”

The Conservative government says it regards Galloway as a security threat based on allegations he provided humanitarian goods and $35,000 in aid money to Hamas when he led an envoy to Gaza in February 2009.

In upholding the ban last year, the federal court judge cited a letter written to Galloway by Canada’s high commission in London that cited “information that indicates you organized a convoy worth over one million British pounds in aid and vehicles, and personally donated vehicles and financing to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.”

Galloway, who denied supporting terrorism, has argued he could only show his support for people in Gaza by dealing with its elected Hamas government. An MP for 23 years, Galloway was expelled from Britain’s Labour Party in 2003 for urging British soldiers not to fight in Iraq.


I guess every one who donates or is a member of the United Nations is also guilty of helping those in Gaza. Boy that would be a long list of folks to bar from Canada. Canada would have to bar all Canadians as well.

Well now that is interesting isn’t it. How foolish to bar  George from Canada. George is a good man.

George a terrorist now that’s funny.  Somehow I don’t see any connection to him being a terrorist.

Well if there was ever a terrorist one must say is a wonderful man, it would be George.  Yup George is my kind of terrorist for sure.

Talk about a total abuse of power by the Canadian Government officials who did this. Shame on them. They should be charged with a few crimes.

It does make one wonder when they use the word “terrorist” what it really means.

If George is considered a terrorist then so are billions of others who have helped or spoken in favor of those in Gaza.

So there must be a few billion terrorists in the world and most of those billions are like George Galloway.  Awesome. Take pride in being a Terrorist my friends seems they are the “Good Guys”.

Gives the word a whole new meaning doesn’t it?

I guess if you support someone like George Galloway you too are also considered a terrorist.

Oh my God I just realized I am a terrorist too.  How profound.

The lesson we can learn from this is just because some one in Government  calls someone a terrorist does not make it true.

One has to wonder how many people have been accused of being a Terrorist, but are simply just very nice respectable people.

Many Canadians were furious with the Canadian Government over this incident, so I guess since they supported George they too are also terrorists as well…. Imagine that.

I do hope the Legal system in Canada does see fit, to have those responsible for this outrageous action prosecuted.

They are the real criminals in all of this.

George is the victim, as is the freedom of Speech in Canada.

If Israel would remove the blockade none of this would be happening.

The people in Gaza do not have what most take from Granted in their live. Enough food, clothing, medical care etc. The list is very long.

The most ridiculous thing Israel has done is ban shoes from Gaza.

Finally last month they allowed shoes into Gaza. Now is that not a bit strange, to ban shoes of all things. You really have to wonder about a countries Government, when they do something so utterly insane.

Imagine your country without shoes for three years.

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

Canada’s Freedom Of speech is under attack. The Canadian Government need to be told in no uncertain terms, that Canadians  Freedom of Speech is not negotiable..

Without “Freedom of Speech” the country it is no longer a “Free Country”.  It would become, just anther Dictatorship Country.

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Defend Canadian Free Speech from Israel’s representatives who would criminalize it -Updated April 4 2010

The Israeli Lobby Groups should be banned from all countries in my opinion, not good people Like George Galloway.

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How George Galloway was barred from Canada in less than 2 hours

Defend Canadian Free Speech from Israel’s representatives who would criminalize it -Updated April 4 2010

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm  Comments Off on Canada unfairly blocked British MP George Galloway, court hears  
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How George Galloway was barred from Canada in less than 2 hours

By Cambell Clark

April 25 2010

Ottawa- It took less than two hours for Canadian Border Services Agency officials to declare controversial British MP George Galloway inadmissible to Canada. There was little doubt that’s what Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wanted.

Though last year’s decision to bar Mr. Galloway from Canada for allegedly supporting banned Mideast group Hamas fuelled headlines for weeks and a court case that will be heard on Monday, it was a decision that was pushed through the bureaucracy at record speed.

From the first e-mail that Mr. Kenney’s communications director, Alykhan Velshi, sent on March 16, 2009, at 2:09 p.m. to immigration bureaucrats – the subject line was “inadmissible” – only 102 minutes passed before an official in the National Security section of the CBSA had agreed that Mr. Galloway should be barred for being a member of a terrorist organization.

Monday’s arguments in a legal case contesting the government move will raise a host of crucial questions for Canada’s immigration system. Mr. Galloway insists he was never a member of Hamas, and he’s being barred for his political and pro-Palestinian views.

But the court record has already revealed much about how the Galloway affair began: not in routine work by security officials, but because it was triggered by political aides, then pushed quickly by high-ranking officials, and approved by the Prime Minister’s Office.

A year ago, Mr. Kenney insisted it was a CBSA decision, and portrayed it as one that came up through the channels of bureaucrats. That’s not what an immigration officer in London told Mr. Galloway’s assistant, Kevin Ovenden, according to records the government filed with the court this week.

“I stated that Mr. Galloway has been deemed inadmissible by Canada’s immigration minister, Jason Kenney, and that he [Mr. Galloway] would be denied entry at a Canadian port of entry,” Robert Orr, the Immigration official in London, wrote in an e-mail to Canada’s High Commissioner to Britain, James Wright.

It was Mr. Kenney’s communications’ aide, Mr. Velshi, who set the wheels in motion a few days before, on March 16.

He sent an e-mail at 2:09 p.m. to the Immigration Department’s director-general of communications, Edison Stewart, saying he had a media call asking “why we’re letting in the following person even though he’s publicly called for money to go to a banned terrorist entity in Canada [Hamas] and that makes him inadmissible.”

Mr. Velshi sent along copies of articles quoting Mr. Galloway’s articles, as Mr. Stewart forwarded the case to senior officials including Stéphane Larue, the director-general of the Immigration Department’s case-management branch, who said he would ask CBSA to do a “very quick inadmissibility assessment.” Mr. Velshi chimed in that if it came up to Mr. Kenney, “I can fairly predict that he will not ever give a [entry permit] to someone who advocated the kind of things George Galloway advocates.”

Mr. Larue’s staff forwarded those remarks to CBSA officials and asked for a quick assessment of Mr. Galloway. By 3:51 p.m., a CBSA official had concluded from “open-source material” that Mr. Galloway was inadmissible for being a member of a terrorist organization.

Immigration department officials still pressured CBSA officials to put a formal assessment in writing first thing the next morning – but were told they’d have to wait for it to be written.

Two days later, on March 18, Mr. Velshi asked Canada’s High Commission in London for phone numbers of political editors for British newspapers. On March 20, The Sun published an “exclusive” – that George Galloway had been barred from Canada.

Mr. Velshi insisted last week that he did not leak the story: “No. Absolutely not. In fact, as the record indicates, they contacted me,” he said.  Source

Viva Palestina Update George Galloway and Ron McKay Deported from Cairo

Defend Canadian Free Speech from Israel’s representatives who would criminalize it -Updated April 4 2010

A win for Canadians freedom of speech against the Israeli Lobby.

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Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 12:58 am  Comments Off on How George Galloway was barred from Canada in less than 2 hours  
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Viva Palestina Update George Galloway and Ron McKay Deported from Cairo

January 8 2010

This has to be the absolute lowest Egypt can get.

These people were taking much needed aid to those in Gaza.

They have been beaten tear gassed and the Egyptian Police now have the nerve to arrest 7 of them yet again and deport George.

They have been treated horridly by Egypt from the time they got there.

Of course the rest of the world sits complacently by letting the people in Gaza starve because of the blockade. Just recently the UN called on Israel to open the borders to allow food and building materials into Gaza. Israel has done nothing to date. They absolutely defy all Internationals Laws. Gaza is a human rights disaster.

Even the Gaza Freedom Marchers were treated horridly in Egypt as well.

The incident began after George Galloway and his colleague Ron McKay arrived at the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt.

As soon as they emerged onto Egyptian soil both Men were forcibly pushed into a van, refused exit and told that they were leaving the country. They were then driven off in a police convoy.

Egyptian Authorities also banned George from ever entering Egypt again.

He is considered a National Security Risk.

So when did it become a National Security Risk to take desperstly needed Medical Aid to people?

Maybe the risk is not the Medical Aid entering the country maybe Egypt is in fear of loosing the 2 billion dollars in weapons aid from the US.

Maybe Egypt fears retaliation from Israel.  After all the US and Israel are tied at the hip.

What ever the real reason taking Medical Aid to Gaza ia not a Security Risk. What a foolish statement on part of
Egyptian Authorities.

How sad they would do everything they did, to prevent the Aid from getting to Gazans.

If anything Egypt is at fault as is the US and Israel. It is absolutely shameful this horror is allowed to continue.

The people of Gaza are prisoners in their own country.

Extremely badly abused prisoners.

2 Interviews with George Galloway at Heathrow Airport in London

Convoy leaving Gaza Fri 8 Jan 2010 @1200GMT

The Egyptian authorities have said they will arrest 7 members of the convoy when they leave Gaza. Rafah crossing There have also been more Air Strikes on Gaza as well. Why do I have this sick feeling Israel is going to do a repeat bombardment like last Decembers attacks on Gaza.

More on Galloway’s Deportation 8 Jan 2010 @1100GMT

Bombing defenseless people is a crime. Palestinians have no way to defend themselves.

One of the people killed was a 14-year-old-boy (Photo by AP)

This what those in Gaza must endure.

I do not believe the rocket story fed to the public by Israel. They have used that same story for years even during the Lebanon Bombings.  They just keep repeating the same old worn out lines.

Israel is the elephant in the room stepping on the little mouse.

Nothing like Bombing a concentration camp, where people are trapped.

That is what Gaza is a Concentration Camp. It is a prison nothing less..

A police officer maintained that security personnel only escorted Galloway for his own protection.

“It was to protect him from the Egyptian people’s anger,” the officer said on condition of anonymity because he was allowed to speak to the media. “He was told that he is a troublemaker and his behavior is undermining Egyptian security.”

Well I hardly thing the Egyptian people would be out to get Galloway. Seems they were not to impressed with Israel either when they Attacked Gaza. I imagine they also think the blockade on Gaza is horrific. They of course would also  meet Riot police if they protest as well.  They too are beaten and arrested by Security Forces.

The Egyptian people are oppressed as well.

Egypt: Civil disobedience and protests over Gaza Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Since the beginning of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip on December 27, and Egyptian street has been boiling with angry calls to open up the Gaza border and demanding the government to put more pressure to reach an immediate ceasefire.

Seems to me the people who are the threat to all are the Egyptian Security Forces and Riot police.

“Protect George from the people what a crock of malarkey”.

The people of Egypt might Elect him as their new leader that’s why he was deported? It’s not so far fetched there people from a lot of countries that said if he was running for election in their country they would vote for George as opposed to the leaders they have now.

I heard that so many times to day I lost count.

Well if he ran in my country I would most certainly vote for him as well.

He cares about people. That’s what a Great Leader does.

Ask Your Rep to End Gaza Suffering

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Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm  Comments Off on Viva Palestina Update George Galloway and Ron McKay Deported from Cairo  
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