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Monday, March 23, 2009

We have no reason to bar George Galloway: Lorne Gunter

On Sunday, in his regular column published in The Edmonton Journal, Lorne Gunter joined the debate on whether or not British MP George Galloway should be allowed to enter Canada to speak to anti-war audiences this month.

Gunter wrote:

I don't like George Galloway. I don't like his politics. His tactics are too showy and deliberately designed to provoke authorities and offend ordinary people whose views are opposed to his own. He gives aid and comfort to terrorists and is not shy about supporting their causes.

Still, I would not bar him from Canada for a speaking tour he has planned later this month.

Galloway is an elected British MP. That doesn't excuse him if his purpose is to break Canada's anti-terror laws. But until he has broken them, until he has stood on a podium in this country and asked, directly, for donations to Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad, we have no reason to bar him from entering the country.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and the NDP have also come out against the decision to bar Galloway from entering Canada.

Gunter is #20 on the Western Standard’s Liberty 100.

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on March 23, 2009 | Permalink


We have several reasons to bar him (a long history of public and professional misconduct, suspicion of receiving funds from Food-for-Oil program, suspicion of terrorism, suspicion of treason (defined as giving aid and comfort to the enemy) and not one single one to admit him.

Call it paranoia, but if a man had a well-established reputation as a cat burglar and art thief, I'd be fine with barring him from the Louvre.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-23 1:13:49 PM

Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were denied entry too. This is not without precedent.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-03-23 3:20:28 PM

Has George Galloway been found guilty of committing a crime?

If not, he is presumed to be innocent. Suspicion of a crime is not enough to keep the sitting M.P. from our shores.

Even if he has been charged and convicted for a crime, is it the sort of crime that should keep him from Canada?

Gunter is right. We should let him in. It's absurd that we wouldn't.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-03-23 3:26:13 PM

Why the tears about barring this guy? so what !
how about a website- easy audio internet broadcast-- or a youtube clip of what it is he had to say? something amateurs or students could rig together-or his own handlers.
,more people could take it in at their leisure that way - as compared to how many live beings show up to hear him in person--
Come on, with all these swell toys of communication immediacy we don't have to fret about someones' body arriving at an airport banned by a government we don't worry about on the best of day- if the man himself can't arrive in person in Canada, his ideas can pass through freely and easily..

sheesh I believe he speaks English-simple enough

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-23 4:53:28 PM

How times have changed! There were no tears being shed when Nazi or Imperial Japan sympathisers were "banned" during WW II, and not a sound when Canadians of Japanese decent were rounded up and interned. Yet now the banning of an open supporter of an enemy with whom we are at war is twisted into being an attack on free speech. I wonder how this makes the families and loved-ones of our slain soldiers feel.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-03-23 5:08:49 PM

Actually, P.M., visas can be denied to foreign nationals for any reason, or no reason. The burden of proof for such is not the same as it would be for criminal sanctions.

And frankly, I'm surprised at the mealy-mouthed manner in which you attacked the evidence, instead of simply denying his guilt outright. That is the classic tack of the shyster...and the guilty-as-sin client he represents.

ANY conviction will often bar Americans from entering Canada, and vice versa, and no one thinks this anything out of the common way. You offer no reason why the bar should be set so much lower for Englishmen.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-23 5:10:49 PM

"The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and the NDP have also come out against the decision to bar Galloway from entering Canada".

...yeah, that makes the reason credible.

a left wing association that doesn't respect property rights and free speech as fundamentals, and a lefter wing bunch of political moonbats who would run the nation into the tank if elected don't tug at my conscience.

like i said, we owe a non-citizen nothing, and the phonelines, internet, tv, radio, blogs, and newspapers aren't totally controlled by the state yet (THAT should be our battle), so Galloway isn't being censored, and we aren't being stopped from communicating with him.

Posted by: shel | 2009-03-23 5:57:48 PM

Denying a foreigner an entrance visa is a far cry from sending him to a concentration camp, Alain. And accepting money from terrorists and calling for the violent overthrow of governments is a far cry from campaigning for workers' rights.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-23 7:54:54 PM

Gunter is right if you support free speech. By not allowing an asshole like Galloway into the country you are lowering yourselves to the same PC-jackbooted disgrace as England for denying Geert Wilders entry. Free speech means allowing the contemptible an opportunity to be heard.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-03-24 10:44:41 AM

So if I read your post correctly, John, you're saying, in effect, that not tolerating assholes and criminals makes you an asshole and a criminal yourself. Give your head a shake, boy. That is taking moral relativity too fucking far.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-24 12:04:10 PM

P.S. Geert Wilders may, like Galloway, be an uncout and bigoted loudmouth, but unlike Galloway, he has not, to my knowledge, been implicating in accepting money from terrorists, nor openly advocated government coups, incited riots, or been subject to the numerous penalties imposed upon the British MP. And isn't it funny how only rightist extremists get routine death threats? Leftist ones never seem to. Maybe that's because the Right has more class.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-24 12:06:38 PM

Even the Dalai Lama can be denied a visa, in his case from South Africa. It can happen even to the best of people.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-03-24 12:19:45 PM


There's no moral relativism in my comment. Galloway is an asshole and Wilders is not. I stand for freedom of speech not faith in government deciding who speaks and who does not.

Are you afraid that your moral convictions might be turned to the dark side by allowing Galloway to speak? Reasonable people can filter the good from the bad from the ugly.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-03-24 3:43:34 PM

When he went to Gaza and gave the money he went on camera and said "im about to break the sanctions against the Hamas goverment". If he believes he is breaking sanctions, then why don't his supporters??. Canada believes he broke sanctions and so does he, so why is there argument banning him for breaking sanctions?. It's his own words, unless he doesn't believe what he said, he tends to be a crackpot.

Posted by: brian | 2009-03-27 8:13:10 PM

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