British MP vows legal action after being barred from Canada

Globe and Mail
March 20, 2009

British MP vows legal action after being barred from Canada
CAMPBELL CLARK

OTTAWA — Controversial British MP George Galloway is vowing to take the Canadian government to court for barring him from entering the country for a speaking tour about the Middle East.

Although he has visited Canada before, the Canada Border Services Agency declared him inadmissible on national-security grounds and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney decided he would not use his power to let Mr. Galloway in. “We’re not going to seek to overturn that [CBSA] assessment in order to let into the country someone who has provided financial support to Hamas, a banned terrorist organization in Canada, and someone who is, in a sense, a popinjay for those Taliban fighters who are trying to kill Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Kenney’s spokesman, Alykhan Velshi.

Mr. Galloway, a Scottish-born MP who was bounced from Tony Blair’s Labour Party in 2003 for vitriolic opposition to the Iraq war, led a postwar aid convoy to Gaza this month, declaring he would to hand over the supplies to the territory’s Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

“These are wedge issues being created by a neo-con, Bush-ite, outgoing Canadian government that’s about to be gutted in the polls,” Mr. Galloway said. “Flag-waving, or in the case of Canada, shroud-waving of the brave Canadian soldiers who gave their lives for this miserably failed policy of the Canadian government is despicable beyond words.”

In Winnipeg, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said he never agrees with Mr. Galloway, but that’s not a reason for barring him from the country. However, he said, if security officials have found he’s a threat, he should not be allowed in.

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