Galloway fights exclusion from Canada: Official documents attached

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Michelle
Galloway fights exclusion from Canada: Official documents attached

As we all know by now, George Galloway has been told he will not be allowed to enter Canada because our border officials believe he is a "national security threat" and engaged in terrorism.

I have attached the official letter from Citizenship and Immigration, as well as George Galloway's response to this post (see below to download the scanned images of the CIC letter, and the PDF of his lawyer's response).

It's Me D

So the letter required a response by yesterday or court action was seemingly threatened. Has any court action on behalf of Galloway been filled as of yet?

Michelle

There was a press conference this morning outlining their strategy. This is why the above documents have been released.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2009/25/c3876.html

Here's a CTV report on this morning's press conference.

Galloway's lawyer is filing with Federal Court today to have the decision overturned. 

It's Me D

Thanks Michelle.

Many of the comments on that article are sickening... if I didn't consider these comments to be part of a right-wing campaign, but rather the true opinions of Canadians... I'd loose all hope for us.

quantum

The below is all that Galloway is "guilty" of   ie guilty of nothing that matters.

Excerpt from Galloway lawyer letter above.

 The CBSA determination is one based on inference drawn from his involvement in the Viva Palestina aid convoy. It is not a reasonable inference. It is clear that this convoy was what it purported to be: a symbolic gesture by a number of individuals and organizations to support the Palestinians isolated and blockaded in Gaza. The passing of the convoy into Gaza was simply a recognition that the Palestinians of Gaza, who elected Hamas in a democratic election, ought not be punished by withholding from them the means of survival.

Jingles

Quote:
Many of the comments on that article are sickening... if I didn't consider these comments to be part of a right-wing campaign, but rather the true opinions of Canadians... I'd loose all hope for us.

Oh, I lost hope long ago. The comments sections of corporate media demonstrates the best argument for mandatory birth control that there is.

 

Eliezer Zusken

Here is an interesting take on Galloway from Terry Glavin.

http://transmontanus.blogspot.com/2009/03/company-we-keep.html#links

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

An 'interesting take'? I stopped reading when it used the word 'death cult'. Is that a megaphone I hear in the distance?

Noah_Scape

Permission to critisize the Jewish state pleaseSealed

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Eliezer Zusken wrote:

Here is an interesting take on Galloway from Terry Glavin.

http://transmontanus.blogspot.com/2009/03/company-we-keep.html#links

 

Terry Glavin is an asshat. And I'm betting Eliezer Zusken isn't long for this board.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Reads like 60's era Maoist agitation and propaganda. What is funny about that is that the stilted grammar and constant use of weak modifiers is understandable given that the original source for those were badly translated Chinese: "George Galloway a bloodthirsty running dog of the Ayatollahs."

True enough when repeated often enough, in the Goebelesque sense, but nothing factual at all.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:
Terry Glavin is an asshat. And I'm betting Eliezer Zusken isn't long for this board.

Reminds me of a certain troll named "punch drunk" who was also a big Terry Glavin fan. He was  [url=banned">http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/massacre-gaza-pa... last New Year's Eve.[/url]

Eliezer Zusken

Sorry folks didn't realize that Mr. Glavin wasn't allowed on this board.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not allowed? What now, you are whining about freedom of speech now, when no one has lifted a finger against you or your precious link. How ironic you would make such a complaint when Galvin's opinion is to uphold the censure of free speech.

Funny how those who are so much in favour of censuring others, always seem to get so miffed when they are censured. Even funnier, when they were not censured at all.

You posted. People responded. What do you want? Applause?

Ghislaine

Thank you for posting those documents, Michelle.

 It is absolutely ridiculous that Galloway is being banned. I find him to be a bit ridiculous and loony (anyone see his Big Brother performance), but he should not be banned from entry.  Why is it that those who refuse to support free speech are too shortsighted to see the results - ie increased publicity for the views of those they abhor? Look at Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant and the increased readership they got. Galloway has gotten Canadians who never would have heard of him to read his views.

 However, why are there so few real defenders of free speech anywhere on the political spectrum? Galloway spoke up supporting the decision to bar Wilders (a sitting Dutch MP) from England, so it is hard to feel sorry for him.  Wilders support banning the Koran. Now we have many people who stood up for Steyn and Levant supporting the banning of Galloway?

If you don't believe in free speech for views you find repugnant, you don't believe in free speech. Sadly, over the past year in this country it seems there are many in this category on the left and right.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Ghislaine wrote:

 However, why are there so few real defenders of free speech anywhere on the political spectrum? Galloway spoke up supporting the decision to bar Wilders (a sitting Dutch MP) from England, so it is hard to feel sorry for him.  Wilders support banning the Koran. Now we have many people who stood up for Steyn and Levant supporting the banning of Galloway?

Well that is an interesting point. I assume you mean by that you think that Galloway should be allowed to come and say that he does not think that "free speech is absolute".

Being sorry for him is not the issue. Nor is it his rights that are particularly in question. What is being abbriviated here are the rights of Canadians who were going to see him speak.

Are you clear on this point?

Furthermore, this is a put-up job based on the fact that he delivered aid to the Gaza Strip, and this is the reason he is being barred. The idea that this act was made him a financial supporter of a terrorist organization is preposterous. This is not about hate speech, this is about anti-terrorism legislation being used to squash freedom of speech.

Ghislaine

Cueball wrote:
Ghislaine wrote:

 However, why are there so few real defenders of free speech anywhere on the political spectrum? Galloway spoke up supporting the decision to bar Wilders (a sitting Dutch MP) from England, so it is hard to feel sorry for him.  Wilders support banning the Koran. Now we have many people who stood up for Steyn and Levant supporting the banning of Galloway?

Well that is an interesting point. I assume you mean by that you think that Galloway should be allowed to come and say that he does not think that "free speech is absolute".

Being sorry for him is not the issue. Nor is it his rights that are particularly in question. What is being abbriviated here are the rights of Canadians who were going to see him speak.

Are you clear on this point?

 Absolutely.  My point was that it is too bad he does not support the right of British people to hear an MP from another country speak. It is (or should be) scandalous that our government does not support the rights of Canadians to hear him speak and make up their own damn minds.

And either way our government's actions have ensured that Galloway is receiving a MUCH wider audience than he would have otherwise received.

ETA to respond to your Furthermore comments. I absolutely agree with that is well. The anti-terrorism legislation is what is being used here to violate free speech. This legislation is being used to curb our civil liberties in many ways. In this case, it is freedom of speech.  

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well then if Galloway is getting lots of attention its a moot point then isn't it?

Even if that creep Meir Weinstein is appearing on BBC TV to announce that he is going to have the Canadian government investigate all the antiwar groups and church groups that invited him to speak for "links" to terrorist organization, even if he uses other means of communicating his message.

After all they no doubt paid Galloway, so I guess that means they are supporting Hamas through Galloway.

Weinstein seems to think he has the ear of the Canadian government on that. What do you think?

Slumberjack

Ghislaine wrote:
My point was that it is too bad he does not support the right of British people to hear an MP from another country speak. It is (or should be) scandalous that our government does not support the rights of Canadians to hear him speak and make up their own damn minds.  

While we're comparing in the interests of free speech, which MP has proposed the establishment of a version of the Nuremberg laws within their country?  Which MP suscribes to these principles

  • The present Article 1 of the Dutch constitution, guaranteeing equality under the law, will be replaced by a clause stating the cultural dominance of the Christian, Jewish and humanist traditions.
  • Reduction of the influence of the European Union, which may no longer be expanded with new member states, especially Turkey; the European Parliament will be abolished. Dutch financial contributions to the Union should be reduced by billions of euros.
  • An immigration ban of five years for immigrants from non-western countries. Foreign residents no longer shall have the right to vote in municipal elections.
  • A ban of five years on the founding of mosques and Islamic schools; a permanent ban on preaching in any other language but Dutch. Foreign imams will be forbidden to preach. Radical mosques will be closed; radical Muslims will be expelled.
  • Educational standards will be restored, with an emphasis on the educational value of the family.
  • Introduction of minimum penalties, and higher maximum penalties; introduction of administrative detention for terrorist suspects. Street terrorism will be punished by boot camps and the (denaturalisation and) deportation of immigrant offenders.
  • Teachers, policemen, health care workers and military personnel will regain a position of respect and be better rewarded.
  • Ghislaine

    Slumberjack - what is your point in relation to this issue? My guess is the examples you gave are from Wilders and I already pointed an anti-freedom viewpoint of his (banning the Koran). I just used him as another example of an MP who was banned from speaking in a country with nefarious reasons.

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    The implied question seems to me to be that if MacKenzie King invited Adolph Hitler on an exchange visit to Canada in 1938 to promote understanding of his position on the "Jewish question", would you think that there might be some qualifications of the right of freedom of speech, based on the content of the speech?

    Slumberjack

    On the issue of defining what constitutes free speech in the public domain, and in determining who may partake in it, my position is that hatemongers should not be included.

    ohara

    Seems like Eliezer pushed some strong buttons and honestly I don't think he knew what he was doing. Maybe he should have but whatever, he doesn't deserve the attack from Cueball that he got. After all he is new here.

    Ghislaine

    Slumberjack wrote:
    On the issue of defining what constitutes free speech in the public domain, and in determining who may partake in it, my position is that hatemongers should not be included.

     Well don't you see the problem with that? The government is left to determine who is a hate-mongerer. The British government defined Wilders as such. The Canadian human rights commissions were entertaining the idea that Steyn and Levant are. You must likely agree with both of those designations.

    But now we have our current Canadian government defining Galloway as someone too hateful and dangerous for Canadians too hear. (I know that the specific "legal" basis for his refusal of entry is the anti-terrorism leg., but the naming of Hamas as a terrorist org was the original basis).

    Do you feel comfortable allowing the government to decide who is a hatemongerer? Don't you feel that Canadian citizens should decide this for themselves?

    And yes we need the criminal code privisions against incitement to violence and the strict definitions it has about what constitutes hate speech.

    remind remind's picture

    :rolleyes: @ ohara

    Catchfire Catchfire's picture

    Free speech is a red herring. This has nothing to do with free speech. It has to do with self-serving usage of criminal anti-terrorism laws to publicly punish a notable public figure's support for Hamas and criticism of the Israeli state. Clearly, Galloway's 'speech' has been rewarded by the coverage and not reduced in the slightest. Instead, it gives Kenney and Harper and the band of murderers they represent the opportunity to frame his words in the way they wish: as a looney radical rather than a five-time elected MP.

    aka Mycroft

    I doubt the court case will go very far - I'm not a lawyer but my feeling is that the government has quite a lot of discretion, excessively so, when it comes to determining who can and can't enter the country (less so once someone has actually arrived). However, I think this will hurt Kenney's reputation in the long run and I suspect no future government will be so stupid at least in regards to Galloway. If there's an election later this year and the Tories are defeated it's likely Galloway will be in the country sometime afterwards.

    I think the CJC and Bnai Brith have really harmed their credibility though.

    aka Mycroft

    BTW, can I put a pitch in for possibly lifting the ban on Jeff House? It's in discussions like these that one really feels his absence. (I haven't spoken to him about coming back, incidentally)

    Catchfire Catchfire's picture

    I don't think jeff house wants to come back, and I doubt that babble will invite him. I miss his input in certain discussions as well but I think that ship has sailed.

    Slumberjack

    Ghislaine wrote:
     The Canadian human rights commissions were entertaining the idea that Steyn and Levant are. You must likely agree with both of those designations.

    Yes, I do. 

    Ghislaine wrote:
    Do you feel comfortable allowing the government to decide who is a hatemongerer? Don't you feel that Canadian citizens should decide this for themselves?

    This is a government whose support base is derived from hate and fear, so no, I do not feel comfortable about that.  I also do not believe that rights should be left to the discretion of either majority or minority opinion.

    Catchfire Catchfire's picture

    The courts decide who is a hatemongerer. Not the government. That's called a 'justice system'.

    Joey Ramone

    Catchfire wrote:
    I don't think jeff house wants to come back, and I doubt that babble will invite him. I miss his input in certain discussions as well but I think that ship has sailed.

    Jeff is an immigration lawyer with a stellar reputation as both a lawyer and activist, and he's a consistent supporter of free speech and civil liberties.  If he's been asked I'm sure Jeff will be providing kick-ass legal work for Galloway and those working to overturn his banning. 

    quantum

    The government though is being careful not to characterize this issue as free speech matter,and they are technically right. The avenue they are using are his "terrorist connections" His lawyers will challenge the assertion that his activities qualify him as aiding a terrorist organization.

    Joey Ramone

    Of course they claim it's not a free speech issue, but the argument is lame when all he's done is provide humanitarian aid, particularly as they allow supporters of the violent, racist JDL to operate openly in Canada. 

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    Ghislaine wrote:

    Slumberjack wrote:
    On the issue of defining what constitutes free speech in the public domain, and in determining who may partake in it, my position is that hatemongers should not be included.

     Well don't you see the problem with that? The government is left to determine who is a hate-mongerer. The British government defined Wilders as such. The Canadian human rights commissions were entertaining the idea that Steyn and Levant are. You must likely agree with both of those designations.

    But now we have our current Canadian government defining Galloway as someone too hateful and dangerous for Canadians too hear. (I know that the specific "legal" basis for his refusal of entry is the anti-terrorism leg., but the naming of Hamas as a terrorist org was the original basis).

    Do you feel comfortable allowing the government to decide who is a hatemongerer? Don't you feel that Canadian citizens should decide this for themselves?

    And yes we need the criminal code privisions against incitement to violence and the strict definitions it has about what constitutes hate speech.

    As Catchfire points out, this line of freedom of speech and what constitutes hatemongering are completely off topic, and essentially a red herring. Galloway has not been banned from Canada for hate speech, or any such thing. Hate crimes legislation or any such thing.

    What has happened is that minister has used his discretionary adminstrative powers to block a person from coming into Canada using a very tendentious interpretation of the statuates regarding support for terrorist organizations.

    I am sure Mr. Galloway would love to have an opportunity argue wether or not what he says is hate speech in an official judicial hearing. Mind you if what Mr. Galloway says does indeed constitute hate speech, then this board would be shut down, as well as many others like it, and I and many millions of Canadians would be facing prosecution for hate crimes.

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    Joey Ramone wrote:

    Catchfire wrote:
    I don't think jeff house wants to come back, and I doubt that babble will invite him. I miss his input in certain discussions as well but I think that ship has sailed.

    Jeff is an immigration lawyer with a stellar reputation as both a lawyer and activist, and he's a consistent supporter of free speech and civil liberties.  If he's been asked I'm sure Jeff will be providing kick-ass legal work for Galloway and those working to overturn his banning. 

    He has a stellar reputation does he? What constitute the substance of this stellar reputation? What high profile civil rights immigrations cases has he won? I can see that he has been active in the issue of US war resisters here, but as far as I can tell his efforts have not ammounted to much, and as far as I can tell he is now "off" cases that he was once on.

    I have seen nothing that indicates a reputation for excelence in his field. He might be competent.

    Barabra Jackman is on the other hand and excelent lawyer with a great reputation, and numerous succefull cases under her belt.

    RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

    Quote:

    Kenney has attacked Galloway for what he called his "odious" support of terrorism and has vowed not to bow to growing pressure to let him into Canada.

    "It's not about his opinions, it's about his financial, material support for an illegal terrorist organization," Kenney said earlier this week.

    But in the court document, the lawyers — Barbara Jackman and Hadayt Nazami -- dismiss those claims as "frivolous and defamatory.

    "His commitment to peace is long-standing. He does not believe in war, violence or oppression in any form and does not advocate for such," the document said.

    "The refusal to permit Mr. Galloway (to) enter Canada to speak is politically motivated and not a decision rooted in national security concerns," it states.

    Jackman and Nazami are seeking an injunction to set aside the immigration department's decision and allow Galloway into Canada next week for his speeches.

     

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/608935

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    See, Jackman makes the good sound bites.

    Michelle

    Yeah, she's excellent.  I was involved in an immigration case that created a precedent in Federal Court and her firm was the one we used.  Another more junior lawyer did quite a bit of the work, but Jackman mentored her through it, and she also gave oral arguments in court.  She was excellent.  And we won!

    Apparently she and Nazami are also representing the Canadian Arab Federation - they're suing Jason Kenney for cutting their funding for political reasons.

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    The whole thing is ridiculous. I mean what was Galloway to do? Dump the aid on the beach and hand the cheque to the IDF and say: "Make sure this gets to the right people?"

    Michelle

    I know.  It's fucked up.  Either you give the aid to the structures in place (which is the government, which is Hamas right now) or you let the people starve.

    Of course, we know which of those options is preferable to people who are pro-Apartheid.

    Brendan Stone

    We had a protest in Greensville at the office of Conservative M.P. David Sweet. You can see the photos here:

    http://hcsw.multiply.com/photos/album/10/Galloway_Protest_for_free_speech_in_Canada

     

     We had about 26 people come out from 3 organizations, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, McMaster Muslims for Peace and Justice, and Independent Jewish Voices. Got some press before the event:

    http://www.thespec.com/article/537168

    as well as a letter to the editor.

    As a hillarious aside, check out what the JDL is called in this article:

    http://www.thespec.com:80/article/537720

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    That is what they should be called, yes.

    Benjamin

    Joey Ramone wrote:

    Jeff is an immigration lawyer with a stellar reputation as both a lawyer and activist, and he's a consistent supporter of free speech and civil liberties.  If he's been asked I'm sure Jeff will be providing kick-ass legal work for Galloway and those working to overturn his banning. 

    Actually, I was under the impression that he was a criminal lawyer, except for the work that was done on the war resisters issue.  Cueball is correct that Jackman is widely considered to be at the pinnacle of immigration law.  While I don't necessarily fault House for the failure of the war resisters court challenges, it is hard to view unsuccessful hearings at both levels of the federal court, and a failed SCC leave application as ass kicking.  In fact, the Hinzman decision at the federal court of appeal has created a very bad precedent for refugees now trying to claim refugee status.  

    Ze

    You can hardly blame losing the Hinzman case on Hinzman's lawyer. The deck was always stacked against him. 

    [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffry_House]Sounds pretty distinguished to me.[/url] But that's all an aside.

    Galloway is clearly a jerk in a lot of ways, but he's no more a criminal for taking aid to Gaza, than Audrey McLaughlin was for loading up a truck with supplies and driving it to Oka during the confrontation there.

    Benjamin

    Ze wrote:

    You can hardly blame losing the Hinzman case on Hinzman's lawyer. The deck was always stacked against him. 

     The deck is always stacked against you in immigration law; this is something that experienced immigration lawyers know and have to cope with.  The way justice plays out in the Federal Court system is quite distinct from that of Superior Courts, and consequently those representing immigration clients must understand this difference.

    I was not saying that the result in Hinzman was the fault of his lawyer, but I do think that the strategic approach of the litigation campaign had some serious flaws, and has created a precedent that will negatively affect refugees in a much broader scope than just the war resisters.  

    aka Mycroft

    Cueball, Jeffry isn't here to defend himself so I don't think it's fair to take potshots at him.

    Michelle

    I agree.  Cueball and Benjamin, please don't take advantage of the fact that Jeff can't post here anymore and therefore can't respond to your speculation about his work on those cases.

    A_J

    quantum wrote:
    The government though is being careful not to characterize this issue as free speech matter,and they are technically right.

    That's true, there's really no freedom of speach issue here, at least not legally.  Galloway is not a Canadian, nor is he not in Canada.  There is nothing in the Charter to protect what he might want to say.

    There is of course a broader principle of free exchange of ideas that is at risk.

    aka Mycroft wrote:
    I'm not a lawyer but my feeling is that the government has quite a lot of discretion . . .

    That is correct.  They are completely entitled to bar someone from the country if they are a security threat, and that someone has a right to challenge the evidence the decision might be based on.  But at the end of the day, even if a judge reviewed the evidence they have against Galloway and ordered its disclosure, the government could still refuse to do so on security grounds.

     

    On a barely related note - did his lawyers really just cite Wikipedia in their letter?  Ewww.

    contrarianna

    A_J wrote:

    That is correct.  They are completely entitled to bar someone from the country if they are a security threat, and that someone has a right to challenge the evidence the decision might be based on.  But at the end of the day, even if a judge reviewed the evidence they have against Galloway and ordered its disclosure, the government could still refuse to do so on security grounds.

    Beyond the strictly Canadian Gov. claim of "security threat". If the designation of "security threat" came by way of the Ministry of Public Security of the State of Israel
    (which is a very distinct possiblility given the nature of Galloway's "crimes"), by the very terms of the Canada-Israel public security Declaration such a dislosure could be be a violation of the signed agreement.  

    Pertaining to that see:

    Quote:

    The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, declare their intent:

    1. To prioritize and manage cooperation in the following areas within the responsibility of the Ministries:

    1. Border management and security, including biometric applications;
    ....
    5. To ensure the appropriate protection of all information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against any unauthorized access, alteration, publication, or dissemination; and

    6. To protect any information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against disclosure to any third party with the same degree of care as they each exercise with their own information, knowledge, expertise, etc. of a similar nature...

    Full government document at the end of this article

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12913

    Cueball Cueball's picture

    All I can say, is that if Galloway is aiding and abetting "terrorist" organizations, then they should let him in and charge him with such.

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