Federal Court slams government interference in Galloway ban

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Then U.K. MP George Galloway speaks to the media at Trafalgar Square, London. Photo: Tristam Sparks/Flickr

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Monday, September 27, 2010

Toronto -- Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley issued a 60-page ruling today that slams the federal government for attempting to ban former British MP George Galloway from entering Canada. The ruling vindicates Galloway and his Canadian supporters who argued that Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney made a political decision to try to keep Galloway out of Canada, not one based on national security claims.

According to Justice Mosley, "the main reason why the respondents [the Federal government] sought to prevent Mr. Galloway from entering Canada was that they disagreed with his political views."

The ruling also refutes government claims that Galloway's humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza made him a national security risk: "From the evidence on the record, the question of Galloway's admissibility was never an issue of national security... CSIS was consulted prior to the writing of the CBSA assessment and had no national security concerns about his visit."

The ruling exposes how staff in Jason Kenney's office attempted to ban Galloway from Canada, although no final decision had been made: "It is also clear that the preliminary assessment was prepared with the intention that it be used to justify a CBSA officer's determination that Mr. Galloway was inadmissible should he appear at the border."

Galloway's Canadian supporters are claiming victory.

"This ruling confirms what we have been saying from the beginning: Jason Kenney attempted to ban Galloway because he disagreed with his views," says James Clark, a member of the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and an applicant in the case. "This kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable in a democratic society, and represents a serious attack on Canadians' free speech rights. We are pleased that the Court agrees with us."

Galloway and his supporters will announce in the coming days the details of an upcoming speaking tour that will bring Galloway back to Canada.

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Editor's note: For more detail, read part one of rabble.ca's investigation by clicking here. Read part two by clicking here.

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