Friday, October 26, 2007

Canada's War on Peace (activists)

The latest refusal by Canada’s Used-To-Be-New-And-Now-Isn’t Government to allow a well-known peace activist to visit Canada is a story that should have more legs. Although it garnered some indignant posts in the blogosphere, there was virtually no news coverage by the mainstream media (London Free Press excepted).

Col. Ann Wright was coming here to participate in a panel discussion with a number of Members of Parliament - hardly a nefarious objective. However, Canada (my country, I’m sometimes ashamed to admit) decided that she poses a danger to our society and thus turned her back at the border. Even Doris ... er, sorry, Stockwell Day waded into this one and had some inane explanation about protecting Canadians, blah, blah, blah.

This really pisses me off! Okay. Our border guards can, and do, reject would-be entrants to Canada for a whole raft of reasons – justified or not, rational or not. That is part of their job (although some seem to relish that part just a bit too much). But what is so egregious about this case is that the justification was not based on any Canadian rationale, but on Col. Wright’s name being included in a list of people the FBI says are dangerous! We (i.e. Canada) had NO involvement in creating that list or putting her name on it. We don't even know for sure why she's on the list. Perhaps she was just sitting there on the Group W bench with Arlo and the father rapers and the mother rapers and some FBI guy took an 8 by 10 color glossy and wrote her name down. Probably as good a reason as any in the post 9-11 U S of A, but it’s NOT OUR reason.

So Stockwell, just what has you so terrorfied (not a typo) that you’re willing to abrogate Canada’s sovereign right to make its own decisions about who to accept or not, and place that responsibility in the hands of another country’s police force? And if it’s OK for the US to dictate who we can and will accept into Canada, how about China? Perhaps we should deny entry to certain individuals based on a list provided by Beijing. Now that would be interesting with the Dalai Lama coming here and all. Better check with the FBI first though, just in case.

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