Amy Goodman sort of inadmissible to Canada?

This story piqued my interest in my news scans over the past few days. Amy Goodman, who most of my right-of-centre co-travellers would consider a bit fringe while others would consider solidly left-wing, was detained for questioning on Wednesday at a British Columbian border crossing. Goodman was questioned about her reasons for visiting Canada. The independent journalist and broadcaster cited a couple of speaking engagements in Victoria and Vancouver to promote her book.

Officials from the Canadian Border Services Agency were interested in whether Goodman would be speaking about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics games. Goodman responded no, but by her own account she explained that CBSA didn’t seem to believe her.

I contacted a spokeswoman for CBSA and they explained that while they cannot comment on specific cases, “all persons seeking entry into Canada must meet all requirements” set out by the CBSA. Applicants for entry must not have a record of criminality, for example.

I’d wondered if Amy Goodman had ever been arrested since I’ve known her to be something of an activist on issues. A quick Google search revealed that she had been arrested at the Republican National Convention in 2008 for “conspiracy to riot”. Here is a video of her arrest:

The charges were eventually dropped against Goodman as the St. Paul City Attorney’s office refused to prosecute.

However, it is unclear as to whether charges without conviction is enough to create a “lookout” in the CBSA database. The CBSA spokeswoman also told me that criminality is certainly a red flag when it comes to determining a person’s fitness for admissibility.

Given the unprecedented security that is being put in place for the 2010 games, a less than perfect history with law enforcement may have given agents more pause when considering Goodman.

Despite the temporary detention, Goodman is likely not too upset about the whole affair. She was admitted to Canada for two days and has now received national media attention for the book she was promoting.



8 thoughts on “Amy Goodman sort of inadmissible to Canada?”

  1. You reap what you sow.
    Canadians, are regularly forbidden entry into the US for minor convictions (in the eyes of the beholder) and must wait out the purging of their circumstance. They then take the risk of spending money to travel and possibly be caught in the red tape of the American system.

    Perhaps after decades of lax border patrol, Canada is finally saying “deal with your drama first and come see us when it's over”.

    Obviously there will be mistakes but I'd rather be one of their mistakes, innocently than one from neglect and indifference.

  2. To be honest, I have always wondered about Arar. Putting aside that he was sent to Syria, the question which has never been answered satisfactorily is why Syria allegedly imprisoned him. To further my suspicions is the fact that, even after winning millions, he has refused to get on with his life but, rather, still pops up now and then. What is his agenda, really? I do not trust the guy, at all. There's just something about him that raises red flags in my mind.

  3. From the facts of the case to the consequences of the settlement, there's so much that hasn't been investigated – Ezra Levant, Western Standard Feb 26, 2007

    Maher Arar received the largest government settlement in Canadian history. Even after an inquiry, the public should ask, why?
    Dennis O'Connor, ran for two-and-a-half years and cost taxpayers $23 million. Yet in all that time and for all that money, no medical evidence was presented that demonstrated Arar had been physically tortured. No doctor testified. A psychiatrist did testify about the psychological effects of torture, but on physical torture, none.

    Arar was never cross-examined on his allegations because he did not testify at the commission that bears his name. -Kevin Steel – Western Standard February 26, 2007

  4. this is not to be taken lightly. I would efinitely like to see both A. Goodman and G. Galloway allowed into Canada for a speaking engagement

  5. this is not to be taken lightly. I would efinitely like to see both A. Goodman and G. Galloway allowed into Canada for a speaking engagement

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