British MP George Galloway smiles as he arrives with the international aid convoy 'Lifeline-3 for Gaza' in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009. Galloway will have to wait until Wednesday to try to have his ban from visiting Canada overturned in Federal Court. (Nader Daoud/Associated Press)
By Showwei Chu
Lawyers for controversial British MP George Galloway appeared in a Toronto Federal Court on Wednesday in a bid to overturn a ban that prevents him from visiting Canada.
The federal government has said that Galloway was denied entry to the country last year because of his support of Palestinian militant group Hamas. But the MP and his supporters believe he was barred because the Conservatives didn't want him to deliver an anti-war message.
Many community members have focused on the fairness of his ban when other controversial figures like U.S. commenter Ann Coulter have been allowed entry. Others have focused on the alleged political intervention of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who Galloway has said was the one, and not the Canada Border Services Agency, that kept him out of the country.
Martini writes: Just like Ann Coulter. If you let HER into the country to exercise free speech it smacks of out and out political hypocrisy if the Conservative government disallows Galloway in to exercise free speech.
There needs to be ONE STANDARD for ALL. NOT just the standard of agree-with-the-government ideology or you can't enter the country.
Edmonton Bill wrote: Personally, I don't care if he comes here to speak, but he shouldn't be denied entry because the Harper government doesn't like his politics or words. But yet again they hide behind the veil of "national security" to justify doing something they otherwise couldn't do and keep the real reasons from seeing the light of day. Or they hope to. The Crown should not be opposing Galloway in this, and Harper et al should not be wasting all the money, resources and court time on this political vendetta.
Marc Country wrote: The question is, when will Kenney face charges for illegal interference with a British MP's legal, and welcome, visit to Canada? Charges must be laid against Kenney for this obvious abuse of power.
Should the ban on Galloway visiting Canada be lifted? Tell us what you think.
International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda makes announcements on Canada's G8 maternal health plan. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
The federal government finally came out and declared after months of silence on the issue that it will not fund abortions in its G8 child and maternal health care initiative for developing nations.
In late 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada, as host of the upcoming G8 meeting in June, would champion this initiative.
Until Monday, no official had disclosed whether abortion would be included in the corresponding programs Canada supports. But the government would consider funding family planning measures, such as contraception, but not abortion under any circumstances, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda said.
The declaration has some community members questioning the government, particularly when it's at odds with its abortion policy for Canadians.
JanArmstrong wrote: This decision by Harper's government is not only one which treats women from third world countries differently than those in Canada but by not providing aid to these countries for abortions Canada is saying to the world that we support racist policies. Hopefully Canadians will stand up and say that such an inequitable and racist approach to abortion cannot be supported.
malatagal wrote: How is Stephen Harper going to explain to other governments that
he refuses to underwrite abortions in their countries while allowing it in
Canada? Or is it that he has yet another secret agenda to withdraw it for Canadian women as well?
dmarks wrote: We are all responsible to aid our sisters and brothers in the developing nations as best we can, especially those of us who live in a wonderful country like Canada. This however, must never include any action that destroys life. All our actions must be to sustain and nurture life.
Our Prime Minister's action on the Abortion issue for those in developing countries is a definite step in the right direction.
Tell us what you think about the G8 maternal health plan: Does it re-ignite the abortion debate? Take our poll.
Singer K'naan with the FIFA World Cup trophy after it arrived in Toronto, during its World tour, on Wednesday April 28, 2010. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)
On Wednesday, the FIFA World Cup Trophy made its inaugural visit to Canada, appearing at the Lester B. Pearson International Airport and the downtown Toronto headquarters of the CBC, where thousands of fans celebrated its only Canadian stops.
While the 2010 World Cup may still be six weeks away, soccer fans didn't delay sharing just why they love the game.
Elliott Mohajer wrote: The World Cup is, along with the Olympics, the only sports event that catches the attention of the whole planet. It is the best example of sportsmanship, goodwill and competition. It's simply gorgeous.
jmcp99 wrote: It is more than a people's sport. It is the only sport that any player -- be they tall, short, skinny or medium build -- can enjoy playing.
not_a_robot!! wrote: Soccer is the Game of the People.
Why do you love the World Cup? We want to hear from you.
Watch video: K'naan meets Peter Mansbridge on the set of CBC News Network.
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