MPs unite to ban 2 speakers from Parliament Buildings
MPs from all parties have teamed up to ban two controversial speakers from holding a news conference in the Parliament Buildings on Friday.
Paul Fromm and Alexan Kulbashian, who are often criticized by human rights advocates, had booked the parliamentary media centre to discuss their grievances about the Canadian Human Rights Commission, a federal body that investigates allegations of discrimination.
The commission's human rights tribunal fined Kulbashian in March 2006 forposting hate messages about blacks, Jews, Muslims and other minorities on the internet.
Fromm has come under fire for supporting people accused of racism.
MPs passed a motion Wednesday night to prevent the two men from entering the Parliament Buildings.
Conservative MP Jason Kenney said the move does not hinder the men's freedom of expression.
"If they want to get a soapbox and go out in front of the Parliament Buildings in this free country, they're welcome to do so, but this House isn't going to let them use public, taxpayer-funded resources."
NDP MP Joe Comartin said MPs did the same thing when Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel wanted to speak in Parliament in 1998.
"While we recognize the broad scope of free speech in this country, you're not allowed to libel and slander anyone, you're not allowed to use hate literature."
Fromm learned of the motion banning him and Kulbashian from Parliament when contacted by CBC News Wednesday night.
"We operate on the basis of a system where you're presumed innocent until you're proven guilty," he said. "The press conference hasn't even occurred yet. Nothing has been said.
"All it is is an opportunity for an interested party to have access to the press, if they're interested in coming. To prevent that, to my way of thinking, is horrific."