Toronto

Ban 50 Cent, Liberal MP says

A Toronto-area member of Parliament is calling on his own government to block the American rap singer 50 Cent from entering Canada.

A Toronto-area member of Parliament is calling on his own government to block the American rap singer 50 Cent from entering Canada.


U.S. rapper 50 Cent (AP file photo)

On Tuesday, Liberal MP Dan McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East) asked Immigration Minister Joe Volpe to deny the singer entry for a Canadian tour scheduled to launch in Vancouver Dec. 3.

McTeague says 50 Cent promotes gun violence, a message he feels Torontonians in particular don't need to hear. A record 48 people have been shot to death in the city so far this year.

50 Cent, who was born Curtis Jackson in Queen's, N.Y., has a criminal record and would need a ministerial permit to enter Canada.

"I don't think people in Toronto or any urban centre need or want to hear Mr. Jackson's message right now," McTeague said. "I think it's time we send a message of our own to those who glorify violence that their gratuitous violence and movies are not welcome in our country.

"We need to do a better job at protecting Canadians from people whose message runs counter to all of our efforts of trying to curb gun violence."

Volpe's spokesperson said permits allowing those with criminal records to enter Canada are issued regularly.

"It's permission that's granted typically about 12,000 times a year," Steven Heckbert told the Canadian Press.

"Whether the minister or departmental officials make a decision about intervening or not, it's really not appropriate for us to be talking about it in a public forum," he said.

50 Cent's tour is scheduled to stop in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax and Saint John.