NEWS ~ NDP CALLS FOR APOLOGY ON DETENTION OF AMY GOODMAN BY BORDER OFFICIALS
December 1st, 2009 - 4:00am
OTTAWA – New Democrat Public Safety Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) is calling on the Minister of Public Safety to issue an apology to U.S. journalist Amy Goodman, and to explain why border officials detained and questioned her about the contents of an upcoming speech.
“Public safety is a serious issue. It is degraded when it is used as an excuse to stifle freedom of speech,” said Davies. “Our border guards are there to keep us safe, not harass people for their political views.”
Amy Goodman was on her way to a speaking engagement in Vancouver to promote her new book when she was stopped at the border and questioned about the contents of her speech. Specifically, Ms. Goodman was asked if she planned to speak about the upcoming Vancouver Olympics. Border officials also searched Ms. Goodman’s notes and computers.
“There are legitimate security concerns surrounding the Olympics. But it is absurd to suggest that a speech by an American journalist is a public safety matter. And it is offensive to link those who express critical views with those who actually pose a threat of violence.”
“Moreover, Ms. Goodman was here to speak about healthcare, not the Olympics. But even if she were here to express critical views about the Games, she has every right to do so and Canadians have every right to hear her,” said Davies.
Responsibility for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) falls within the federal Ministry of Public Safety.
“As a Canadian, I am embarrassed that a foreign journalist was subjected to this treatment when visiting our country. I urge the Minister to issue an immediate apology to Ms. Goodman.”
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For more information, please contact: Sam Heppell, Office of Don Davies: 613-218-7794 or firstname.lastname@example.org