Friday, November 27, 2009

Amy Goodman stopped at Canadian border

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was stopped at the Canada-US border on Wednesday and questioned for 90 minutes by Canadian Border Services Agency. She was on her way to the Vancouver Public Library to launch her new book Breaking The Sound Barrier as a benefit for community radio stations.
What's your speech about? they asked.
"Tommy Douglas," she said.
What else?
"US healthcare debate."
What else?
"Copenhagen, the global economy, the wars in the mideast."
What else?
" - - - - ?"
Are you speaking about the Olympics?
"What about the Olympics? Oh, you mean when President Obama went to Copenhagen to push for the Olympics in Chicago?"
No. I am talking about the Olympics here in 2010.
Not being much of a sports fan and not wanting to hurt his national pride, Amy elects not to admit she wasn't aware Vancouver was hosting the 2010 Olympics.
You're saying you're not talking about the Olympics?
Eventually, after searching her books and laptop and asking for a copy of her speech and clearly still not believing this wasn't about the Owelympics, CBSA allowed her to enter Canada but returned her passport with a document demanding she leave the country within 48 hours.
You can listen to her speak about it later at the library here.
Thanks to CBSA, she does mention the Owelympics after all.


thwap said...

Absolutely insane.

How stupid do you need to be in order to take such a job seriously?

Yeah, Amy Goodman might single-handedly RUIN the Owe-lympics!

West End Bob said...

The CBC interview with Amy on the incident was quite sad.

Sounds like our side is taking lessons from south of the 49th . . . .

CanNurse said...

This is not new by the Boys at the Border. I'm glad it was Amy, only in the sense that she is a savvy reporter & spoke out loudly about it immediately! Most "regular people" this happens to are too intimidated to tell anyone but people close to them. It is widespread, in my experience, & a lot of the thugs working the border are both ignorant (as was Amy's) & just plain nasty.
Remind anyone of Gallagher, Starhawk, musicians coming into Canada from the U.S., etc etc etc!

RossK said...

It's interesting.

Went to see the Swell Season this week. The principals are Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the movie 'Once'.

And during the onstage banter they talked at some length about the difficulties Ms. Irglova, who is Czech, had at the border coming North in their tour bus from Seattle.

Apparently, they were told later, it is because of all those terrible, no good, musical gypsies trying to sneak into our (still?) fair country.

To their credit, a number of folks in the crowd shouted that we need more gypsies.

To which I concur, especially gypsies that can make music like this.


Oemissions said...

So unfair.
I emailed the CAJ ( Canadian Assoc. of Journalists asking them to speak out on this)
Reply from Border office: "anything of a personal nature ,email will be deleted"

Alison said...

O, could you send please me that reply, via the mail link at The Beav -
atgb at

Oemissions said...

Thank you for contacting the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This e-mail has been automatically generated to let you know that we have received your message. Please do not respond to this e-mail.

The CBSA will make every effort to respond to your inquiry within one business day. However, please note that because of privacy and security issues, the CBSA does not accept and will not collect e-mails containing personal information or dealing with specific questions concerning personal or business cases. These e-mails will be deleted.

Also, we do not accept e-mails with attachments or that contain offensive language. These e-mails will be deleted.

The CBSA offers services in Canada’s both official languages. We will reply to you in the official language used in your e-mail.

Your message is received by Service Canada, which answers inquiries on behalf of the CBSA. Information may be shared between Service Canada and the CBSA for the sole purpose of responding to your questions and/or comments.


Oemissions said...

That came at 6:43 pm Friday.
Will let you know if they reply further.
I will try to call or find a better contact for Border "upper management"

Oemissions said...

Gee! I just realized, I will be put into the system probably and should I cross the border in the future my email accusing them of "improper conduct" will be there.

Oemissions said...

Because of the nature of your enquiry, more time is required to assist you with this matter. Therefore, we will not be able to respond to your enquiry within the 24-hour time frame, as indicated in the auto-acknowledgement you received.
This came today.

Alison said...

Thanks, O.
Let me know what comes next, however long it takes.

Oemissions said...

The gals on As it Happens/CBC read some letters in response to this border guard incident.Mon. eve.

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