O Canada needs a rewrite, the nation’s national anthem, redesigning its national flag as well, a skull and crossbones or perhaps swastika replacing its traditional maple leaf.
The Trudeau government permanently banned Chelsea Manning from entering the country, she revealed on Twitter – intending to challenge the decision at an “admissibility hearing” at a date to be determined.
According to a Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship statement, she’s “inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality for having been convicted of an offense outside Canada, that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.”
The statement also said her temporary visa application was rejected because she’s not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or registered under the Indian Act – a dubious reason as anyone falling under these categories wouldn’t need visa permission to enter their own country if traveling or living abroad.
Manning is no criminal. She’s a redoubtable whistleblower, a national hero, paying dearly for revealing US war crimes, a noble act, warranting universal praise, not condemnation, imprisonment, and barred from entering Canada – a disgraceful action by a nation allied with Washington’s imperial project, reigning terror on one nation after another, leaving a trail of bloodshed and mass destruction.
On September 22, Manning tried entering Canada at the St-Bernard-de-Lacolle point of entry, connecting New York state and Quebec.
Earlier this month, Harvard’s Kennedy School rescinded her fellowship and invitation to speak, a disgraceful action, igniting a firestorm of outrage on campus.
It’s highly unlikely Canadian courts will uphold her right of entry. Best to travel where she’s wanted. She has legions of supporters worldwide.
Asked to comment on Manning’s entry ban, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “I’m not going to comment on any specific case, and I look forward to seeing more details about this situation.”
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale refused to second guess the decision banning Manning, saying:
“When a Canada Border Services officer has exercised appropriately within their jurisdiction the judgment that they are called upon to make, I don’t interfere in that process in any kind of a light or cavalier manner.”
Christina Ashton, New Democrat MP, running for her party’s leadership, Standing Committee on Status of Women Chair, called it “unacceptable” to ban Manning from Canada, adding:
“The government must fix this and allow her in our country.” Don’t bet on it happening – though anything is possible if enough other Canadian politicians support her rights.