Renowned Scientist, Vandana Shiva Held at Canadian Border

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Vandana Shiva now joins a lengthening list of dissident writers, reporters, and activists harried by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
 
In 2009, then British MP George Galloway was not allowed entry into Canada due to his alleged support for Palestinian groups listed by the CBSA as terrorist organizations. Galloway took the case to court, where Stephen Harper's government was rebuked.
 
Last year, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! found herself cooling her heels at the border when Canadian agents refused to believe she was not going to Vancouver to report critically on the Olympic games. Goodman recounted the bizarre incident to the crowd awaiting her speaking engagement in the Olympic city.
 
No such luck for Calgarians who had hoped to hear Shiva speak tonight. 
 
The CBSA is overseen* by minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism Jason Kenney, a controversial figure noted for callous remarks regarding refugees, and has more recently been embroiled in a fund raising scandal.
 
 
[A date not kept: India’s famed environmental activist knows all about taking a stand. She’ll be in town on March 9 to discuss democracy, empowerment of women, development, social justice and the environment.  Vandana Shiva speaks Wednesday, March 9, 7 p.m. At Murray Fraser Hall, University of Calgary. $12 – $15. netcommunity.ucalgary.ca/shiva.]
 
[On March 10th, the University of Calgary’s Consortium for Peace Studies will award Dr. Vandana Shiva, a world-renowned environmental activist from New Dehli, The Calgary Peace Prize. The awards ceremony and banquet will be held at the Calgary Golf & Country Club. Tickets are available via the U of C’s secure Net Community: TICKETS]
 
 
[*"Overseen" may not be technically correct, (as per comment) but in the context of the George Galloway case, and other political direction given to the CBSA, Kenney's ministry trumps Toewes.
 
This is from the Rabble.ca article sited above:
 
On March 18, 2009, Stephane Larue, director general of the Case Management Branch of the CIC, cited Section 34 as the reason why Galloway could be inadmissible. He was told by Velshi: "Thanks. This is quite copacetic." (Click to view copy of correspondence.) This would also, according to another document, make him inadmissible via a TRP [Temporary Residency Permit, the only way Galloway could under normal circumstances enter Canada after a ban. It is permission that can be issued by a border agent]. But after Section 34 was cited, only the minister, Jason Kenney, would have the authority to overrule the decision.
 
The full act can be read here.] 
 
 
UPDATE: http://www.ucalgary.ca/peacestudies/

Upcoming Speakers & Events

URGENT RELEASE to all attendees of “An Evening with Vandana Shiva” and to all Calgarians and the media

 

Dr Vandana Shiva event will proceed... The Show Will Go On!!

 

Calgary Community Rallies to support Consortium for Peace Studies event @ Mac Hall tonight... 1000 expected to attend

 

Dr. Vandana Shiva, respected environmentalist, activist, philosopher and author was scheduled to speak to a sold out audience of 1000 people at Mac Hall this evening.  Her visit to Calgary was prompted by the awarding of the 2011 Calgary Peace Prize, which was to be presented to her by Mayor Nenshi tomorrow evening.

 

With great misfortune Vandana has been unable to cross the U.S. border and enter into Canada as officials claim her Visa has expired.


However we are working extremely hard with Immigration Canada to have her arrive in Calgary.

THE SHOW WILL GO ON... Calgary Community Rallies to support Consortium Peace event

 

A diverse line up of local eco/food/peace celebrities has volunteered to speak at the event. 

Kris Vester, Paul Hughes, Wade Sirios, Chris Turner & Hugo Bonjean will each address the audience for 10 minutes, followed by a panel discussion. Numerous local agencies will also be participating and information booths will be set up so audience members can have their questions answered about local food justice & peace issues. We are also working with the Mayor Nenshi’s office to have him come and speak at the event.
 

The Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary had planned to honor Dr. Shiva for her commitment to social justice, empowerment of women in developing countries, her advocacy of human rights and her scientific analysis of environmental sustainability. 

 

Her talk was to address elements of the global food crisis and its relation to democracy, gender justice and the environment.

 

We are trying our best to bring Vandana Shiva over to Calgary by March 11, 2011. We will reschedule a public lecture with her and if you have bought a ticket to the event, you will get free entry to the lecture by her and the public event for tonite.  If you want a ticket refund, please contact the Consortium for Peace Studies after March 14th, 2011.
 
 
Reply from event organizers:
 
When Dr Shiva was boarding her flight to Calgary from Salt Lake City (she was transitting through the US), officials there found out that her 10 year multiple entry visa to Canada had just expired. Before any contact was made to our office, she was obligated to return to India in the next possible flight. We tried our best to interject her on her return flight which stopped at Detroit. Many Calgarian including influential people like Nexen's government relations, Gary Mar in Washinton, various MLA's all stepped up to an emergency mode to get her Canadian visa to come in. Unfortunately she was unable to leave the Detriot airport to go to the Canadian Consulate in Detriot to get the approved visa. Her lay over at Detriot was only for 45 mins (too shot a time) and she needed a US visa to get out of the airport which we are assuming she did not have.

However last night at the Peace Prize dinner she was able to join us via Skype and even take a few audience Q and A. Even though she wasn't there, the 250 people including Mayor Nenshi who came in to recognize her and the efforts of the Consortium for Peace Studies, said the event was a big success!

We are now working with her to bring her back at her earliest availability once she sorts her visa issues with the Canadian Consulate in New Delhi.

Thank you.

Saima Jamal
Program Manager
Consortium for Peace Studies
University of Calgary
 


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