RULESWATCH

March 30, 2009

Borderwatch? — Galloway Exclusion Injunction

Filed under: 1 — ruleswatch @ 11:29 am

“Slaw (http://www.slaw.ca) has the “eyewitness post” of Omar Ha-Redeye who attended yesterdays Toronto Federal Court injuction application on Government’s refusal to admit U.K. M.P. George Galloway into the country.

Ha-Redeye has Barbara Jackman, counsel to the applicants, noting, ” that in her 30 years of immigration practice she had never seen a case like this, or one which so closely resembled the Supreme Court decision in Roncarelli v. Duplessis…”

Its worth reading.The decision is due about 2:00 Atlantic Time March 30.

UPDATE: The application has been dismissed: “The arguments raised by the applicants are not frivolous or vexatious,” Judge Martineau ruled. “However, a proper factual record and the benefit of full legal argument … are lacking at the present time.” the Globe and Mail reports.

One of the conditions [for he award of an injunction] is called “irreparable harm,” the CBC says, which is — in this case, whether or not the rights of Canadians will be infringed if they don’t get a chance to hear Galloway.”The judge argued because Mr. Galloway is going to broadcast speeches into the cities that Canadians can hear him that way,” said James Clark, a peace activist with Stop the War and one of the organizers of Galloway’s speaking tour. Clark was speaking with CBC’s Newsworld on Monday in Toronto,” the CBC website reports.
The National Post adds that the applicants had argued that hearing the speaker on video is not the same as as hearing the speaker in person. So, the argument apparently went, supported by American case law, the freedom of expression of Canadian audiences would be restricted by a video appearance only. And, that would amount to irreparable harm were the MP not allowed entry.
Mr. Galloway will now be appearing to Canadian audiences by video.

 

FURTHER UPDATE (WHEW!) : Justice Martineau’s decision is now on the Federal Court Website. (See: Toronto Committee to Stop the War et al v. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness et al 2009 FC 26) Albeit satisfied that the applicant had an arguable case to be tried, (the first qualification for injunctive relief, of course), the Court found the application stumbled on irreparable harm (the second test).

 

Galloway had announced his intention to get his message into Canada, by loudspeaker “over the bridge” (from the USA) if necessary and by video – an announcement made in major news organizations effectively from Vancouver to the east coast of the UK if he should not gain admission. On this, the Court found it could not conclude that were was irreparable harm should the injunction be refused. The American case law on the freedom of expression implications of hearing a speaker in person versus by some medium, referred to in yesterday’s Globe did not make its way into the judgement.

 

In considering the factual framework for the application, Martineau, J. noted, intriguingly,Moreover, some hearsay evidence upon which the applicants intend to rely, may be invoked to support their claim of external lobbying and political influence leading to the making of the impugned decision, which is alleged to be one made in bad faith and politically motivated.”

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