EU anti-globalization politician allowed to stay in Canada

Ottawa | Reuters — European Parliament member and anti-globalization activist Jose Bove will be allowed to stay in Canada after earlier being told to leave the country, according to organizers of an event where he had been scheduled to speak.

The Council of Canadians, a social justice non-profit, said on Wednesday that a decision to expel Bove from Canada had been reversed.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted that “an appropriate outcome has been achieved” in the Bove case, though he said privacy rules block public comments on admissibility issues.

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The Council of Canadians said Bove had been held by customs for several hours on Tuesday, causing him to miss a planned appearance at a public forum the group had organized in Montreal on the Canadian-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Bove tweeted on Tuesday evening that he had been blocked at Montreal airport for three hours and blamed it on his opposition to CETA.

Bove had said in an earlier interview with CBC that he had been allowed to go to his hotel, but his passport was confiscated and he was told he would have to leave the country Wednesday afternoon.

Jan Slomp, president of Canada’s National Farmers Union, said Wednesday the group was “deeply concerned that an elected representative of the European Parliament has been denied access to Canada, and thus denied the opportunity to express his opinion about the flaws in CETA.”

Bove, Slomp said, “would have provided the public with the information to show how CETA and other trade agreements are Trojan Horses that will wreak havoc if we let them in.”

A spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency declined to comment on the specific case.

Bove is the keynote speaker at a separate conference in St. John’s, N.L. on Friday and he will speak at the conference as originally planned, the Council of Canadians said in a statement.

Bove is known as an anti-globalization activist and for participating in the vandalism of a McDonald’s restaurant under construction in 1999.

Bove also became known for participation in protests over the production and import of genetically modified (GM) crops, and was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.

Reporting for Reuters by Leah Schnurr. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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