Amy Goodman, APR, detained at Canadian Border
Is there oversensitivity about bad coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, or was this just an overzealous border guard? It certainly feeds the perception that free speech has gone in the tank when it comes to the Vancouver games. This story smells of limiting free speech.
Amy Goodman, an award winning journalist with American Public Radio, host of the show Democracy now, was stopped at the Canadian Border crossing at Blaine, WA. This is a major border crossing between WA and B.C.
According to Amy Goodman, she was coming to Canada to promote her book on Health Care and she was going to do some research on Tommy Douglas. Tommy Douglas is hailed as the Father of Canadian Health Care.
The vehicle was stopped around 6:00 pm PST and she was asked what she will be talking about. When Amy Goodman told the officer of the reason for her visit, he kept asking her what she was going to say about the Olympics.
This is an alarming development, especially with the response received so far by the Canadian Border Services Agency.
A spokeswoman with the Canada Border Services Agency said anyone entering Canada may be stopped at the border for questioning.
Faith St. John would not comment on Goodman’s case specifically, citing privacy concerns, but said there are many reasons that a person may be detained while coming into Canada.
“It’s not an accusation of a wrongdoing,” she said.
An outspoken, award-winning U.S. journalist says she and her producers were detained and interrogated for more than an hour Wednesday at a Canadian border crossing because border agents were afraid she was coming into the country to criticize the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Amy Goodman, the host of an American public radio show called Democracy Now, said the agents did not believe her when she explained that she was visiting Canada to promote her a new book about health care, global warming, the economic meltdown and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Amy on her website reports that she was held at the border for over an hour. Armed Border guards banged on her vehicle and scanned their laptops. Amy was scheduled to speak at the Vancouver Public Library for a benefit show of several local radio stations. Coincidence or Standard Operating Procedure?
While traveling to Vancouver, BC, Canada on Weds., Nov. 25th, to speak at the Vancouver Public Library at a benefit for community radio stations, Amy Goodman and her two colleagues were detained by Canadian authorities. Amy was questioned extensively about the speech she intended to give; their car was gone through by armed border guards, and their papers and laptop computers were scoured. They were detained for well over an hour, and were made an hour late for the event at the Vancouver Public Library.
Amy Goodman was eventually permitted to enter Canada and her passport was returned. The passport came with a document though that demanded that she leave Canada within 48 hours. This is highly unusual for an American citizen. One can only scratch his head over that directive.
The border guard kept asking her about the Olympics as well. He seemed preoccupied with it.
Goodman says Canadian Border Services Agency officials ultimately allowed her to enter Canada but returned her passport with a document demanding she leave the country within 48 hours.
After much questioning, Goodman said the officials finally asked if she would be speaking about the 2010 Olympics.
"He made it clear by saying, 'What about the Olympics?'" said Goodman. "And I said, 'You mean when President Obama went to Copenhagen to push for the Olympics in Chicago?'"
"He said, 'No. I am talking about the Olympics here in 2010.' I said, 'Oh I hadn't thought of that,'" said Goodman.
"He said, 'You're saying you're not talking about the Olympics?'"
"He was clearly incredulous that I wasn't going to be talking about the Olympics. He didn't believe me," Goodman said.
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Redwater, Alberta, Canada