One suspects that the decision to bar José Bové from entering Canada was taken jointly by the French and Canadian governments with the intent of blocking protest and debate on a far-reaching trade agreement which will have devastating economic and social implications throughout Canada and the EU. It will also contribute to the eventual trade integration of the EU and NAFTA.
“European Parliament MP José Bové was barred from entering Canada Tuesday night by the Canada Border Services Agency.
The anti-globalization activist and opponent of the free trade treaty with the European Union had been stuck at Trudeau airport customs since 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The French politician is best known for having contributed, while he was a union leader, to the demolition of a McDonald’s restaurant to protest against the free market in agriculture. He served two sentences in the early 2000s for civil disobedience, and has paid several fines for having destroyed certain plants. His campaign against McDonald’s 15 years ago was reportedly one of the reasons invoked by customs officers to refuse entry.
Bové was slated to participate in a discussion on free trade Tuesday evening at Centre St-Pierre in Montreal. The event was held anyway, though it started 20 minutes late. Other speakers included Nathalie Guay of Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC), and Anne-Céline Guyon of Stop Oléoduc.
“He is not a criminal. He is an elected member of the European Parliament,” Bové’s press secretary, Jean-Marc Desfihes, said Tuesday night. (Montreal Gazette October 12, 2016)
Council of Canadians Press Release:
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrives in Canada this week to promote CETA (the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). At the same time, another prominent voice, José Bové, Member of European Parliament and well-known anti-globalization activist, will be highlighting the dangers of the deal during his visit to Montréal on October 11-13.
Bové was a sheep farmer and trade union activist who rose to international celebrity status after the symbolic demolition of a McDonald’s under construction in 1999. This was to protest the WTO’s liberalization of agriculture. Elected as a Green Member of European Parliament since 2009, he is in Canada to highlight another looming disaster: CETA.
“Following in the footsteps of his colleague, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, French Prime Minister Mr. Valls will be here to sell you a dream about a ‘progressive’ agreement, but that is simply not so,” says Bové. “It is urgent to fight against CETA on both sides of the Atlantic. CETA is a Trojan horse for multinational corporations that seek to use it to bend rules as they wish. For family farms that provide quality food, whether European or Canadian, it is a major setback. The rules simply stack the deck in favour of corporate agriculture, and many farmers could lose their livelihoods.”
José Bové’s visit to Montréal is being hosted by the Council of Canadians, the Quebec Network for Continental Integration (RQIC), Vigilance OGM, National Farmers Union, Union paysanne. It also involves these RQIC members: Attac-Québec, CSD, CSN, and Génération nationale.