By John-Henry Westen
REGINA, Saskatchewan – A prominent U.S. pro-family activist who was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency Thursday for alleged violations of Canada’s “hate propaganda” law has won his appeal of the decision to deny him entrance into Canada.
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, will now be permitted to speak at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association provincial conference this weekend as scheduled.
“We didn’t even really have to make the case,” he told LifeSiteNews. “She just said they were unsubstantiated allegations.”
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LaBarbera had been targeted by a makeshift group known as “Intolerance Free Weyburn,” which pressured the government to deny him access to the country. LaBarbera believes he was flagged by customs as a result.
Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott was relieved by the decision at the hearing. “Kudos to border services,” he told LifeSiteNews. He said the exemptions for religious belief in Section 319 of the Criminal Code, which covers “hate propaganda,” were found to cover Mr. LaBarbera’s communications. The section, he said, “is not to be used for those who in good faith are speaking truth into a situation.”
The formal document issued by CBSA agent Darren Banick for the initial denial of entry into Canada expressed concern that LaBarbera “may commit acts which would be against the Criminal Code of Canada.”
Section 319(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code bars “public incitement of hatred … against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace.” One of the categories of identifiable groups include those based on ‘sexual orientation’. Breaching the law carries a punishment of up to two years imprisonment.
“The evidence was not there to support the allegations” of incitement of hatred, said Vellacott.
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