Monday, April 29, 2019 10:14 pm
Canadian authorities have denied entry to exiled former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, according to a Quebec nationalist organisation that had invited him for a tour of the French-speaking province.
The Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste (SSJB), which works to promote the French language and culture, as well as Quebec Independence, Ottawa’s decision to bar Puigdemont from entering Canada was “absolutely shameful’’.
“Canada is once again acting as the accomplice of Spanish authoritarianism,’’ SSJB President Maxime Laporte, said in a statement.
Laporte said a lawyer hired by Puigdemont will contest Ottawa’s decision in the Federal Court on Monday.
“We will spare no effort to have Mr Puigdemont come to resound here in Quebec his liberating words. We demand that Ottawa immediately review its position,’’ Laporte said.
Puigdemont, who is currently living in exile in Brussels, was supposed to begin his tour of Quebec in early April.
He was expected to visit the provincial legislature known as the National Assembly and hold a press conference to talk about Catalan independence.
However, days before his planned departure, Puigdemont, received an email from Canadian authorities informing him that his Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air, has been revoked.
A spokesperson for the federal immigration minister said that in general, immigration officers make a determination based on the information provided by the applicant, however, they cannot comment on individual cases for privacy reasons.
The Catalan politician fled Spain after playing a key role in October 2017’s unilateral declaration of independence by the region’s separatist-led parliament.