U.S. journalist grilled at Canada border crossing
Officials demanded to know what she would say publicly about 2010 Olympics
Last Updated: Thursday, November 26, 2009
U.S. journalist Amy Goodman said she was stopped at a Canadian border crossing south of Vancouver on Wednesday and questioned for 90 minutes by authorities concerned she was coming to Canada to speak against the Olympics.
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.
Goodman, 52, known for her views opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told CBC News on Thursday that Canadian border agents asked her repeatedly what subjects she would cover at scheduled speaking engagements in Vancouver and Victoria.
'You're saying you're not talking about the Olympics?'—Canadian border agent
Goodman said she told them she planned to speak about the debate over U.S. health care reform and the wars in Asia.
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.
The CBSA declined comment on the incident Thursday.
Searched car, computer and notes
Goodman said her car was searched and the officials demanded to look at her notes and her computer.
Goodman is best known as the principal host of Democracy Now, a U.S. syndicated radio broadcast.
She was coming to Canada as part of a tour to promote a new book, Breaking The Sound Barrier.
"I am deeply concerned that as a journalist I would be flagged and that the concern – the major concern – was the content of my speech," said Goodman.