George W. Bush visit to Surrey concerns resident

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      A Surrey resident says she is “bewildered” by the response she got from Mayor Dianne Watts regarding her concerns about former U.S. president George W. Bush speaking at a city event later this year.

      On February 22, Janine McKay told Watts by e-mail how she feels about having Bush in Canada.

      “I have grave concerns about the message your office is sending to our residents and to people world wide that a free and just country such as Canada would welcome such an alleged human rights abuser,” McKay wrote. “I believe that all humans have a right to free speech as George W Bush is entitled to his opinion but the lives of all the ones who were suspected to have been tortured, illegally detained or even murdered at the hands of the Bush administration is haunting my conscience.”

      The mayor responded by e-mail the next day. Watts wrote that the 2011 Surrey Regional Economic Summit, which will feature Bush and former U.S. president Bill Clinton as keynote speakers on October 20, aims to “generate a dialogue about new approaches to the challenges we face as a city, province and a country”.

      Watts told McKay: “This is an exciting, positive time for Surrey. Leaders in global issues are beginning to make an annual trek to our city and the Surrey Summit is becoming recognized as a forum for an exchange of economic ideas that is unrivalled in the Lower Mainland.”

      In a letter to several media outlets, McKay states that she is “stupefied at how Canada downplays or outright ignores our duty to uphold the laws of reputable world high courts and our historically decided ”˜human rights’ ”.

      “The City of Surrey is welcoming a man accused of creditably alleged war crimes to an ”˜economic’ event also despite the debt he left to the American public,” McKay wrote.

      She also noted that Watts didn’t address her concerns as a city resident and a Canadian citizen.

      “I am left bewildered at the lack of acknowledgment from our mayor regarding an honest area of concern for many Surrey residents,” McKay stated. “The City of Surrey boasts about culture, arts, economics and diversity but yet when questions about the relevance of the tens of thousands of civilians affected by alleged war crimes in a war Canada supports politically, I feel democratically responsible to ask why?”



      Russell Barth

      Mar 3, 2011 at 9:02am

      Bush is an admitted war criminal. if the harper government does not arrest him, they are breaking the law as well. They know this. international laws dictates that W must be arrested if he enters Canada. If the government does not arrest him, they are in violation of international law and UN treaties.
      They will not arrest him. They will welcome this war criminal with open arms.


      Mar 3, 2011 at 9:59am

      I toally agree with Janine McKay. Why would anyone want a person like that in your country and to speak on economic ideas after it was on his watch that put the whole world in a mess. Bill Clinton is a person who looks out for people unlike Bush who only thinks of himself and his bank account.


      Mar 3, 2011 at 10:13am

      what does she expect from Harper and his ilk, i hope someone tries to arrest him....i really do, while you are at it, get that idiot harper out of office too he is making canada look BAD BAD BAD, shame on you for sending Marc Emery to his doom, shame on you indeed....its ok tho because ppl are waking up to you corrupt politricksters....take note from wont be too long til revolution spreads to the west....what side will you be on then,,,,welldone to Janine for standing up for what is right, you go girl

      Barry Sherman

      Mar 3, 2011 at 10:23am

      I find it hard to believe that this woman actually even GOT a reply. Call this ex US president anything you want but to suggest that the Canadian Government would arrest him when he hasn't been convicted of a single charge is flat out ludacrous. I am no Fan of DUBBYA, but please people let's not look like a bunch of back country idiots here. Harper isn't arresting the Chinese leaders either, go figure.


      Mar 3, 2011 at 12:34pm

      Best that the people opposed to this piece of crap come out and shower his motorcade with excrement and do the same to watts for enabling him

      joeseph blow

      Mar 3, 2011 at 1:01pm

      Awesome,w. give them dumbies in slurrey hell,love ya man


      Mar 3, 2011 at 2:01pm

      @Barry This confuses me, " suggest that the Canadian Government would arrest him when he hasn't been convicted of a single charge is flat out ludicrous." Regardless of where you stand on this issue I don't understand how this would work. People should only be arrested after they have been convicted? Are we going to start convicting people in absentia?


      Mar 3, 2011 at 3:16pm

      I thought Watts was an intelligent woman but inviting George W. Bush to
      speak in Surrey is about the most unintelligent and backwoods move a
      politician could make. What on earth could possibly motivate her to do a
      thing like that? Is she tired of her job?


      Mar 4, 2011 at 12:35am

      Wearechangevancouver submitted an anti petition torture to the House of Commons which was read by Libby Davies ,hundreds of us eagerly signed this over one weekend and are on record calling for the Harper government to uphold our strict anti torture laws and either deny entry or arrest this ghoul upon arrival.
      Bush has admitted to torture


      Mar 4, 2011 at 6:42am

      I think some of these comments are funny. You don't run the US for eight years without having some interesting experiences to talk about. I for one would like to hear what he has to say as much as I would like to hear Clinton speak. If anyone here thinks W actually was in control of half of what went on you're as crazy as you think he is. He was a pawn controlled by his staff and pretty much did what he was told. I agree with Barry Sherman, why would we condemn W when we ignore all the attrocities going on in China and other countries we have trade deals with. But that's ok, that's across the ocean so out of sight out of mind right? THe whole attitude of most of these comments is a typical BC mentality, complain about everything that doesn't suit you instead of having an open mind to other possibilities this could bring. I weep for this province.