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article imageDick Cheney cancels Toronto speech; Canada deemed too dangerous

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 13, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - The former U.S. vice president has cancelled an appearance in Toronto, scheduled for April, because of security concerns.
Cheney and his daughter Liz were set to speak at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 24. He was expected to talk about his time as vice president as well as the current state of politics in the United States.
Yesterday, Ryan Ruppert, the president of Spectre Live, the Toronto-based company promoting the event, announced that the Cheneys had backed out. Ruppert was quoted in the Toronto Sun saying, On the advice of security, they were worried quite simply that Canada is just not a friendly country to them.
Ruppert was also quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying, It is incredibly disappointing for us. We were very excited about the event.
It was estimated that up to 5,000 people would have been in attendance to hear the Cheneys speak.
At least one person thinks the decision to cancel the speaking event was, as the Toronto Star put it, "over the top." The newspaper quoted Daryl Copeland, a former Canadian diplomat, as saying, Apart from some spirited protest, I can't imagine any inordinate security risks associated with a visit to Canada.
The decision to cancel the event for reasons of security was based upon Cheney's appearance in Vancouver last Sept. 26. Protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Club where Cheney was speaking, hassling those who came to hear the former vice president. The protesters blocked the entrances to the venue, and Cheney remained in the building for approximately seven hours until police dispersed enough of the crowd to make it safe for him to exit.
A few days before Cheney's Vancouver speech, NDP MP Don Davies, asked Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to bar Cheney from entering Canada on the grounds that he is a war criminal. There were also calls that Cheney be arrested for war crimes while in the country. The war crimes allegations were based upon Cheney's support for the use of waterboarding and sleep deprivation against terror suspects.
One of the concerns at that time was that Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, might have become ill and not been able to get proper medical treatment because of the massive protest.
Those who have already purchased tickets for the event can either get a refund or a ticket to hear columnist Mark Steyn speak.
More about Dick Cheney, War criminal, Liz cheney, cheney canada, don davies mp
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