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  • Catalonia's former President Carles Puigdemont poses next to a pro-independence supporter with a Catalan Estelada flag.

    Catalonia's former President Carles Puigdemont poses next to a pro-independence supporter with a Catalan Estelada flag. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 April 2019

The Quebec nationalist Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste said the government did not provide a reason for canceling Puigdemont’s electronic travel authorization (ETA).

Former President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has filed a motion in Federal Court Monday contesting a decision by the Canadian government who revoked his travel permit on March 31.

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The Quebec nationalist Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste said the government did not provide a reason for canceling Puigdemont’s electronic travel authorization (ETA), which was revoked two days before he was due to fly to Quebec for a speaking tour. 

“It is absolutely shameful that Canada is again an accomplice to Spanish authoritarianism. Unanimously denounced by the National Assembly of Quebec,” SSJB President Maxime Laporte said in a statement.

The Catalan pro-independence leader was scheduled to take part in an event organized by the nationalist group, which advocates for Quebec independence as well as for stronger laws to promote French in the province.

In response to a request from Radio-Canada, a spokesperson for the Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen wrote that, ETAs are evaluated by migration agents who make their decisions based on information furnished by the individual and entry is determined “on a case by case basis according to immigration laws,” adding  that the ministry can’t comment on any specific case without the authority of the individual concerned.

On Oct. 1, 2017, Puigdemont authorized a Catalan breakaway referendum which resulted in a majority votes for independence. After the controversial vote, the Catalan government was dissolved and he and four more official fled Spain to Belgium. 

The Spanish government tried to extradite the accused Catalan leaders but the legal process failed or was delayed. July 10, 2018, a Supreme Court judge suspended him as a deputy in the Catalan parliament and nine days later, Spain dropped the European Arrest Warrants against Puigdemont and other Catalan officials in exile.

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