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Canada demands visa ban on Russian politicians who backed anti-gay laws

Canada demands visa ban on Russian politicians who backed anti-gay laws

Canadian politicians and the public are demanding Russians behind the anti-gay laws are barred from the country.

The New Democrat Party (NDP) of Canada has launched a petition to bar those who voted for Russia’s federal ‘gay propaganda’ law from entering Canada.

NDP’s Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs Paul Dewar believes the Canadian government should do more than just verbally condemn the law.

‘When it comes to this issue you need to put actions behind your words,’ he said. ‘What we’ve seen in Russia is something that’s reprehensible.’

Two other NDP politicians, Linda McQuaig and Peter Tabuns, joined Dewar in the streets to encourage members of the public to sign the petition.

The Canadian government has condemned the law and has said it will work with countries such as the United States and the UK in order to pressure Russia to change.

Russia is set to host the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next year, an event for which many have called for a boycott.

Some activists have even gone so far as to call for the International Olympic Committee to move the games to Vancouver, Canada, where the games were held in 2010.

Both the NDP and the current Canadian government do not, however, feel a boycott will be effective, as it will shift focus from discrimination against the LGBT community to the Olympics.

In a conference call from Rio last month, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said: ‘We are concerned obviously about Canadian athletes and other participants, spectators and attendees of the Olympics there.’

‘But we should be very clear, I mean, they’re only going to be there for two or three weeks. It’s going to be the people of Russia who will have to deal with this law 365 days of the year, every year.

‘Let’s hope that decency will prevail.’