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I can go to Canada anytime – PM

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has asserted that he can travel to Canada any time he wishes.{{more}}

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Saturday, November 19, the Prime Minister dismissed as “rubbish” insinuations by some commentators that he would be afraid to set foot on Canadian soil.

“I can go to Canada anytime!”

Some commentators on social networks and radio programmes have hinted that if Dr. Gonsalves goes to Canada, he may be arrested in connection with an allegation made by a Canadian attorney in 2008.

On February 22, 2008, Canada based, Trinidadian attorney Margaret Parsons (name used with her permission) alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Dr. Gonsalves during a meeting when she was in St. Vincent in 2004.

On Friday, April 4, 2008, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, (DPP) stepped in and wholly discontinued the charge made by Parsons.

SEARCHLIGHT reported in 2008 that one issue that came up, which may have led to the discontinuance, was that Parsons originally swore in an affidavit in February 2008 that the alleged incident took place in 2004, but later claimed that date was an error, and in fact, the incident took place in 2003.

Other issues that may have contributed to the discontinuance were the length of time Parsons waited to file the action and the fact that persons who Parsons mentioned in her statement distanced themselves from what she said.

At the time of the discontiuance of the matter, Parsons had vowed not to back down and said she would pursue the matter all the way.

Explaining why he would not be afraid to travel to Canada, Gonsalves said,“I am not alleged to have committed an offence in Canada; this offence which they are alleging that I have committed, is not an offence which is a crime against humanity, over which other countries have jurisdiction; thirdly, the law processes in St. Vincent have dealt with that matter. The Director of Public Prosecution dealt with that matter. People forget that this matter was subject to a legal process in this country. That is like saying, something is subject to a legal process in Canada, I could arrest somebody for something which was done in Canada? Rubbish, total rubbish!”

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