Infamous 'pick-up artist' already in Canada, despite petition calling for ban
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, August 7, 2015 5:56PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 7, 2015 11:07PM EDT
More than 27,000 people have given their support to an online petition calling on Canada to stop a so-called “pick-up artist” with a history of misogynistic comments from entering the country, but he’s already in Montreal.
The Change.org petition accuses American Daryush Valizadeh, known online as Roosh V, of planning to come to Canada to violate Criminal Code’s hate speech provisions.
The petition says Valizadeh hates women and has advocated for the decriminalization of sexual assault.
The petition’s author points to many examples, including a blog post where he wrote that rape should be “made legal on private property.”
“If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone,” reads part of that post.
Vancouver feminist Sara Parker-Toulson started the petition after she saw an online ad for seminars in Montreal and Toronto offering “practical solutions for helping (men) improve their intimate relationships.”
The Montreal event is scheduled for Saturday. On Friday afternoon, Valizadeh tweeted that the “people who wasted their time signing & spreading a petition to deny me entry into Canada (have) failed.”
Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee issued a statement on Tuesday that said Valizadeh should be prevented from obtaining a forum in Quebec, and that promoting violence against women is not only unacceptable, but criminal.
Legal experts told CTV Montreal that Valizadeh writings may or may not be illegal.
Parker-Toulson told CTV News Channel Friday that the Montreal venue booked by Valizadeh had agreed to cancel his contract. Parker-Toulson said she hopes the Toronto venue will do the same, and has called on Mayor John Tory to condemn the event.
The location of the venue in Toronto is unclear. On Valizadeh’s website, he writes that locations are only shared one day before seminars “due to the high risk of mob action by feminists and social justice warriors.”
A similar petition surfaced in November calling for American pick-up artist Julien Blanc to be blocked from entering the country to offer his seminars.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander tweeted at the time that Blanc’s “content is completely counter to Canadian values and common decency” and that he was “looking at all options … to protect the rule of law on Canadian soil.”
Blanc’s Canadian seminars were subsequently cancelled, but not before immigration ministers in Britain and Australia banned him from entering those countries.