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Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show still has people talking. With nods to the Black Panthers and Malcolm X, the electrifying performance served as a powerful artistic statement, and a master class in asserting your position as the coolest person alive. Despite being what was, in our view, one of the best halftime shows in recent memory, the performance seems to have divided popular opinion. Some have taken offense based on a perceived anti-police message, while anyone with more than half a brain agrees that Bey’s “Formation” performance was indeed incredible.
It appears that Toronto City Counsellor Jim Karygiannis counts himself among the former rather than the latter. In an interview with The Toronto Sun, the former Member of Parliament thinks that—get this—the Canadian government should investigate Beyoncé and her backup dancers for any ties to the Black Panther Party. “Perhaps Immigration Minister John McCallum should have her investigated first? If someone wore bullets and supported (a radical group) here, they would not be welcomed in the United States—that’s for sure,” Karygiannis told Sun columnist Joe Warmington. “She or some of them could be found not eligible to enter the country as others in the past have faced.”
Here, Karygiannis alludes to artists who have been turned away at the Canadian border in the past, including Chris Brown, Danny Brown, The Game, A$AP Rocky. With the Formation World Tour set to make stops in both Edmonton and Toronto in May, the City Councillor doesn’t necessarily think Bey should be banned from Canada. “We should not be promoting gun culture or anti-police sentiments,” he said. Following these initial statements, in an interview with Vice Canada, he pushed accountability over to the Immigration Minister’s office: “[McCallum's office] is where it should be addressed. If you're offended by it, don't let her in." Okay, so Big K doesn't think Bey should be banned outright on his own account, but he does think that if someone else is offended—the Minister of Immigration, for instance—maybe he could look into it for him. Got it.
Is that even how the Canadian border works? Can you just decide to not let someone in based on a Super Bowl performance? Vice reporter Justin Ling notes that the Canadian Border Services Agency can deny entry based on issues of security, human or international rights violations, criminality, organized criminality, health grounds, financial reasons, misrepresentation, non-compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and having an inadmissible family member.
Sorry, Councillor Karygiannis, but nothing—not even your questionably motivated reliance on red tape—can stop Beyoncé.
Maybe ol’ Jimmy Boy should spend some time with Rudy Giuliani. They deserve each other.