Falun Gong's marching band in the Christmas Parade in Vancouver on December 5, 2010.
ET: However, in 2007 a CBA councillor casually told the applicants that they were refused due to their protests in front of the Chinese consulate against the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong adherents in China, which were making things “difficult” for the Chinese Consul-General.
Clive Ansley, president of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong, says the longstanding refusal boils down to the Chinese Communist Party’s influence overseas and on the parade committee headed by the CBA.
“I am well aware of the committee’s tight relationship with the Chinese Consulate-General. Their motives in refusing entry to the Falun Gong are entirely transparent,” says Ansley.
The group has participated in numerous parades in B.C. Last year, the Celestial Marching Band received the special recognition award in the marching band category in the Calgary Stampede parade.
MPs have been rallying in support of the Falun Gong, including Bill Siksay, MP for Burnaby-Douglas.
“I have supported the Falun Dafa Association’s participation in the Chinese New Year Parade in the past,” said Siksay. “This is a community celebration of an important event ... and I would hope that all folks who have a connection to the community in Vancouver would be welcome to attend.”
Calgary West MP Rob Anders said in an email, “I think it is a shame that Falun Gong would be excluded from any event having to do with China. Falun Gong is more Chinese than the Communist Party that oppresses people in China.”
In a previous interview with The Epoch Times, Ottawa-based Lucy Zhou of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada said incidents of interference by the Chinese regime continue to occur in Canada “as a result of the extension of the systematic persecution of Falun Gong.”
“Falun Gong practitioners in Canada, in Ottawa, have been facing constant pressure from the Chinese Embassy, which tries to ostracize the group in the Chinese community and also in the society at large.”
Zhou said that over the last ten years a “hate campaign” against Falun Gong—directed by the Chinese Embassy and consulates—has been taking place in Chinese communities in Ottawa and other cities, resulting in many instances of discrimination.
Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese meditation practice praised by devotees for its health and spiritual benefits. The Chinese regime launched a persecution against its adherents in July 1999 that continues today. More at Epoch Times