Gadhafi to get earful during Canadian stopover

Moammar Gadhafi is coming to Canada with his Bedouin tents, all-woman security troupe, and notorious reputation in tow.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi addresses the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly

OTTAWA — Moammar Gadhafi is coming to Canada with his Bedouin tents, all-woman security troupe, and notorious reputation in tow.

But the Libyan dictator will be facing a cold shoulder rather than a warm handshake during his one-day stopover in St. John’s, N.L., sometime next week.

The Harper government says it plans to deliver a stern lecture to Gadhafi over the “hero’s welcome” he gave to the man convicted of the infamous Lockerbie bombing.

“Prime Minister Harper has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon to go to St. John’s and meet the Libyan leader,” said Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas.

“Minister Cannon will voice Canada’s strong disapproval over the hero’s welcome organized for Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the man responsible for the Lockerbie terrorist bombing.

“It constituted an insult to all the victims who died including Canadians.”

Soudas emphasized that it is not an official visit, noting that it’s common for transatlantic flights to stop in Newfoundland and Labrador for refuelling.

However, it’s not clear if Gadhafi will agree to the meeting during a stop on his way home from the United Nations.

The African strongman delivered his first-ever speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday — a rambling, disconnected 90-minute affair.

Gadhafi seized power in a military coup 40 years ago and quickly became an international pariah known for his support of terrorism and eccentric lifestyle, including travelling with tents and a 40-member force of female body guards.

He partially rehabilitated his image by abandoning support for terrorism and paying huge reparations over Lockerbie.

But he drew international rebuke again last month for throwing a huge welcome-home celebration for al-Megrahi, who was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.

The national fete for a convicted terrorist outraged many, especially the relatives of the 270 victims — including three Canadians — killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence agent, was found guilty by a special Scottish court in the Netherlands in 2001 and sentenced to at least 27 years in prison. He was released last month after he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

He continues to insist that he is innocent and has posted his legal defence — part of an appeal that was dropped shortly before he was released — on the Internet in an effort to clear his name.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read