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Toronto councillor stops short of calling for Beyoncé ban in Canada

Last Updated Feb 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm EDT

Beyoncé performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Beyoncé’s recently announced concert appearance in Toronto this May might not happen if one Toronto councillor has his way.

Ward 39 councillor Jim Karygiannis has called on the federal government to investigate the pop diva following her recent Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, which critics dubbed pro-Black Panther and anti-cop.

While Karygiannis wouldn’t ban Beyoncé based on the performance alone, he said if an inquiry found she or her backup dancers had supported the Black Panthers financially they could be blocked from entering the country.

“Perhaps Immigration Minister John McCallum should have her investigated first?” the former federal MP tells the Toronto Sun. “If someone wore bullets and supported (a radical group) here, they would not be welcomed in the United States — that’s for sure.”

“We should not be promoting gun culture or anti-police sentiments.”

Fellow councillor Giorgio Mammoliti agreed that her performance was “distasteful” and that her subtle message wasn’t all that subtle.

Beyoncé is scheduled to bring her Formation World Tour to the Rogers Centre on May 25. She is also scheduled to play Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium on May 20.

The councillors condemnation of Beyoncé’s performance echoed similar remarks from south of the border. Republican Congressman Peter King of New York said on Facebook “her pro-Black Panther and anti-cop video ‘Formation’ and her Super Bowl appearance is just one more example of how acceptable it has become to be anti-police.”

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani called it “outrageous” saying she “used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.” The 71-year-old Giuliani said the whole halftime show was “ridiculous” adding he would have preferred “decent wholesome entertainment.”

Beyoncé hasn’t commented on the specifics of her performance while her rep also declined comment. The NFL has also been silent on the matter.

During the performance, viewed by an estimated 112 million people, Beyoncé’s dancers donned berets, sported Afros and wore all black, similar to the style of the Black Panther party. At one point during their routine, the dancers formed an “X” on the field, which some people are taking as a tribute to slain black activist Malcolm X.

With files from the Associated Press