In a Canada Border Services Agency internal report obtained by The Globe and Mail, officials claim the MP advised an organizer of the concert to have the musicians misstate the reason for their visit to Canada.
In an interview on Monday, Mr. Karygiannis confirmed he got involved in the matter. He acknowledged the musicians were in town to perform at the concert, adding that the event fell within a 40-day mourning period after his father’s death in late January.
“There was a song dedicated to my dad [during the concert],” the MP for Scarborough-Agincourt said.
However, he denied telling officials the musicians were coming to perform at his father’s wake or funeral, as two CBSA officials claim in the report.
The five musicians encountered problems at customs on Feb. 13. Initially, they said they were not acquainted with one another and were in town to visit different people, according to the report. In fact, Ms. Stanisi was travelling with her brother Michail, as well as three other musicians: Ioannis Dimou, Vasilios Saganas and Dimitrios Bampalis. The report does not say why officials stopped them.
After searching the Internet, federal officials found the quintet was booked to perform at an event organized by Hellas News, a Toronto-area Greek-language media outlet.
“When confronted with this, the band ... continued to deny that they were coming to perform,” said the report, written by the CBSA’s Kristopher Chartrand. “The singer finally admitted that she was coming to sing but was instructed to lie about her intentions by the person who invited her to perform.”