The invitation-only event titled a "Conversation with George W Bush" attracted close to 2,000 guests who paid $3,100 per table. Bush received two standing ovations from the predominantly business crowd. About 200 protested outside the event; four of them were arrested. Some protesters threw shoes at an effigy of Bush, a reference to the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoes at the former president during a December news conference in Baghdad.
"He shouldn't be able to go anywhere in the world and just present himself as a private citizen," protest organiser Peggy Askin said. "We do not have any use for bringing war criminals into this country. It's an affront." While Bush is unpopular in Canada, he is less so in oil-rich Alberta, the country's most conservative province and one sometimes called the Texas of the north. "This is my maiden voyage. My first speech since I was the president of the United States and I couldn't think of a better place to give it than Calgary, Canada," Bush said.
Image: Former US President George W Bush speaks with former Canadian Ambassador to the United States Frank McKenna at an invitation-only event titled a 'Conversation with George W Bush' on March 17, 2009 in Calgary, Canada.Iraqi shoe thrower jailed for 3 years