Thursday, January 8, 2009

U.S. War Resisters Deported – Time to Get Angry

When our governments enact legislation or pursue political policies it reflects on all of us, we are after all a democratic country. And when our elected officials ignore the public will on important issues we need to get active and involved in the political process. But we don’t, most are happy to grumble, moan and bitch.

“Do something? You can’t fight city hall, they’re going to do what they’re going to do”.

But we are city hall, we are the government, Canada is not a dictatorship.

By and large Canada is viewed by the international community as a fair and reasonable nation, with citizens who are tolerant and kind. We’re proud of our reputation, and well we should be. When the U.S. called upon us to join them in invading Iraq we rightfully refused. Had Stephen Harper been our Prime Minister at that time you can be certain we would be seeing even more of our brave soldiers killed in combat, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back when he was leader of the opposition Harper went on U.S. television and said that Canadians strongly support the Iraq war and that we should be taking part. (Story Here)

Canada’s reputation is being tested right now, in the case of U.S. war resisters who have fled to this country seeking refuge from prosecution and imprisonment for refusing military duty in Iraq. How do Canadians feel about these war resisters? According to polling done by Angus Reid we’re overwhelmingly in favour of granting them permanent residence. Our own parliament adopted a resolution that called on the Government of Canada to allow U.S. conscientious objectors to stay in Canada and to halt all deportation proceedings: NEWS WIRE STORY HERE

Enough said right? The people have spoken and our government acts accordingly. Not so, not in Stephen Harper’s Canada. We’ve had Prime Ministers in the past who have had the courage to disagree with our American friends and to back it up with action. Love him or hate him Pierre Trudeau had the cajones to stand up to the U.S. and grant asylum to Vietnam War resisters. He even maintained Canadian relations with Cuba despite a U.S. trade embargo and loud protestations from the U.S. State Department.

I know there are a minority of Canadians who would like to see these brave men and women deported back to the U.S. for refusing to fight in Iraq. Some seem to think that once a soldier signs on the dotted line, that they must obey orders regardless of their own personal moral compass. Thankfully that’s a minority, and hopefully there will be a welcoming place for these brave war resisters to come and stay. And there will be once we get the Canadian Government to recognize and act on the collective will of the majority of people in this supposedly (sic) democratic country.

What can we do? Start by visiting “War Resisters Support Campaign” where there’s plenty of suggestions for action such as:


Tell them you want them to:
• immediately cease all deportation proceedings against US Iraq war resisters in Canada
• implement the motion adopted by the House of Commons on June 3rd, 2008 by creating a program that would allow US Iraq war resisters to apply for permanent resident status in Canada


Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper's constituency office:

Or email him at:

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley

MP Diane Finley’s constituency office (Simcoe):

Or email her at:

Comments are welcomed, I read them all. Feel free to pass this blog entry along via email or through a social network like FaceBook, just click on the ‘Share This’ icon below.


No comments: