Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Response from Canada

I sent off a series of letters to various officials in Canada urging them to let war resisters stay in Canada. Here is my email:

I am writing today to ask you to work to see that US war resisters are resettled and allowed to stay in Canada. These are people of high moral values, and their resistance to an illegal and immoral war of occupation is to be commended. I am an American and Canadian citizen - I am very upset over what the current American government is doing, and I hope the Canadian government never does such evil things as the American government does. I want Canada to stay morally and ethically strong..... and these war resisters can help Canada do that.
Thank you.
I got a response (by email) from the leader of the Liberal Party in Canada. Here it is:
Thank you for your recent letter expressing support for having American war resisters recognized as refugees in Canada.

Five years ago, the pervious Liberal government made a principled decision not to participate in the Iraq War, a war that was not sanctioned by the United Nations (UN). We should not now punish individuals and their families for making the same decision based on their personal principles.

On June 3, 2008, the House of Commons passed a motion supporting the report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration which calls on the government to allow conscientious objectors, and their immediate family members, who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the UN and who do not have a criminal record to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada. The motion also stipulates that the government should not proceed with any action against any war resister who currently faces deportation.

The Conservatives have a choice: they are not compelled to force these people to go back to a country where they may face prosecution under military law, or may be permanently branded for making a principled decision.

Stephen Harper has indicated that, had he been Prime Minister in 2003, Canada would have participated in the Iraq war. The Hon. Stephane Dion hopes that the fact that Mr. Harper got it wrong will not prevent him from showing compassion for those who made the right decision.

Thank you for taking the time to share your views on this important issue.


The Office of the Honourable St├ęphane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

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