5.29.2008

big breaking news!! motion in support of u.s. war resisters being read right now!!

RIGHT NOW NDP Members of Parliament Olivia Chow and Bill Siksay are introducing our motion to the House of Commons.

I haven't been able to say anything about this until it actually happened. But here we go!

This is the motion that passed in the Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in December through a united opposition. It reads:
The Committee recommends that the government immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members (partners and dependents), who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations and do not have a criminal record, to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and that the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions that may have already commenced against such individuals.

Debate is going on right now. I will post more as I know.

This motion is not binding on the Government: it cannot compel them to act. However, with a united Opposition voting for it, and a minority Government weakened and wracked by scandal, can they refuse to act? Will they blatantly thwart the will of the Canadian people?

14 comments:

L-girl said...

Only a few people from the campaign who were able to know about this in advance went to Ottawa. The rest of us have been watching the debate on CPAC.

Right now a Tory has introduced a motion to proceed with the business of the day - a stall tactic. So we're waiting out a 30-min clock. Either our motion will be scuttled right now or debate and questions will proceed.

It's very tense!!!!

L-girl said...

The clock ran down, the House of Commons voted NOT to proceed with business, but to continue debate and questions on our motion.

We are going to get this thing.

Scott M. said...

What was with all the secrecy? The text of the third report of CIMM (ie. the motion request) has been available on-line since December here.

Was it just the timing of when the report would be presented to the house?

Soldier Say No! said...

This is great, Laura! Thanks for the updates. Very exciting. The great work of the War Resisters Support Campaign (and friends) is bearing fruit. The will of the Canadian people is actually being manifested in Parliament. U.S. war resisters refused to fight in a horrible, illegal, immoral, imperialist war. LET THEM STAY!

Anyone with celebratory news or comments please free to email me at projectsafehaven@hotmail.com or call me at 206-499-1220.

I will be getting the word out to many supporters in the U.S.

for peace and justice,
Gerry Condon

206-499-1220
projectsafehaven@hotmail.com

Jen said...

Oh my god they are still debating! I read this earlier and thought "Oooo I want to watch, but I have to study..." Now I flipped past & CPAC is on, and man, this is SO exciting!! Look, I'm all rambly!

redsock said...

The Conservatives are such assholes.

They ask a question, it gets answered, then they say the question hasn't been answered, so they ask it again. It gets answered again, and they say we're waiting for an answer. It gets answered again. They say when will I get an answer? ... On and on and on ...

(In other words, when it comes to mounting any sort of rational or logic counterargument to the motion, they got nothin'.)

Also, if they actually followed through on all of the shit they were spewing, they would be forcefully demanding that Canada immediately withdraw from the United Nation and from all international treaties concerning conduct of war, rules of peacekeeping, rights of refugees, etc.

L-girl said...

The debate was great. Olivia Chow and Bill Siksay were both excellent, as was Maurizio Bevilacqua, Liberal Immigration Critic, and several other Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs.

As Allan said, the Tories just repeated the same thing over and over and over. They got nothin'.

Several opposition MPs noted that the Tories would really like to see an end to immigration and the refugee board entirely.

L-girl said...

re-posted with typos corrected!

Scott, I've been blogging about - and we've all been campaigning about - the resolution for months.

I was at the hearing in December where it passed, posted about it immediately, and have been writing about it constantly since. It's on this blog in about a dozen places. So obviously the secrecy had nothing to do with the text of the resolution.

However, there have been very important meetings with key Liberal MPs and Critics about their position - whether or not they would support the motion, and when the motion would be brought.

That had to be very secret, at the express wish of those MPs. Very few people in the campaign knew about it, and it had to be kept super quiet.

The rest of us (almost everyone, including me) were brought in at the very end.

A few days ago, I was alerted that something was going to happen, to get ready to post, but I didn't know the details. I knew it was something big, and very positive, so I kind of guessed, but couldn't say more.

Scott M. said...

Coolio! I hope all goes well on Monday. I just wish it was binding!

jeff house said...

If it passes, it will be MORALLY binding.

The government's authority comes from the Canadian people.

If their elected representatives pass this, the government HAS to listen.

There is a clear choice between representing Canadians, or representing George Bush and his cabal.

If this passes, and the government doesn't comply, peaceful civil disobedience should be considered.

L-girl said...

Jeff, thank you for your comment. I'm holding my breath until this passes - but I'm fully prepared to go further if it doesn't. I know many Canadians will feel the same way.

L-girl said...

If you're joining this thread in progress and you're new to the blog, to the main page for the most recent update.

kim_in_to said...

Thanks for keeping us all updated! I wonder if I can hold my breath until next week...

Cornelia said...

Motion has been passed in Parliament and though the Harper Government is still strongly against it, there have been not only some court victories in the meantime but also a lot of work for a progressive coalition and we stand a fair chance (hopefully!) that the Harper Government be proved pay day at the ballot and voted out of office and get sent packing in not too distant a time, hopefully already by January. That would remedy our just grievances, right? Let's keep in mind that democracy is government by the people, for the people and of the people and that governments derive their authority from the just consent of the governed and that the ballot is a pivotal right protective of other rights. And redress is urgent! I just wrote again to Kenney (cc'ing the opposition critics, including Ms. Olivia Chow, haha), quoting a great article by John Hagan, which Laura has just posted at the top, and added these points:

What do you say now, Mr. Kenney?
This should be pretty hard to explain for you, I guess. No worries, you need not justify yourself getting back to me at all - unless you or your coworkers of course choose, too. But it might be a good idea to reconsider your policy and to let the war resisters stay. There's probably an election soon to come in January, and Canadians will get to decide at the ballot and most of them don't favor your policy. Yes, I know the people working at the IRB can get some guidelines from your ministry - much as we might oppose them in this case but due to checks and balances, the courts can make their own decisions and some courts have stood up and protected the war resisters and the will of Parliament and of the majority of the population. They obviously have a different estimation from yours and they have stressed some very relevant points that might be well worth taking into account. These courts haven't come to their conclusions without ample reason.
I really regret that you are so determined to have the war resisters deported, even more than Ms. Finley. Maybe the consideration that Bush will be sent packing by January and Obama and his Administration might less push the issue could help you to reconsider your policy, too.

Wow! I bet this letter made the guy way less happy than the opposition critics, haha! And Happy New Year!!! I hope for a terrific and very successful New Year, haha!