Canadian opposition lawmakers urged the government to freeze deportations of U.S. soldiers who fled to Canada after refusing to fight in Iraq, passing a non-binding resolution to pressure Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Opposition parties with a majority of seats in Parliament asked the government to allow "conscientious objectors" to wars not sanctioned by the United Nations, such as the Iraq conflict, to apply for permanent resident status. The resolution urges the Conservative Party government to stop deportations ordered by immigration tribunals. The motion passed by 137 to 110, with the Conservatives voting against.
Harper, who came to power in 2006 promising improved relations with the U.S., hasn't tried to overturn any tribunal decisions ordering U.S. resisters deported. Today's vote conjures up controversial images from the Vietnam War era, when Canada took in thousands of Americans seeking to avoid being drafted or serving when called.
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