12.18.2008

send holiday wishes to jason kenney

Last week, I told you that war resister Cliff Cornell has received a deportation date of December 24. Yes, it's true, the grinchy government will remove this peaceful, productive resident of Canada on Christmas Eve, so he can spend Christmas day in a U.S. military prison.

Yesterday, the campaign issued a press release about Cliff, and we got good response from the mainstream media.
The War Resisters Support Campaign says Citizenship and Immigration Canada has told a U.S. deserter living in Nanaimo, B.C., that he must leave Canada by Dec. 24 or face removal by force.

Cliff Cornell, originally from Arkansas, arrived in Canada in January, 2005. He currently works as an assistant manager of a retail store near Nanaimo.

Mr. Cornell's deportation order comes after similar orders for war resisters Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman and his family, Patrick Hart and his family, Matt Lowell and Dean Walcott.

The group says in a release that another, Kim Rivera, will receive a decision on Jan. 7. Ms. Rivera served with the U.S. Army in Iraq and came to Canada with her husband, Mario, and their two children in early 2007.

The War Resisters Support Campaign said it is calling on the federal government to implement a motion adopted by Parliament on June 3, 2008.

The motion recommended that "conscientious objectors to wars not sanctioned by the Security Council of the United Nations" be allowed to remain in Canada and apply for permanent resident status.

It was adopted by a vote of 137-110 and also directed the government to stop deportation proceedings against war resisters and deserters living in Canada.

The Federal Court is to hear an appeal by Jeremy Hinzman against his deportation order on Feb. 10, 2009.

"Minister Jason Kenney should stop all deportations, at least until the Federal Court has completed the Hinzman appeal," said Lee Zaslofsky, co-ordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign. "It would be a travesty if war resisters were deported, especially over the holidays, only to have the court find that they should be given another chance to apply to stay in Canada."

As the story says, my friend Kimberly Rivera, one of a few female war resisters in Canada, will receive the final decision in her appeal to stay on January 7. We expect to add Kim's name to the ever-growing list of deportation orders.

Kim has been living in the Parkdale section of Toronto with her husband and two children since 2006 - except now they are a family of five, as Kim gave birth to Katie Marie at the end of November.

So, in early January, we expect the Harper Government to issue a deportation order against a nursing mother with a new infant. Kim's only "crime" is that she saw the true face of the US occupation of Iraq, and she chose peace.

Is this the kind of Canada we want?

None of these deportations need to take place. The presence of a few peaceful, working, legal residents of Canada hurts no one. At the very least, we need all deportations to cease until Jeremy Hinzman's appeal is heard on February 10.

The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on our supporters to send a holiday greeting to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. If you celebrate Christmas, perhaps you will refer to another new mother, a woman who was "great with child," and for whom "there was no room at the inn".

Your holiday email to Mr. Kenney can be very brief, and it should be respectful. Tell him to Let Them Stay!

Please also cc the Citizenship and Immigration critics, along with the Campaign.

TO: Jason Kenney: minister@cic.gc.ca or kenney.j@parl.gc.ca

CC: Borys Wrzesnewskyj: wrzesnewskyj.b@parl.gc.ca
CC: Olivia Chow: chow.o@parl.gc.ca
CC: Thierry St-Cyr: st-cyr.t@parl.gc.ca
CC: War Resisters Support Campaign: resisters@sympatico.ca


Feel free to post your email in comments here, so other readers can get some ideas. Thank you!

1 comment:

M@ said...

I saw a headline on the GO Train today about the Christmas Eve deportation order -- and it was attributed to the War Resisters Support Campaign! Great that the message is getting out there, and is being received by the media. The next step is to get the government to hear the message.