From last night's press release:
This morning, Canadians will gather outside of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office in Mississauga to demonstrate the support of the majority of Canadians for the House of Commons' June 2008 motion that directed the Government of Canada to let US war resisters remain here as permanent residents. During the rally, US Iraq War resisters will be presented with the new Citizens' Citation for Peace.
According to a CIC advisory, The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, will preside over a citizenship ceremony in honour of the recipients of the 2008 Citation for Citizenship. Canadian supporters of Iraq War resisters will use this pubic appearance by the Minister to remind him that the majority of Canadians want the Harper government to immediately end its discrimination against war resisters from the US that has no basis in Canadian law.
On June 3, 2008 the House of Commons passed a motion calling on the Government of Canada to immediately cease all deportation proceedings against U.S. Iraq War resisters and their immediate families and create a program to facilitate them staying in Canada as permanent residents. The Harper government ignored the motion when it deported Robin Long, who had been living in British Columbia, in July. Long was subsequently court-martialed, sentenced to 15 months in prison and given a felony conviction that will cause him hardship for the rest of his life. He has been separated from his Canadian partner and infant son and is currently imprisoned for being a conscientious objector.
Since then, two other Iraq War resisters who had been living in BC have been forced back to the U.S. after exhausting all avenues of appeal through the normal immigration channels. These deportations took place despite Parliament voting to stop the deportation of U.S. Iraq War resisters.
Last month, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney revealed the federal government's blanket opposition to U.S. Iraq War resisters by labelling them "bogus refugee claimants." The Minister’s blatantly prejudicial comments have been denounced by Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Council for Refugees.
A public opinion poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies last June found that 64 per cent of Canadians, including a majority of voters in every region of the country, agree with the House of Commons' call for a specific program to facilitate permanent resident status for the war resisters.
EVENT: Rally in Support War Resisters and Citizens' Citation for Peace Presentation outside of Citizenship and Immigration Canada office
DATE: Friday, February 27, 2009
TIME: 10:00 a.m.
LOCATION: 75 Watline Avenue, Mississauga (south of the 401, east of Hurontario)