3.26.2009

breaking news: parliament to debate war resisters this morning

[Allan Guest Post]

Right now -- Parliament begins three hours of debate that will include debate on the motion to allow Iraq war resisters from the US (and their families) to remain in Canada and apply for permanent residence.

The motion was originally passed in June 2008, but ignored by the minority Harper government in a flagrant disavowal of democracy.

Olivia Chow of the NDP will read letters of support for war resisters, including a statement written by deported war resister Robin Long, now serving a 15-month sentence in a US military brig in San Diego.

Tune in if you can.

As Laura noted in her post earlier this morning, a vote on the motion will come as early as tomorrow, or possibly Tuesday. This will be a re-affirmation of the motion that passed in the House of Commons last June:
...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.

While passing the non-binding motion is a symbolic action, it will demonstrate once again the clear support the war resisters have among a majority of Canadians.

If Prime Minister Stephen Harper believes Canada should be a democracy and not a country ruled by his personal opinions, he will follow the majority of the House of Commons and implement the motion.