war resisters on "the current"

From CBC's The Current:
Coming Up: Tuesday - August 10, 2010
(Repeat at 8pm or hear on-line)

According to a new government directive, Canadian immigration officers are now required to report anyone who tries to desert their country's armed forces and come to Canada as conscientious objector. Ottawa says it's the right thing to do since desertion is a crime in Canada too. But critics say it ignores Canada's long history of being a haven for conscientious objectors. We open up that debate.

Radio: CBC Radio One, 99.1 FM in Toronto
Online: here

You can call in or send a comment thanking CBC Radio for covering the issue and offering support to Bill C-440 and war resisters: here.


Timothy said...

You know what REALLY bugs me about this? Desertion from a foreign military IS NOT a crime in Canada. If it was, I wouldn't still be here. Ah, well. I guess we don't need any more of my type in Canada...the hardly unemployed, masters degree earning, taxpaying deserters.

L-girl said...

You know what REALLY bugs me about this? Desertion from a foreign military IS NOT a crime in Canada.

Right! Typical Conservative strategy: lie, lie, lie, and hope you get away with it.

Not this time!

Thank you :)

Boyd M L Reimer said...

On Nov 30, 2004, a couple of weeks after Brian P. Goodman ruled that the illegality/legality of the Iraq war is inadmissible evidence in Jeremy Hinzman's case, Thomas Walkom wrote this:

"In 1995, a [Canadian] federal court judge ruled that a deserter from Saddam Hussein's army was entitled to refugee status because he had been ordered to participate in Iraq's illegal 1990 invasion of Kuwait."

"Citing what he labelled an authoritative text, Judge Arthur Stone wrote, "There is a range of military activity which is simply never permissible in that it violates basic international standards. This includes ... non-defensive incursions into foreign territory.""

"…Canada cited questions of legality to avoid the Iraq war. Why can't [American military resisters]?"

More background and context in the Wikipedia entry for Jeremy Hinzman

Boyd M L Reimer said...

By the way, in Gerard Kennedy's comments in "The Current" show, he mentioned that he knows of some Conservative MPs who are sympathetic.

Does anyone know who they are?

In spite of the whipped (party bloc) vote, it's probably worth a try to try to dialogue with these specific Conservative MPs.

Even if they get kicked out of their party for voting independently, I consider this particular issue worth the sacrifice: This is a life and death issue.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the info, Boyd.

We spent a long time working on Conservative MPs who we felt were reachable on this issue. But the party has been whipped but good on this. It is not a life or death issue to them as it is to us. No one is going to cross the floor over it.

I will also add that we very much want the Liberals to be whipped on this issue, as there are individual Liberal MPs who do not support Bill C-440, but we expect Lib leadership to get their bodies in seats and voting correctly on Sept 27.

So while it may be frustrating that sympathetic Cons will vote against, that's what comes from working within the Parliamentary system, something we want and need to do right now.

L-girl said...

I haven't been able to listen to The Current yet because I'm in the middle of writing something (that I hope is) important, but I heard it was terrific. Can't wait to hear it.

Cornelia said...

Thank you so much Timothy. Very important.

Hopefully the outrageous Government of the Harper Coservatives will soon fall and of course I hope no resisters will be victimized any more in the meantime.

I just sent CBC the following comment:

"It's so abusive and deadwrong that Harper and Kenney and their Government want to bully immigration authorities into reporting resisters and making things even harder for them. And no, desertion from a foreign military is no offense in Canada. Hope the bill that would let them stay will very soon be passed into a law. Let Canada be a refuge from militarism again and don't uphold the abusive and distructive legacy of Canada even after they were sent packing stateside."

Boyd M L Reimer said...

Selected letters sent to the show, The Current, are read on air every Thursday. I think some are from previous weeks shows, so I don't think it's too late for this weeks shows.

That tradition is during the non-summer shows, but I'm not sure about the summer shows. But I personally consider it worth a try.

Letters to the Current should be sent directly to the Current instead of to the general CBC contact. In other words,use this link. Thanks.