And I’m not referring to the prorogation perogative he was granted in order to avoid a motion of nonconfidence in Parliament.
No, I’m talking about the resolution Parliament passed in June, 2008, the one that says, “conscientious objectors to wars not sanctioned by the Security Council of the United Nations” should not be deported from Canada. An Angus Reid poll conducted in June 2008 showed that 63 percent of Canadians (that number again!) agreed with allowing war resisters to stay in Canada. That’s likely because they know the US invasion of Iraq was not sanctioned by the Security Council of the United Nations and is, therefore, an illegal war. Refresh your memory here.
Harper, however, doesn’t have to listen to Parliament, eh? Cuz he’s the Supreme Being, apparently; he is above the law and certainly above the whims of a majority of Parliament, or so it seems.
Needless to say, I was a little miffed when this landed in my inbox today. (Note: There is an action item at the bottom of this post.)
War Resister Cliff Cornell Told to Leave Canada by Christmas Eve
Rivera Family to Get Decision on January 7
Toronto — In the latest of a series of deportation orders, Citizenship and
Immigration Canada has told war resister Cliff Cornell, of Nanaimo, BC, that
he must leave Canada by December 24, or face removal by force. Cliff,
originally from Arkansas, arrived in Canada in January 2005. He currently
works as an Assistant Manager of a retail store near Nanaimo, where he has
an excellent work record.
Cliff’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. Like them, Cliff has begun to build a peaceful and
productive life in Canada and hopes to stay in his new country.
War resister Kim Rivera will receive a decision on January 7. Kim served in
the US Army in Iraq. She came to Canada with her husband, Mario, and their
two children, Christian (6) and Rebecca (4) in early 2007. Kim had a new
Canadian-born baby, Katie, on November 23, 2008.
The War Resisters Support Campaign continues to call upon the Harper
government to implement the will of Parliament, as expressed in a House of
Commons motion adopted on June 3, 2008. The motion recommended that
“…conscientious objectors to wars not sanctioned by the Security Council of
the United Nations,” such as the Iraq War, 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 of Canada to stop deportation proceedings
against all of the war resisters here.
I was further miffed when I called the office of the Minister Responsible to voice my concerns about this and the receptionist would not refer me to anyone who could speak about the issue to me. She had been ordered to not refer telephone calls on this issue to anyone except the call centre.
I am not the only one concerned about this matter. Sandra Finley, former leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, a woman who is going to court for her refusal to fill out a census form that would be processed by Lockheed Martin, an arms manufacturer, had an earlier conversation with a Kenney Executive Assistant who claimed to know nothing about the Parliamentary resolution,
I spoke with Ministerial Assistant to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney,:
Essentially I was talking with someone who knows very little about something
he should know a lot about.
It is disconcerting, to know that people in the Minister’s office, in the
Canadian Dept of Immigration, where this has been an on-going issue for a
long time, do not know the most basic of information.
I won’t go into all the details. Some of the back-and-forth:
Lyntner: – no, I am not aware of anything passed by the House of Commons
(that would prohibit the deportations).
(I supplied the date and nature of the motion passed, and mentioned that
the deportees are people who resisted an illegal war.)
Lyntner: – who says it was illegal?
Me: – I don’t believe you would challenge the fact that the Bush
Administration used lies as the basis for dropping bombs on Iraq? There
were no weapons of mass destruction, as claimed. And I don’t think you
would challenge the fact that the U. N Security Council refused to sanction
the war? … okay. There are international laws that prohibit a state from
just dropping bombs on other countries.
Lyntner: – at some point in all this he says “well, that’s your OPINION
that the war was illegal”.
Me: - International Humanitarian Law, also known as the Law on Wars
makes it illegal. It is not my opinion. It is IN FACT an illegal war.
Lyntner: – well who passed that law? A country has to sign these laws
before they are binding.
Me: – The United Nations passed the various conventions that make up
International Humanitarian Law and Canada is signatory to those treaties.
Google “International Humanitarian Law” or “Law of War” – you can find it
Lyntner: – There are many different agencies (how can it be “international”
Me: I am aware that there are many different agencies. But they all fall
under the rubric of the UN. There are International Laws that clearly make
the War on Iraq an illegal war.
Harper doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his own power. We, as compassionate Canadians do and are taking action:
Contact Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney and ask him to:
• STOP deportation proceedings against U.S. Iraq war resisters, including
Cliff Cornell and Kim Rivera and her family; and
• IMPLEMENT the motion adopted by Canada’s Parliament to allow U.S. Iraq war
resisters to apply for permanent resident status.
Here are the numbers to call:
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney
MP Jason Kenney’s Parliamentary office:
Or email him at:
Please cc the opposition party critics if you email Jason Kenney:
Liberal party immigration critic Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow: email@example.com
Bloc Québécois immigration critic Thierry St-Cyr: firstname.lastname@example.org.