Update: Iraq War Resisters in Canada

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The Harper government continues to defy the will of Parliament by continuing to sanction the deportation of war resisters.

Worse, new Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has stated “they are not genuine refugees and do not fall under internationally accepted definitions of people in need of protection” (Toronto Sun: Jan. 2, 2009) and that they are “bogus refugee claimants.”

It is feared that such statements may bias the Immigration and Refugee Board decisions as Board members are appointed by Cabinet. They could reasonably conclude that if they do not conform to Mr. Kenney’s opinions, they will not be re-appointed.

In the week leading up to the opening of Parliament, the War Resisters Support Campaign promoted “Let Them Stay Week.” They encouraged supporters of war resisters to lobby politicians, especially Conservative Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, to stop the deportations of war resisters.

At that time, five resisters were facing deportation: Chris Teske, Cliff Cornel, Patrick Hart, Dean Walcott, and Kim Rivera, the mother of three young children, including a new-born.

Patrick, Dean and Kim have been granted stays of removal pending a review of their cases by the Courts.

Chris Teske and Cliff Cornel have not been so lucky. They were both denied stays of removal and ordered out of the country just days before Parliament opened.

Chris has left Canada voluntarily. His current whereabouts and status are unknown.

Cliff arrived at the Canada-U.S. border Wednesday Feb. 4 and surrendered himself to U.S. border police. Notwithstanding the fact that he was willing to fully comply with U.S. laws and turn himself in to his former unit at Fort Stewart, he was placed under arrest and is now being held at Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham, Washington. He faces possible court martial and jail time because he refused to participate in the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.

On Tuesday February 10, Jeremy Hinzman, the very first Iraq war resister to seek refuge in Canada, will be in Court where the decision to deny his appeal will be reviewed.

On Thursday, February 12, Toronto MP Olivia Chow will re-introduce the motion in the Citizenship and Immigration Committee calling on the government to stop the deportation of war resisters and allow them and their families to stay in Canada as permanent residents.

Please keep putting pressure on politicians in ALL the political parties to demand an end to the deportations!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Phone: (613) 992-4211
E-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney
Call 613.954.1064 (Ministry office)
613.992.2235 (Parliamentary Office)
E-mail: minister@cic.gc.ca or Kenney.j@parl.gc.ca

Please cc the opposition party critics:

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