Canada

Canadian Parliament fails to pass war resister bill

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Campaign to continue to fight for status for Iraq War resisters

War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada). September 29, 2010

OTTAWA--Despite support by the majority of Canadians for US Iraq War resisters, Bill C-440 An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (war resisters) - failed to pass at second reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening. While the bill received strong support from a large majority of opposition members of parliament, it needed 7 more votes to pass.

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Sanctuary: Rodney Watson takes refuge in Vancouver church

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"Stop-lossed" Iraq War veteran Rodney Watson takes sanctuary at the First United Church in Vancouver, Canada to resist deportation back to the U.S. and Army desertion charges. Take action: Sign the "Dear Canada: Let them stay" letter.

By John Bermingham, Vancouver Province. October 19, 2009

U.S. army deserter Rodney Watson has become the first fugitive from service in Iraq to enter church sanctuary in Canada. Monday morning, the 31-year-old told reporters he has been living in refuge at the First United Church in Vancouver since Sept. 18. "I don't believe it will be just for me to be deported," said Watson, flanked by church ministers and supporters. Watson lost his refugee claim on Sept. 11, and was expecting to be deported back to the U.S., where he faces jail for refusing to do a second tour of duty in Iraq.

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We won’t go back

By Maggie Gilmour, Toronto Life. June 12, 2009

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Phil McDowell, 29; Patrick Hart, 35; Chuck Wiley, 37; Dean Walcott, 27; Kimberly Rivera, 27

To avoid serving in Iraq, 300 American soldiers have left their homes and families and fled to Canada, 75 of them to Toronto. Many assumed they’d get a visa, settle down and live a normal life. But the federal government has rejected their refugee claims and ordered them deported. Some go into hiding; others wait for appeals and judicial reviews of their cases. In the meantime, they’ve put down roots, taking temp jobs and raising children, nostalgic for a time when Canada was a haven for conscientious objectors.

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Resister speaks from prison: Let GI resisters stay in Canada

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By Robin Long. March 24, 2009

In 2004 when Jeremy Hinzman applied for refugee status in Canada the Conservative government stepped in at his Refugee Hearing and said that evidence challenging the legality of the war in Iraq can’t be used in this case. The U.N. Handbook for Refugees and the Nuremburg Principals say:

a soldier of an army that is involved in an illegal war of aggression has a higher international duty to refuse service. They also have the right to seek refugee protection in any country that is signatory to the Geneva Convention.

By refusing to allow him, and by precedent all other claimants, the right to use the argument that the war was illegal, the decision closed the door on that legal avenue for refugee protection.

Also: Members of Canadian Parliament visit Robin Long in jail

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I'll have a "draught dodger!"; Resisters in Canada overview

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War resister Kimberly Rivera and family

By Mike Ferner. April 8, 2009

For the second time in 10 months, Canada’s House of Commons told Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government, including Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, to stop deporting U.S. soldiers resisting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The vote united the three opposition parties, the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and the New Democratic Party in a close 129-125 vote.

Two weeks ago, the War Resisters Support Campaign rallied for former Army soldier, Kimberly Rivera, the first female U.S. soldier to go to Canada. Nearly 100 people filled the chairs and lined the aisles at the Steelworkers hall in Toronto for Rivera, her husband and three children, the youngest born in Canada six months ago.

The morning after the March 25 rally, Rivera was due to be deported back to the U.S. to face an Army court martial, but Federal Judge James Russell agreed with Rivera’s argument that resisters who speak out against the war publicly in Canada receive harsher sentences, and granted her a temporary stay.

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Members of Canadian Parliament visit GI resister Robin Long in jail

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Two Canadian Parliament members on Sunday visited a U.S. Army deserter being held in a brig in San Diego after unsuccessfully trying to seek refuge in Canada.

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Canadian Members of Parliament Visit Iraq War Resister in Jail

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Published by the San Diego Union Tribune

SAN DIEGO: Two Canadian Parliament members yesterday visited a U.S. Army deserter being held in a brig at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station after he unsuccessfully tried to seek refuge in Canada.

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Call Canada to let U.S. war resisters stay

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Cliff Cornell and Chris Teske ordered to leave Canada by Friday, Jan. 23

Courage to Resist. January 26, 2009 update

The Conservative government of Canada moving swiftly to deport five U.S. war resisters and their families by the end of next week!

Phone Canadian officials Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to tell them you support war resisters. Please ask them to stop the deportation proceedings against all U.S. Iraq War Resisters; and implement the June 2008 Parliamentary motion to allow war resisters to apply for Permanent Resident status in Canada.

The War Resister Support Campaign (Canada) is currently in the midst of Canada-wide actions to support U.S. war resisters living in Canada. Please join these efforts. The idea is to keep those phones ringing!

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney
Phone 613-954-1064 (Ministry office) and/or 613-992-2235 (Parliamentary Office)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Phone 613-992-4211

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"Please don't deport the war resisters"

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Update: Cliff Cornell's deportation from Canada has been deferred until January 22. A number of resisters now face deportation in January and February (link: We Move to Canada)

By the Costas-Mirza Family, Toronto, Canada. December 21, 2008

Dear Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ),

Mr. Kenney, our family urges you to act in the spirit of this Holiday Season and take immediate action to stop the deportations of US war resisters Cliff Cornell and Kim Rivera (photos right) and her family.

Cliff has been told to leave Canada soon. In a few weeks, Kim and her family will likely be told to leave as well. Cliff is a quiet, hardworking young man who came to Canada in 2005 because he refused to serve in the illegal, immoral war in Iraq. He joined the US Army in 2002, before the invasion.

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Jeremy Hinzman granted Canada deportation stay

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September 23, 2008

The first U.S. Army deserter to seek refugee status in Canada, Jeremy Hinzman, was scheduled for deportation today, however, Crown Justice Richard Mosley granted a stay on the deportation order.

Hinzman's lawyer, Alyssa Manning, had argued that "evidence suggests U.S. soldiers who have spoken out against the 2003 U.S.-led Iraq invasion have been facing more punishment than other deserters." Furthermore, Manning stated that the immigration officer had not properly assessed the hardship Jeremy and his family would endure.

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Amnesty International issues alert on behalf of Jeremy Hinzman

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PUBLIC
AI Index: AMR 20/005/2008 11
September 2008

UA 253/08 Possible Prisoner of Conscience
CANADA Jeremy Hinzman (m), conscientious objector

On 23 September, the Canadian authorities intend to deport US serviceman Jeremy Hinzman, his wife, son and one-month-old daughter. Jeremy Hinzman fled to Canada to avoid being sent to Iraq because of his conscientious objection to the war there. If they deport him, he risks being court-martialled and jailed for between one and five years. If convicted, Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.

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