Pressure renewed on Harper government to implement votes of Canadian Parliament
By War Resisters Support Campaign. April 20, 2009
TORONTO—On Tuesday afternoon the Federal Court of Canada granted Kimberly Rivera leave to appeal the decision in her Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). The Federal Court will hear the appeal on July 8.
[A few weeks ago Kimberly Rivera was hours away from being the third US Iraq War resister forced to leave Canada. Robin Long is currently jailed near San Diego, California, while Cliff Cornell is facing a general courts-martial and years in prison next week. -Courage to Resist]
The War Resisters Support Campaign is renewing its call on the federal government to implement the motion that was passed by Parliament on June 3, 2008 and again on March 30, 2009.
“Regardless of Jason Kenney’s personal animosity toward those who’ve refused to fight George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, the majority of Canadians want these war resisters to stay in Canada,” said Michelle Robidoux. “Parliament has voted twice to let them stay and if Stephen Harper were committed to fairness and justice like most Canadians, he’d implement the vote of Parliament today.”
Kimberly Rivera is the first female Iraq War resister to seek refuge in Canada. Kimberly, along with her partner Mario, son Christian (7 years old) and daughter Rebecca (4 years old), fled to Canada in January 2007 when Kimberly refused redeployment. In late November 2008 Kimberly gave birth to her Canadian daughter Katie (5 months old). She served in Iraq in 2006 and experienced, firsthand, the reality of this illegal war.
“I want to stay in Canada, with my family, because the Iraq War is immoral, illegal and I couldn’t in good conscience go back,” said Kimberly Rivera. “The amount of support I’m getting from Canadians is amazing. The parents of my kids’ friends, MPs and even strangers on the street keep telling me that they can’t believe the votes in Parliament aren’t being respected.”
Last June, a public opinion poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies found widespread approval for the House of Commons’ vote in support of war resisters. Sixty-four per cent of Canadians, and a majority of voters in every region of the country, agree that the federal government should immediately stop the deportation of Iraq War resisters and establish a program to facilitate their requests for permanent resident status.