Thursday, June 12, 2008
Public Employees Union Presses Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Allow U.S. War Resisters to Remain in Canada
James Clancy calls on minority Conservative government to respect the will of Parliament and stop the deportation of Corey Glass
Ottawa (9 June 2008) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is asking the Harper government to honour a House of Commons motion that clears U.S. Iraq war resisters and their families to live permanently in Canada.
The non-binding parliamentary motion was approved June 3 with support from all three opposition parties by a margin of 137 to 110. Conservative MPs opposed the motion and the minority government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated it will ignore parliament on the issue.
The War Resisters Support Campaign, based in Toronto, estimates that as many as 200 American soldiers have come to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq. Many of those active in the campaign are resisters who were granted refuge in Canada during the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 1970s.In a letter to Harper, NUPGE president James Clancy urged Harper to intervene in the case of Corey Glass, who has been in Canada for the past two years. His application for citizenship on "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds was denied on May 21 and the Canadian Border Services Agency has ordered him to be deported on June 12.
"From all indications, your government is planning to ignore the democratic will of the House of Commons," Clancy wrote. "I am urging you and your government to reconsider this position. This is a matter of some urgency. The war resisters have taken a principled stand against participating in an illegal and disastrous war in Iraq. Their reasons echo those that Canada used when it, too, refused to participate in this war," Clancy said.
"Canada must continue to act to honour its own principles and maintain our status in the world community as a peace-building nation. We should quickly welcome the young men and women and their families who have come here to live in peace and who are already starting to contribute to our country's future," he said. Clancy urged Harper to "act now to make it possible" for the resisters to stay in Canada by:
● Stopping the deportation of people of conscience who have resisted an illegal war; and
● Supporting the democratic decision of the House of Commons and the will of the Canadian people.
National Union of Public and General Employees
More information:● War Resisters Support Campaign