Bill C-440, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (war resisters) failed to make it through second reading Wednesday evening by a vote of 143-136. The bill would have allowed conscientious objectors to non-UN sanctioned wars to seek refuge in Canada on humanitarian or compassionate grounds. Clearly, a majority of the MPs present lack humanity and compassion.
I was surprised that this bill didn’t pass. On two previous occasions, a majority of MPs voted to support non-binding resolutions in support of allowing war resisters to remain in Canada. With a reported 64 per cent of Canadians supporting war resisters, I thought the bill had a pretty good chance for success. Silly me.
This is not the Canada I grew up in and this is not the Canada I wish for my children and grandchildren. An ugly shadow is creeping across the land; mean-spirited and fearful men and women are undermining our rights and freedoms and transforming our country into a cog in the U.S. imperial machine.
Shame on them!
And shame on us if we allow this set-back to weaken our resolve to work for peace and to support war resisters who seek refuge here.
If you haven’t already done so, go to the War Resisters Support Campaign web site and see what you can do to help out. We must not let this go without a fight.