Bill C-440 voted down by slim majority

Posted: September 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

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.

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Comments
  1. PAX says:

    Paul: Get a life! this bill was a slap in the face to every Canadian Veteran. These people signed a contract and broke their word. If they truly believed in their cause, they would go home and face the music.

  2. Gord Leslie says:

    I am hoping PAX is a veteran. I suggest PAX read the American Code of Military Justice. There is a bit in there about not obeying an illegal order. We had the same thing in the Canadian Armed Forces. Those conscientious objectors who came north seeking asylum were doing so because they signed a contract that stated that they would uphold, amongst other laws, the Code of Military Justice. For many servicepeople that was their only way of refusing an illegal order.

    PAX might also remember that Michael Ignatieff supported the illegal American invasion of Iraq. (His inept sniveling apology in the NY Times just didn’t hold too much sincerity for me, thank you.) Michael never had to answer the questions those soldiers did, but he’s willing to walk out on them. I have to ask: Where were Michael’s children during that war? Where are they now? I’ll bet they’re were not and are not in uniform.

    BTW: Did you know that of the 308 members of parliament less than ten have military service?

  3. L-girl says:

    Most of the war resisters are veterans, too. The human right to conscience applies to soldiers. Soldiers have a right – and a duty – to refuse illegal orders.

    PAX is merely repeating the current round of Conservative groupthink, which would have us believe that a “signed contract” (which the US military breaks at will) is more important than human life.

  4. Semper Vigilans says:

    My wife and I have a combined 41 years service in the Canadian Forces. When we joined we did so with an understanding that in exchange for possibly laying down our lives for our fellow countrymen, we would have a reasonable expectation that our chain of command, including our federal government, would not place us in a situation that violated international law or forced us to commit war crimes in order to assure our own survival. This expectation is universal to all soldiers who join a volunteer army. The US war resisters were forced into an illegal war. They had every right to refuse these illegal orders.
    PAX, you have it all wrong. The only reason the current government is against granting refuge to the resisters is that they have sold out on the basis of closer political ties to the US. Shameful.

  5. zakimar says:

    Mr. Ignatieff; I understand that almost all politicians want to stay as neutral as possible or take sides with the more powerful and rich people who can most help them with their career. But especially as a leader, you should do what is right and and support Bill C-440. The brave people who are resisting the illegal war and occupation of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan are also leaders that made the right and moral choice even though it was a difficult and unpopular one – you should do the same and you will undoubtedly find that the decent and moral people of Canada will support you just as we support the other war resisters.

    The likes of Harper will go down in history as did Mulroney and Bush, surely it’s far better to be a Trudeau or a Lincoln. As of today, I’m voting NDP as both the Federal Conservatives and Ontario Provincial Liberals are Zionist supporters of APARTHEID Israel and war mongers. Mr. Ignatieff, you have not done enough YET to deserve my support or that of the decent and moral Canadian people and the war mongers and Zionist/racists who support APARTHEID have already decided to support Harper. Mr. Ignatieff, make a principled stand and do the RIGHT thing.

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