Who killed Bill C-440, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to permit war resisters to remain in Canada? Well the numbers are in and the culprit is Michael Ignatieff and 17 of his colleagues who voted with their feet and left the House prior to the vote. Here are the numbers.
Source: How’d They Vote?
C-440 was sponsored by Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy and supported by the NDP, the Bloc Québécois and a huge majority of Liberals. It should have been a slam-dunk; previously, two Parliamentary resolutions supporting war resisters had been passed by the House of Commons. However, it lost by 7 votes, an avoidable defeat if Ifgnatieff had remained true to the words he had uttered two days before the crucial vote when he said:
“Canada has a tradition that goes back to Mr. Pearson and Mr. Trudeau of accepting people that come to Canada with conscientious objection to military service.”
Ignatieff had to have known that the absence of 18 Liberal MPs would doom the bill. If he didn’t want to support the bill, he could have at least emulated Liberal Alan Tonks (York South-Weston), who had the guts to stay in the House and vote against it.
Once more, Iggy fails to appear even remotely Trudeauesque — incapable of channeling the peace-‘n-love-Pierre or the more resolute War-Measures-Act-Trudeau.
On a related theme, for those who hope a vote for the Liberals is enough to get us out of Afghanistan next year, think again. In June, Ignatieff announced the Liberals support remaining in Afghanistan until 2014 to train Afghan troops and police, creating a military training institute in Kabul, much like the Royal Military College in Kingston. Dishonestly, in a war where the Taliban have been able to strike in Kabul at will, he says this is not a combat mission.
Michael Ignatieff has betrayed war resisters. More fundamentally, he has betrayed the majority of Canadians who want to end Canada’s military intervention in Afghanistan and to welcome American war resisters into our country.