Libby supporting war resisters

Facing a second tour in Iraq, U.S. army corporal Rodney Watson fled to Canada and now lives in the First United Church on East Hastings while his government presses for his return. Watson was eventually ordered to leave the country Sept. 11, 2009, after two deportation stays during the summer.....On Aug. 12, seven B.C. NDP members of Parliament wrote the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney, asking him to intervene in Watson's case. Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East, was one of the signatories and says she will continue to support Watson in his fight to stay. "I believe he has a legal reason to seek refugee status in Canada," says Davies, noting that Watson's situation is more difficult than it appears. "He's taking on this whole system. It's obviously a very hard decision to make." Many people support his decision, Davies says. She points to an Angus Reid poll conducted in June 2008 with 64 per cent of Canadians supporting permanent residence for fugitive soldiers. "Canada has a history of welcoming war resisters," Davies says. A fugitive in Canada and the U.S., Watson sought refuge at the First United Church on East Hastings after meeting Rev. Ric Matthews at a press conference. Matthews says taking Watson in is part of church tradition.