I really appreciate that our Citizenship and Immigration critic, MP Jinny Sims, is keeping up pressure on the Conservative government about the plight of war resisters in Canada. In East Van, Rodney Watson has been in sanctuary for almost 3 years. He has strong support in the community, and we continue to press for him to remain in Canada. If you want to find out more about Rodney’s situation please check out: http://vancouverwarresisters.org/. As his MP I will continue to support Rodney’s claim and hope you will too, by writing a letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney.
Check out Jinny’s statement on war resisters below and how you can help Rodney.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2012
ALLOW CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO STAY IN CANADA
SURREY – New Democrats are calling on the government to respect parliament’s commitment to allow conscientious objectors to the U.S. war in Iraq to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
“U.S. war resisters in Canada have entered the country legally, after refusing to serve in the military for reasons of conscience. This is clearly a legitimate ground for protection,” said NDP Immigration critic Jinny Sims. “Parliament has adopted two motions in support of these people’s efforts to stay in Canada – a commitment which has been ignored by the Conservative government.”
Amnesty International has called on the Conservatives to rescind Operational Bulletin 202, which tells immigration officers that conscientious objectors may be considered deserters, guilty of crimes and inadmissible to Canada.
The NDP believes this bulletin runs contrary to Parliament’s motion to respect war resistors and should be rescinded.
Sims added that in the specific case of war resistor Kimberly Rivera, a mother of four facing deportation, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has grounds to grant her application for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
“Two of Ms Rivera’s children were born here in Canada, she has built a family here,” said Sims. “We are asking Minister Kenney to do the right thing, the compassionate thing and allow her to stay.”
A 2008 Angus Reid poll found that 64 % of Canadians believe the U.S. war deserters in Canada should be allowed to become permanent residents.
WAR RESISTER IN SANCTUARY RODNEY WATSON – 3 YEARS IS TOO LONG!
September 18th marks the 3rd anniversary of Iraq War Resister Rodney Watson’s stay in sanctuary inside First United Church in Vancouver.
Come out to show your support and solidarity with Rodney and talk about what’s happening with the Campaign for him and Kimberley Rivera.
Potluck gathering with Rodney Watson
Sunday September 16
First United Church – 320 E Hastings St. Vancouver
Please bring something to share
War Resisters Support Campaign
c/o 1143 E Pender St
Vancouver BC V6A 1W6