Support the Rights of Conscience in Canada

September 17, 2009

At the Center on Conscience & War, our staff answers countless calls from people in the military in need of guidance in asserting their opposition to participating in war and serving in the military. Some of them ask us if they should run across our northern border. We recently received a message telling us that despite Immigration Minister Kenney’s decision not to support US war resisters who fled to Canada, Parliament is not backing down from their support of US war resisters. Below is information provided by War Resisters Support Campaign:

Bill C-440, a bill in support of US Iraq War resisters, was introduced in the House of Commons today. MP Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale-High Park) introduced the bill, seconded by Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas).

This is an extremely important step forward for the campaign to ensure that US Iraq War resisters are allowed to stay in Canada. The bill gives legal weight to the motion already passed twice in Parliament. Given that Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney has refused to implement the will of Parliament and has continued to deport and threaten to deport resisters, on the grounds that the motions are ‘non-binding’, passing this bill will force the minority Conservative government to respect the clearly expressed majority sentiment in support of letting war resisters stay.

Over the next weeks and months, we face a very big task: we need to ensure that this Bill is moved along as quickly as is possible in order to prevent any more deportations. Every action in support makes a big difference at this critical time.

TODAY: PLEASE take a moment to send a message to Gerard Kennedy and Bill Siksay, and copy the Opposition party leaders and the immigration critics – here are some points to include in your message:

  • thank the Members and opposition parties for their efforts in passing two motions in the House of Commons in support of U.S. Iraq War resisters.
  • thank the Members for introducing this important bill
  • remind them that several Iraq war resisters are under imminent threat of deportation to the United States, where they face court-martial and jail time
  • call on all Members of the Opposition to help move the bill forward as quickly as possible, and to work hard alongside thousands of Canadians to stop any impending deportations.

Send messages to: Gerard Kennedy:; and Bill Siksay:

Please cc: Jack Layton MP <>, Michael Ignatieff <>, Gilles Duceppe MP <>
Thierry St-Cyr <>, Olivia Chow <>, Maurizio Bevilacqua <>

We will be launching a nation-wide campaign in support of Bill C-440 over the next days. Please visit regularly for updates.

And finally, this Bill would not have seen the light of day without the tireless efforts of thousands of volunteers, MPs, and of course the courageous Iraq war resisters themselves who continue to speak out against the war. Thanks – and most important, don’t let up the pressure!

In solidarity,
War Resisters Support Campaign


Thomas Bergman
Media Director