An Important Message to the Government of Canada
about U.S. Iraq War Resisters
January 26, 2009

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, PC, MP, Prime Minister
The Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, MP, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister, Minister, and Members of the Government Caucus:

On June 3, 2008, the House of Commons passed a motion calling for the government to:

“...immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members (partners and dependents), who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations and do not have a criminal record, to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada.”

That motion further recommended that the government should:

“...immediately cease any removal or deportation actions that may have already commenced against such individuals.”

Since then, on July 15, you allowed Robin Long, a United States soldier who had fled to Canada after refusing to take part in the Iraq War, to be deported.

Upon his return to the U.S., Robin was punished for acting on his objections to this unsanctioned war by refusing to fight and for speaking out while he was in Canada.

He is now serving a 15-month jail sentence as a prisoner of conscience and was given a felony conviction that will cause him hardship for the rest of his life—including preventing him from visiting his Canadian son in Ontario—because you did not stop him from being deported.

Canada has a well-founded tradition of welcoming war resisters such as Robin and the estimated 200 other U.S. soldiers who have sought refuge here since the Iraq War began.

Now more than ever, it is obvious that Canada made the right decision not to take part in this unnecessary conflict and even you, Mr. Prime Minister, have agreed that the Iraq War is "absolutely an error".

Amnesty International wrote to you, Minister Kenney, earlier this month to communicate its condemnation of the, "...forced removal from Canada of individuals who conscientiously express their opposition to serving with U.S. forces in Iraq" because it "does not generally believe that there are reasonable options open to individuals who conscientiously object to military service with U.S. forces in Iraq."

As a country, Canadians continue to face a major economic crisis that demands the utmost attention. Members of Parliament need not be distracted from the task at hand by matters that should have been solved previously, nor should time be wasted re-taking decisions that have already been taken by our democratically elected representatives and are supported by the majority of Canadians.

With five Iraq War resisters—Chris Teske, Cliff Cornell, Kimberly Rivera, Patrick Hart and Dean Walcott, most of them combat veterans—facing deportation before the end of this month, we write to respectfully urge you to take action on behalf of the 64 per cent majority of Canadians who agree to give these U.S. soldiers, their immediate families and all Iraq War resisters who are here, the opportunity to remain in Canada as permanent residents.

Please implement the June 3, 2008 motion in support of war resisters today.

Yours Sincerely,
(add your name)

Ursula M. Franklin C.C. FRSC

University Professor Emerita,
Senior Fellow Massey College

Lawrence Hill

Anton Kuerti, OC, PhD
Internationally renowned solo pianist

Michelle Landsberg, OC
Award-winning writer, social activist and feminist

Stephen Lewis
Former UN Ambassador

Mary Jo Leddy, CM, PhD

Writer, theologian and activist

Tony Clarke
Executive Director, Polaris Institute

Michael C. Klein, MD
Emeritus Professor of Family Practice and Pediatrics, Universityof British Columbia

Elizabeth E. May, OC
Leader, Green Party of Canada

Judy Rebick
CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University

John Hagan, PhD, FRSC
University Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

Alex Atamanenko
Member of Parliament, B.C. Southern Interior

Govind Rao
McMaster University

Dale Dewar (Dr.)
Clerk, Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Camilo Mejia
Chairperson of the Board, Iraq Veterans Against the War (U.S.)

Fred Franklin

Jean Symes

Vera Frenkel, FRSC, RCA
Artist-in Residence, University of Toronto, Governor General's Award Laureate

Mike Ford
Musician (formerly of Moxy Fruvous)

Ali Kazimi
Film-maker/Asst. Professor, York University

Dee Knight
former editor, AMEX-Canada (1968-74), founding organizer and board member, National Council for Universal & Unconditional Amnesty (1973-77)

John B. Chadwick
Retired Navy Lieutenant (officer level O3), Life Member, Veterans For Peace (U.S.)

Joyce Smith
Tucson, AZ

Tzeporah Berman

Linda Newton
Vietnam Veteran, member, Veterans For Peace, Seattle, WA

Collette Lemieux
co-chair, Canadian Peace Alliance
Calgary, Alberta

Dr. Barbara Glancy
Portland, OR

Bruce L. Beyer
Vietnam era war resister, Buffalo, NY

Ron Rancourt
Chelsea, QC

Don Currie
Slocan, BC

Mel Earley
Halifax, NS

David Pankratz
Director, Institute for Community Peacebuilding, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Roger Rolfe
Toronto, Ontario

Denise and William Conway
American War Resisters, 1969, Toronto, Ontario

Thomas P. Radcliffe
Franciscan Brother, Victoria, BC

Nathan Medcalf
Burlingon, ON

Richard Medernach
Saskatoon Peace Coalition, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

David Heap
People for Peace, London, Ontario

Elenor Taves
London, Ontario

Julie Peters
London, Ontario

M. Chuk
Montreal, PQ

Terry Zehr
Valleyview Mennonite Church, London, Ontario

Brad Bossack
Tumbler Ridge,BC

Chris Stroud
Halifax, NS

Joan Wallace
Nanaimo, BC

Michelle LeBlanc
Fredericton, NB

Daniel W Metzger
Nelson, BC

Hagit Fishman
Toronto, Ontario

Andrea Meister
Chilliwack, BC

Karen Palsson
Winnipeg, MB

Cornelia Maher
Augsber, Germany

Michael Truscello
Hamilton, ON

Susan B. Boyd
Professor of Law, UBC, Vancouver, BC

Reynold Reimer
Calgary, AB

Sandra Stephenson
Teacher, Montreal, PQ

Stephen LaFrenie
Green Party shadow cabinet - International cooperation/CIDA portfolio

Rose DeShaw
Kingston, ON

Stephen Peppin
Oxford University/Research Fellow, Stratford

Tina Gauthier
Mississauga, ON

Allison Smith
Greenwich, NS

Collin Whitehouse
Cobourg, ON

David Wade
Atchison, Kansas

Nebojsa Piha
Vancouver, BC

Erich Jacoby-Hawkins
Green Party shadow cabinet - Human Resources Portfolio, Barrie, ON

Catharine Johannson
Winnipeg, MB

Peter Votsch
Mississauga Coalition for Peace & Justice, Mississauga, ON

Leonard Sawatsky
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Krista Benoit
Ottawa, ON

Gillian Ashton
Ottawa , ON

Chris Ormsby
London, ON

Jack Bridges
Idaho Falls

Faline Bobier
Toronto, ON

Betsy Odegaard
London, ON

Paul Martin
Director, Canadian Studies Program, U of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont

Ann Thomson
Vancouver, BC

D. Jessy
Lethbridge, AB

Kristina Howard
Toronto, ON

Melissa Garner
Austin, Texas

Donn Tarris
Salt Spring Island, BC

Jane Malloy
Keswick, ON

Sandra Beardsall
Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, St. Andrew's College, Saskatoon

John Tovey
Elementary School Teacher, Toronto, ON

Joyce Potter
Morden, MB

Jack Thornburgh
North Saanich, BC

Corey Beaudoin
Windsor, ON

Adam Szymanski
London, ON

Alex Newcomb
Edmonton, AB

Elizabeth Clark
Royse City, Texas

Christian Hauer
Victoria, BC

Haris Baig
Stafford, VA

Hugh Martin
Toronto, ON

The Right Reverend David Giuliano
Moderator, The United Church of Canada

Maude Barlow
National Chairperson, Council of Canadians

Joy Kogawa, CM, OBC

Jane Orion Smith
General Secretary, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

Very Rev. Bill Phipps
Former Moderator, United Church of Canada

Antonia Zerbisias
Columnist, Toronto Star

Michael Lynk
Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario

Gina Barber
Controller, City of London

Martin Duckworth
Award-winning documentary film-maker

M. Jane Pritchard, M.D.,
C.C. F.P., F.C.F.P.

Réjean Robidoux. PhD, FRSC
Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa

Donald Lafleur
4th National Vice-President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Peggy Nash
Assistant to the President, CAW

James Clark
Ontario representative, Canadian Peace Alliance

Kelly Dougherty
Executive Director, Iraq Veterans Against the War (U.S.)

Mrs. Joanne L. Cvar
member, Green Party Peace Network

Edward Hasbrouck
San Francisco, CA

Derrick O'Keefe
Editor,, Co-chair, StopWar Coalition Vancouver

David Fennario

Mary Ellen Davis
Award-winning documentary film-maker

Velcrow Ripper
Film Director

b.h. Yael
Artist/Film-maker, Professor, Ontario College of Art & Design

Chris Cook
Managing Editor, Pacific Free Press

Dennis W. Mills, PhD
U.S. Army (1966-1969), Vietnam Veteran / Veterans for Peace – the Rachel Corrie Chapter 109, Olympia, WA

Tana Hastings
War Resisters League, Portland, OR

Kaim Kassam
Calgary, Alberta

Ivy Rose Nightscales Williams

International Action Center, Seattle, WA

Imam Jamal Taleb
London Muslim Mosque

Judy Wapp
Artist/writer, Nelson, BC

Pat Garrison
Mental health researcher/writer, Slater, SC

Frances Smith
Toronto, ON

Cortney K. Dakin
London, Ontario

Kaitlyn Lankin Kratz
Kitchener, Ontario

John L. Whelan
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL

Mary Ann Steggles
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Marguerite Warner
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Hossam Amin
Montreal, PQ

Richard Lewis
LSPIRG, Kitchener, Ontario

J.C. Locatelli
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Alexandra Baron
London, Ontario

Patricia Hartman
Penetanguishine, Ontario

Charleen Jongejan Harder
Pastor,Valleyview Mennonite Church, London, Ontario

Gloriz Janzen
London, Ontario

Teresa Rutten
London, Ontario

Ruth Martin
London, Ontario

Kendall Jongejan Harder
Pastor, London, Ontario

Dianne Fortney
R.N., London, Ontario

Stephen Orlov
Professor, John Abbott College, Montreal, PQ

MK Emre
Toronto, Ontario

Aaron Keeler
London, Ontario

Allison Rose
Gabriola, BC

Susan Best
Winnipeg, MB

David Wood
Freelance writer, Mildmay, ON

Muriel Heaton
Midland, ON

Elizabeth Pickett
Whitby, ON

Elizabeth O'Connor
member of Peaceworks, Midland, ON

Kyle Hodnett
Fredericton, NB

DeEtte Waleed
member, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Portland, Oregon

Michelle Thompson
Toronto, ON

Laura Savinkoff
Chair, Boundary Peace Initiative, Grand Forks, BC

John Dorn
Summerland, BC

Rose Tavelli
Toronto, ON

Lawrence Levy
Winnipeg, Manitoba

C. Raven Nichols
Charlottetown, PEI

Peter A. H. Johnston
Federal Councilor, Green Party of Canada, Edmonton, Alberta

Ellen Michelson
Green Party Shadow Cabinet - Peace & Security Portfolio, Toronto, ON

Amy Collard
Green Party of Canada, Natural Resources Critic, Burlington, ON

Marlene Epp
Associate Professor, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Waterloo

Melissa Devlin
Ottawa, ON

Paul Kemp
President National Executive, Canadian Action Party, Scotsburn, NS

E Ann Bending
Bright's Grove , ON

Grania Scott
Charlottetown, PEI

Anne Griffin
Markdale, ON

Ann Elizabeth Turner
Stratford, ON

Barry Cromarty
St. Catharines, ON

Noel Dhingra
St. Mary's

Louise Leask
Virden, MB

Justin Pak
London, ON

Suzette Mafuna
Toronto, ON

Patricia J Winter
Fergus, ON

Dorothy Moszynski
Toronto, ON

Murray Freedman
Toronto, ON

Reb. Barb Janes
Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, Winnipeg, MB

Marilyn Fortin
Morden, MB
Chair Ecumenical Gatherings, Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada

Paula Woolley
Calgary, AB

Colleen Angell
San Diego, CA

Ralph Shorter
Coquitlam, BC

Helen M. Andrew

Don Wickson
Bradford, ON

Bernie Hammond
Social Justice and Peace Studies, King's University College, London, ON

Daniel Rector
President of Student Union, Truro, NS

Ann-Marie MacDonald
Novelist, playwright and actor

Shirley Douglas, OC

Ken Georgetti, CM, OBC
President, Canadian Labour Congress

Ken Lewenza

National President, CAW

Ken Neumann
National Director for Canada, United Steelworkers

Paul Moist
National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees

James Clancy
President, National Union of Public and General Employees

Wayne Samuelson
President, Ontario Federation of Labour

Michael Byers
Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, University of British Columbia

Bernice Friesen

Ester Reiter
Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences, York University

Michael Connolly
Documentary film-maker

Carolyn Egan
President, Steelworker Toronto Area Council

Denise Hammond
President, CUPE Local 1281

Ted Dyck, PhD
Writer and editor, Moose Jaw, SK

Esther Epp-Tiessen
Peace Ministries Program
Mennonite Central Commitee Canada

Arnold Kotler
President and Publisher, Koa Books (Kihei, Hawaii)

Larry Towell

Richard Fung
Video artist, Professor, Ontario College of Art and Design

John Greyson
Film-maker, Professor, York University

Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge

Peggy Gale
Independent Curator, Toronto

Mike Woloshin
Veterans for Peace, Chicago Area Chapter 26,

Dave Bergen
Executive Secretary, Christian Formation, Mennonite Church Canada, Winnipeg, MB

Ellliot Stoller
Independent Media Center, Seattle, WA

Mrs. Irene Bachelder
Kenwood, CA

Christopher John Teske
Former Specialist US Army, Deserter – Deported from Canada

Dick Cotterill
Businessman; Vietnam era resister, Truro, NS

Lorraine Michael, MHA Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi; Leader, New Democratic Party of Newfoundland & Labrador

Helen Lofgren
Halifax, NS

Julie Barker
Midland, Ontario

Kim Vincent
Montreal, Quebec

Velcrow Ripper
Film Director

Karen King
London, Ontario

Wiyula Graham
Victoria, BC

Chris Powell
Fredericton, NB

Diane V. McLoughlin
Publisher, Woodlawn

Ashley Ansley
Temagami, Ontario

Valérie Prat
London, Ontario

Julie Michaud
Fredericton, NB

Victor Fast
London, Ontario

Kathleen Gallivan
Toronto, Ontario

Lorraine McNeil
Professor, Fanshawe College, London, Ontario

Yasmine El-Sabawi
London, Ontario

Mathieu Cain
London, Ontario

Cory Morningstar
Chair, Council of Canadians - London, London, Ontario

Rick Telfer
London, Ontario

Julie Mahfood
Writer, Beaconsfield, PQ

Scott Walmsley
London, Ontario

Roger Beck
Toronto, Ontario

Janet Beck
Toronto, Ontario

Francesco Ciabattoni
Halifax, NS

Surjit Sahota
Brampton, ON

Matthew Bin
Writer, former member of the Canadian Forces, Oakville, ON

Bob L. DeMarco
Bright's Grove, ON

Tonia Huculak
Edmonton, AB

Pauli Sommer
educator/artist, Dungannon, ON

George Richards
Kootenay Region Branch UNAC / V, PCastlegar, BC

Mai Nguyen
Journalism Student, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON

Kristina Pultz
Edmonton, Albert

SuMei Cheung
Oakville, ON

Brigid Kemp
President, South Okanagan Boundar Labour Council, Penticton, BC

Roberts Eweshen
Creston, BC

Calum Csunyoscka
Toronto, ON

Valerie Powell
Green Party Candidate,
Coldwater, Ontario

Bill Clary
Leader, Saskatchewan

Ard Van Leeuwen
Caledon, ON

Cathy MacLellan
Waterloo, ON

Ted Finnigan
Ottawa, ON

David Hart Dyke
Stoney Creek, ON

David Donaldson
Vancouver, BC

Carrie McLaren
Burnaby, BC

Ivan Andrews
White Rock, BC

Barbara Humphrey
Syracuse, NY

James G. Keegan Jr.
Troy, NY

Susan Brown
McDonalds Corner, ON

Gisele Theriault
Montreal, PQ

Maureen Aslin
Toronto, ON

Kayla Allison
Northern Ontario

Margaret Sumadh
Toronto, ON

Rachel Brewer
Toronto, ON

Maxime Fournier

Caroline Booth
Toronto, ON

Brian Leibel
Toronto, ON

Georege A. Moruzi, F.C.I.M.
Guelph, ON

KMuriel Walden
Mississauga, ON

Chuck Palazzo
Danang, VN

Roberto Verdecchia
World March for Peace and Nonviolence,
Toronto, ON

Hillary C
Charlotteltown, PEI

Jan Bohlin
Krager, Norway

Mei Burgin
Toronto, ON

Saalih Shamead
Toronto, ON

Carlos Cicero
Ottawa, ON

Chantal Ramraj
Winnipeg, MB

Alexandre Trudeau
Film-maker and journalist

Wayson Choy, CM

R H Thomson
Actor and director

Katherine Giroux-Bougard
National Chairperson,
Canadian Federation of Students

Cathy Crowe, RN
Author and street nurse

Janet Davis, Paula Fletcher, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, Adam Vaughan

Councillors, City of Toronto, Ontario

James Loney
Member of Christian Peacemaker Teams held hostage in Iraq

Gordon Cressy & Joanne Campbell

Angus McLaren, PhD, FRSC
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria

Ron Hawkins

Dave Hubert

Christian Peacemakers International

Merrill Stewart

Clerk, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

Jim Stanford
Economist and Author, CAW

Robert Ramsay
Chair, CUPE Local 3902

Chantal Sundaram
CUPE 3902 Staff Representative

Elliott Adams
President, Veterans For Peace (U.S.)

John Weier
Writer and Luthier, Manitoba

James S. Moy
Dean, Faculty of Art,
Ontario College of Art & Design

Gerry Condon

Director, Project Safe Haven (U.S.)

June Schumacher
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Seattle, WA

Linda Jansen
Seattle, WA

S. Jenika
Vietnam Veteran, Portland, OR

Mary Kay Ryan
Chicago, Illinois

Elihu Edelson
World War II veteran, Purple Heart

Dorli T Rainey
Seattle, WA

Georgina Rhéaume
Winnipeg Peace Coalition

David Beringer
Nelson, BC

Kimberly Scot
Teacher, Nelson, BC

Victor Enns
writer and editor, Winnipeg, MB

Lauren Smith

Waterloo, Ontario

Dr. Munir El-Kassem
Imam, Islamic Centre of South-West Ontario

Bart Gerald
Author, Ottawa, Ontario

S. Joan Tate
Toronto, Ontario

Diane Allen
Toronto, Ontario

Masud Sheikh
Oakville, Ontario

Stephen D'Arcy
Department of Philosophy, Huron University College, London, Ontario

Lia Brewer
Toronto, Ontario

Gary Onderisin
Guelph, Ontario

Anton Wagner
Cultural Historian, York University, Toronto, Ontario

Kelly Dowdell
Calgary, Alberta

Tracy Glynn
Fredericton, NB

Angela Bischoff
Greenspiration, Toronto, ON

Homaira Siddiqui
London, Ontario

Joe Gibbons
Welland, Ontario

E.Hope Richards
Penetanguishine, Ontario

Louisa Szacon
Centre for Social Concern, Mississauga, Ontario

Lizzie Bergie
London, Ontario

Javier Davila
Branch President, OSSTF12 Parkdale CI and Educators for Peace and Justice, Toronto, Ontario

Jean Johnston
London, Ontario

Julie Stahlbaum
Hamilton, Ontario

Dave Shaw
Atlantic Regional Organizer, P.S.A.C., Halifax, NS

John Gilmore
Member, The Writers' Union of Canada, Montreal, PQ

Christine Ilott
Richmond Hill, Ontario

Lisa McMurry, MD
Gatineau, PQ

Caterina Fava
Halifax, NS

Doreen Good
Exeter, ON

Laura Kaminker
Writer, Activst, Mississauga, ON

Nancy Wolchok
Langley, BC

Hassan Hussseini
Ottawa, ON

Margot Izzard
Duncan, BC

Alissa Carnall
Charters Settlement, NB

Paul Chislett
Windsor, ON

Steve Staniek
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, Hamilton, ON

Allan Wood
Writer, Mississauga, ON

Geraldine Sadoway
Lawyer, Toronto, ON

August J. Ummenhofer
Penticton, BC

Grant Clubine
Winlaw, BC

Harold Funk
Grand Forks, BC

Victoria Ross
MALD, QCSW, Peaceful Conflict Res'n Coord, WNY Peace Ctr, Buffalo, NY

Eric Walton
Green Party of Canada International Affairs Critic, Kingston, ON

Clarke Reese
Waterloo, ON

Joshua Smith
Ottawa, ON

Nada Hijazi
Montreal, Quebec

B. Ross Ashley
SEIU, local 1 Canada; executive member, Toronto, ON

Rebecca L. Geddis
Strathroy, ON

Andrew Phillips
Vietnam Draft Dodger, New Westminster, BC

Lindsay Casey
Toronto, ON

Steven Olsen
Kitchener, ON

Jo-Ann Shykes
US Army Veteran Spouse, Mississauga, ON

Michael Ricks
, ON

Margo Shafer
Berkeley, California

Philip Callaghan
Roman Catholic Priest, Charlottetown, PEI

Tom Riley
Vietnam War Resister, Toronto, ON

Linda Troy
Brampton, ON

Lesley Cameron
Toronto, ON

P.R. Dececchi
Teacher, Kilbride, ON

Donna May
Burnaby, BC

Judy Worby
Port Rowan, ON

Victoria Ross
Buffalo, NY

Cheryl Thomson
Quebec City, PQ

Elisa Minakis
Toronto, ON

Steven Mulholland
Toronto, ON

Amanda Krumins
Edmonton, AB

James Chief
Victoria, BC

Huan Le Tran
Toronto, ON

Mark Konrad
Executive Director, Global Importune, London, ON

Neville A. Ross
Toronto, ON