Colin Perkel/AP
American Sgt. Corey Glass

U.S. War Deserters Find Refuge in Canada

June 19, 2008 08:59 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A majority in the Canadian government voted Tuesday to allow former American soldiers resisting the war in Iraq to stay in the country.

30-Second Summary

In what is being called a symbolic victory, a majority of MPs in the Canadian House of Commons decided in favor of letting U.S. war deserters stay permanently in the country.

"This is a great victory for the courageous men and women who have come to Canada because they refuse to take part in the illegal, immoral Iraq war," said Lee Zaslofsky, a coordinator of the Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign.

But the motion, which calls for the creation of a program to allow "conscientious objectors and their immediate family members" to apply for permanent residency, is non-binding on the minority Conservative government, reported the Canwest News Service. Conservative MPs voted against the motion, but were defeated by three opposition parties in a 137-110 vote.

Corey Glass, a 25-year-old deserter who in a well-publicized case was ordered to voluntarily leave the country or face deportation this month, said that he welcomed the news, although it probably will not affect his own status.

"I'm thankful that the MPs voted to let me and other war resisters stay in Canada," he said.

It is estimated that there are about 200 former U.S. deserters in Canada, some of whom have joined forces with aging Vietnam war draft dodgers who moved to the country 40 years ago. Many of the deserters have had their applications for refugee status in the country turned down.

Headline Link: ‘U.S. Deserters Can Stay in Canada: Commons’

Background: ‘U.S. Deserters in Canada—For How Long?’

Opinion & Analysis: A soldier’s duties, war deserters speak out

Reference: War Resisters Support Campaign


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