For want of just eight more votes, Bill C-440 — the war resisters bill to give protection to US Iraq war deserters — went down to defeat on Wednesday 136 to 143.
The following 18 Libs expedited that defeat by going awol on the vote:
Michael Ignatieff, Jean-Claude D’Amours, Ruby Dhalla, Kirsty Duncan, Marc Garneau, Albina Guarnieri, Dominic LeBlanc, Keith Martin, John McCallum, Brian Murphy, Anthony Rota, Judy Sgro, Michelle Simson, Frank Valeriote, Joe Volpe, Bryon Wilfert, and Lise Zarac, with Lib Alan Tonks voting with the Cons against it.
Special mention goes out to Lib Frank Valeriote who was there at 6:25 pm for the Criminal Acts Records vote five minutes before the vote on the war resisters bill, and who was on his feet again at 6:42 making a speech in favour of “revitalizing parliamentary proceedings through reforming question period” five minutes after it. Yet somehow Frank went awol in the middle.
Good job, Frank. You really want to “revitalize parliamentary proceedings”? Try showing the fuck up for what were once called liberal values. It was a Liberal bill.
Also present on Wednesday for the Criminal Acts vote but MIA five minutes later for the war resisters bill were Libs Kirsty Duncan, Brian Murphy, Judy Sgro, Joe Volpe, and Lise Zarac.
L-Girl at We Move to Canada has worked fiercely on behalf of US war resisters. She cites a letter written on Sept. 19 from a former head of the Immigration and Refugee Board to Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In it, Peter Shormer criticizes the following July 22 CIC directive concerning war resisters who claim refugee status in Canada:
“Military deserters from other countries have sought refugee protection in Canada. Desertion from the Canadian military is a serious criminal offence.
Therefore these deserters may also be serious criminals and therefore inadmissible to Canada.”
What utterly bizarre logic. As per Shormer’s letter to Kenney, the CIC directive goes on to specifically target US war resisters for exclusion from Canada by meddling in what should be independent case reviews by the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Luckily for Kenney and the Cons and the US war on terra, this time the Leader of the Opposition and 17 more Liberals had their back.