Globe and Mail: “They’re preparing buses, itineraries, bathrooms and places to crash for the night; they’re fundraising, holding media-training workshops and setting up a detailed, week-long schedule of events. Organizers behind the protests surrounding Toronto’s G20 summit in June expect people to come from as far as Vancouver, Quebec City and the United States, representing everyone from labour groups to women’s shelters and militant students.”
We have exciting news! On May 25, Parliament will begin the second reading of Bill C-440, in support of U.S. war resisters in Canada. If passed, C-440 will give the weight of law to the two motions already passed by the House of Commons in support of U.S. Iraq War resisters. The bill will not be voted on in May, but a one-hour debate in the House of Commons is an important step towards the eventual passage of the bill.
On May 25, representatives of the War Resisters Support Campaign will deliver to Ottawa thousands of signed postcards and petitions that demonstrate the wide support for war resisters throughout Canada. If you have already signed and distributed postcards, THANK YOU. If you have not, or if you can get more signatures, there is still time. The new deadline for signed postcards to be in our national headquarters in Toronto is May 21.
** To request more postcards, please reply to this email. Please give us a paper mailing address and let us know how many cards you can use.
** Also, please remember to contact your M.P. to ask her or him to support Bill C-440. You can do so through this link on our website:
Thank you for your ongoing support of our efforts to make Canada a safe haven for people of conscience who refused to participate in an illegal and immoral war. U.S. Iraq War resisters still face deportation and the threat of jail for doing the right thing. Please help us keep up the fight on their behalf.
** To request postcards: wrscnational [at] gmail.com.
** To send an e-mail to your M.P. here: http://letthemstay.ca/action/email-your-mp/
** For more information and updates on Bill C-440: http://www.letthemstay.ca/
** To donate: http://letthemstay.ca/donate/
Organized by the War Resisters Support Campaign:
The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) is inviting organizations to sign on to an open letter outlining concerns with Bill C-11, which will significant change the refugee determination system.
The letter is available at http://ccrweb.ca/en/bill-c-11-open-letter
The bill contains some positive elements, but also some measures that could put some refugees, particularly the most vulnerable, at risk of being deported to persecution.
These measures will be of concern for everyone committed to ensuring that Canada welcomes refugees and respects their human rights.
Bill C-11 also contains elements that will particularly undermine the rights of children, women, and LGBT persons.
The CCR encourages organizations to:
– Sign on by sending an email to varka [at] ccrweb.ca with the name of the organization and the name and title of the person representing the organization.
– Circulate this request for signatures widely.
– Mail the letter directly on your letterhead.
The letter with signatories will be posted online and will also be
mailed to the Minister and critics from time to time as additional
signatures are received.
For more information about Bill C-11, please see
http://ccrweb.ca/en/refugee-reform, and in particular the overview of
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
From anywhere, between 7pm and 9pm EDT:
Call toll free 1 877 737 4070
Tune in to live-broadcast on Rabble TV, www.rabble.ca
Free dinner from 6pm; Telethon begins at 7pm
Georges Vanier Cultural Centre, 2450 Workman St. (metro Lionel Groulx)
Wheelchair accessible. Free childcare on site.
ALSO, tune in to Amandla on CKUT 90.3 FM for live reports.
Project Fly Home is organizing the first ever “Sanctions-busting Telethon” on April 28th to call people to donate to Abousfian Abdelrazik in open defiance of the United Nations 1267 regime, challenging the fear, racism and isolation it creates and feeds on. The evening will include a free spaghetti dinner and a host of poets, musicians, performers, and speakers.
Two years ago, on April 28th, 2008, Abousfian Abdelrazik went public with his story of detention, torture and exile and claimed refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum. He lived in the Embassy for fourteen months, unable to leave the grounds, until the Canadian government was forced to bring him back to Montreal in June 2009. Now he is home, but still not free. Background on Abelrazik’s story.
In 2006, without his knowledge, Abdelrazik’s name was placed on the United Nations “1267 list”. The 1267 regime imposes sanctions that prevent Abdelrazik from earning a salary, receiving any money, or maintaining a bank account. This makes rebuilding his life impossible. It’s like “living in a prison without walls” – indefinitely, without charge or trial. There is little recourse. As the Federal Court of Canada wrote, “There is nothing in the listing or de-listing procedure [of the 1267 regime] that recognizes the principles of natural justice or that provides for basic procedural fairness.” (Justice Russel Zinn, 4 June 2009).
Read more »
New Democrats say Conservatives used dirty tricks to force 1st vote on Canada-Colombia Trade Agreement
April 19, 2010
OTTAWA – NDP International Trade Critic Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) denounced the dirty tricks Conservatives used to force the first vote on Bill C-2, the controversial implementing legislation of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
“Bill C-2 was not on the government agenda last Friday. The Conservatives keep forgetting they are a minority government and must understand that dirty tricks undermine what’s left of their credibility and trust. Their unprecedented parliamentary maneuver is another example of their unwillingness to legislate in a transparent, democratic fashion and work co-operatively as Canadians expect of them,” said Julian.
On Friday April 16, the Conservative government forced a motion through Parliament which shuts down debate on Bill C-2, sending it to the Standing Committee on International Trade. The Conservative government wants to expedite the Committee’s review of Bill C-2 with the support of Liberal members of the committee.
“The government is pushing Bill C-2 at a highly inappropriate time, when free and fair elections are not possible in Colombia. An international pre-electoral observation mission just reported compelling evidence that elections in Colombia are compromised because of interference from illegal armed groups. In addition, the Liberal critic for international Trade Scott Brison is proposing an amendment to Bill C-2 which would let the Colombian government report on its own human rights. Rigorous committee hearings will be needed to study these serious issues,” stressed Julian.
Reports from independent and credible human rights, labour and civil society groups have consistently exposed the Colombian government’s links to illegal armed groups, and the role of the military in the murders of thousands of trade unionists, community leaders, and activists. Reports say that 48 trade unionists were murdered in Colombia last year alone. In the previous parliament, the Standing Committee on International Trade recommended that Canada not proceed with a trade agreement with Colombia until an independent human rights impact assessment of the deal is conducted.
A similar free trade deal between the US and Colombia has been held up since 2007 by concerned American legislators. The European Union, the UK, and many European governments have also voiced concerns about the ongoing abuses in Colombia.
“With 60 per cent of global trade-unionist murders occurring in Colombia, why are the Conservatives so eager to reward, with a privileged trade relationship, a regime continuously cited for human rights violations? This is a betrayal of basic Canadian values.”
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For more information, please contact: Office of Peter Julian, 613.222.4074
Scott Taylor: The current debate in Canada should not be centred on what we will do after the pullout date in the summer of 2011, but rather why we even still feel committed to that timetable, given this drastic evolution of the mission itself.
Liberal’s amendment will not “fix” Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, say Canadian election monitors, who warn of continued violence
Eva Golinger: When politicians and political actors commit crimes, can they hide behind cries of persecution? As international organizations backed by Washington condemn the Chavez administration for alleged political persecution, the facts shed light on the difference between activism and crime.
STATEMENT FROM THE REFUGEE LAWYER’S ASSOCIATION
The Refugee Lawyer’s Association has significant concerns with the amendments proposed to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in Bill C-11. In particular the RLA is concerned that some of the proposed changes will end up being the most unfair to some of the most vulnerable refugee claimants including child claimants and victims of torture.
The RLA would like to encourage all those interested in ensuring a fair refugee process in Canada to contact their MP and insist that the bill be sent to committee immediately. These proposed changes would drastically change our system and need to be debated by Parliament with proper input from stakeholders and experts, and significant amendments will need to be made to bring it into conformity with principles of fairness and justice. Please email or phone your MP today! In Fredericton, contact Hon. Keith Ashfield at Ashfield.K@parl.gc.ca