By Marianne Curtis
About a dozen supporters of the struggle of American war resisters in Canada picketed the Steinbach office of Provencher MP Vic Toews recently and delivered a letter requesting an emergency meeting with Toews and other Conservative Members of Parliament.
The rally which was part of a cross-Canada week of action, by the Keep Resisters in Canada Campaign took place outside of Toew’s constituency office in Steinbach on January 19.
The contingent consisted of members of the Keep Resisters in Canada Campaign, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, the Council of Canadians (Winnipeg) and Project Peacemakers along with war resister Joshua Key, his wife Alexina and their children.
The rally supported Joshua Key, a veteran of the illegal Iraq war who is at a critical stage in his refugee claim process. He has been in Canada for about six years and is trying to claim refugee status.
“The reason I am here is because of what I witnessed inIraq,” Key said when asked why he was inCanada. “You live in limbo – you don’t know what is going to happen next.”
Key admits that he is not facing deportation at the moment but his application is “on the line”. However, about eighty other war resistors are facing deportation, he added.
In the letter to Toews, the group showed concerns on how the government has deported two war resisters to date; both ended up serving lengthy jail sentences in military prisons, experiencing cruel treatment.
Sighting the Iraq war as “illegal and unjust” the group feels that the government should not support it by sending American soldiers back to the United States to be punished for disagreeing with the war.
War resister Joshua Key was among a dozen participants of a peaceful protest againstCanada’s deporting American war resisters that took place in Steinbach outside of Provencher MP Vic Toew’s office.