Opposition MPs unite to support U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera

    OTTAWA, March 25 /CNW/ - Opposition Members of Parliament Maurizio
Bevilacqua (Vaughan), Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) and Thierry St-Cyr
(Jeanne-Le Ber), will speak at a press conference on the eve of the
deportation of U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera to call on the Canadian
government to intervene to suspend her deportation to the United States. The
parliamentarians will speak to measures being pursued to compel Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney to align government actions with the views of Parliament
and Canadians.
    Kimberly Rivera, a former U.S. soldier, deployed to Iraq in the fall of
2006. While home on leave she decided she could no longer participate in the
war. She and her family sought refuge in Canada in January 2007. Kimberly, her
husband Mario and their three children including a Canadian born daughter have
been ordered to leave Canada by March 26 or face deportation.

    EVENT: Press conference in support of Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera

    DATE: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    TIME: 12:30 p.m. ET

    LOCATION: Charles Lynch Room 130-S, Centre Block, Parliament Hill

    The Conservative government wants to separate this mother from her infant
child, and send her to a military prison for having made the tough decision to
follow her conscience, said Maurizio Bevilacqua, Liberal Immigration critic.
All this for opposing the Iraq War a war which Mr. Harper agrees was
absolutely an error.
    When Iraq War resister Robin Long was deported from Canada by this
government, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison and received a felony
conviction, said Olivia Chow, NDP Immigration critic. It is time for the
Harper Conservatives to respect the will of Parliament and let war resisters
    Bloc Québécois Immigration critic Thierry St-Cyr stated, I salute the
courage which Kimberly and the other war resisters have demonstrated. By their
actions, they are defending the principles of international law and
humanitarianism. They should be welcomed, not deported to certain punishment.
    Kimberly Rivera, who will also speak at the press conference, stated: Our
sincere hope is that Mr. Harper will find it in his heart to let my family
stay in this beautiful country. We have been welcomed here by so many
Canadians who understand why we took the stand that we did.
    On June 3, 2008 the House of Commons directed the Canadian government not
to deport war resisters and to implement a program to facilitate permanent
resident status for them. The Houses direction was re-affirmed by the Standing
Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on February 12, 2009. A public
opinion poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies last June found that 64 per
cent of Canadians want the government to allow Iraq War resisters to become
permanent residents of Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Robidoux, Spokesperson, War Resisters
Support Campaign, (416) 856-5008; or Ken Marciniec, Communications Volunteer,
War Resister Support Campaign, (416) 803-6066, kmarciniec@sympatico.ca

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