Iraq War Resister, Jeremy Hinzman, loses Federal Court Appeal

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Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture
Iraq War Resister, Jeremy Hinzman, loses Federal Court Appeal

 

I'm so sad to report that Iraq war resister, Jeremy Hinzman, lost his appeal in Federal Court.

 

The ruling came late Friday (way to sneak it in there, Jason Kenney-buddy!) as Hinzman was looking to be granted an appeal of a negative Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds ruling by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). This puts the Hinzman family at risk for deportation at any moment.

 

It's so frustrating to think Harper and Kenney are getting away with picking off resisters one at a time despite the fact that Parliament has voted twice now to let them stay.

I will update when more information rolls through.

 

in sol, Krystalline

 

Please check this Facebook group for more details: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=86746450952

Michelle

Oh no. :(  I'm so sorry to hear this. 

Loretta

Me, too! Horrible development for that family and for the movement...

Frmrsldr

It seems to be a strange quirk in Canadian government: These non-binding resolutions. If Parliament represents the will of the people and Canada is a democracy, then why aren't all Parliamentary resolutions binding?

Benjamin

This is really bad. 

@ Statica

Do you have a copy of the decision that you can post (it is not up on the FC site yet)?  Do you know which judge it was?  Do you know if there was a certified question proposed and/or accepted?

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

Ben, as soon as something is drafted re: official statement to the press and/or i get my hands on the info, i'll pass it on.

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

right now, i'm just trying to hang on......

Michelle

My question is, why do they keep passing non-binding resolutions instead of trying to pass LAWS?

Benjamin

In this case, laws would take too much time, and there is no political will within the opposition parties to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

In passing IPRA, parliament, for better or worse, vested discretion over humanitarian & compassionate applications with the Minister or his/her delegate.  In the war resister cases, the Minister has exercised that discretion (incorrectly in my opinion).  The House has no power to say "Minister, this is how you must exercise your discretion", since in passing IRPA, parliament expressly placed that discretion with the Minister.  All that the house can do is pass non-binding declarations OR pass legislation to amend IRPA.

Personally, I think the non-binding motions let citizens feel as though their elected officials are giving them "a voice" in Ottawa, albeit a voice that has no significance whatsoever to the practical result in this situation.

Boyd Reimer Boyd Reimer's picture

Benjamin, you mentioned "no political will."  I agree.

The political will would be there if politicians would do the job that they are paid to do

and represent the majority of the people who pay them.

The June 27, 2008 Angus Reid poll shows that

64% of Canadians say they would agree to give these U.S. soldiers the opportunity to remain in Canada as permanent residents.

The lack of "political will" among politicians is the lack of will to do the job that they are being paid to do:  ie represent the majority.

--------------------------

Benjamin, I am confused about two conflicting statements you made:

On the one hand you say, "In this case, laws would take too much time"
and on the other hand you speak of "a voice that has no significance whatsoever to the practical result in this situation."

What good is doing something that saves time if it has "no significance?"  Wouldn't it be better to do something that takes time and at least has some significance?

 

Benjamin

Boyd Reimer wrote:

Benjamin, you mentioned "no political will."  I agree.

The political will would be there if politicians would do the job that they are paid to do

and represent the majority of the people who pay them.

The June 27, 2008 Angus Reid poll shows that

64% of Canadians say they would agree to give these U.S. soldiers the opportunity to remain in Canada as permanent residents.

The lack of "political will" among politicians is the lack of will to do the job that they are being paid to do:  ie represent the majority.

--------------------------

Benjamin, I am confused about two conflicting statements you made:

On the one hand you say, "In this case, laws would take too much time"
and on the other hand you speak of "a voice that has no significance whatsoever to the practical result in this situation."

What good is doing something that saves time if it has "no significance?"  Wouldn't it be better to do something that takes time and at least has some significance?

As a general rule, there is no party in the House today that wants to champion the rights of immigrants and refugees.  There is a moderate level of support from the Bloc and the NDP for migrant rights, and a moderate level of support for business immigration from the LPC.  There is also, I would argue, an erroneous belief held by many MPs that our immigration system is basically fair.  If one believes this proposition, then it follows that war resister issues can be left for the Federal Court to sort out.  This follows with a general tendency of all the political parties to let the courts do their job for them, on such controversial issues same-sex marriage.

After seeing that the Federal Court is basically hostile to the claims of war resisters, the ball was placed in parliament's court.  Given what I have described above, the weak and un-enforceable declaration probably seemed like a good option.  At this point, even if there was political will, the amount of time it would take to table legislation, have three readings, and get royal assent, would be too long for many of the war resisters.

The good of time saving is that it lets politicians pretend like they are doing something, so that their constituents feel as though their support for minority opposition parties has an impact of government policy (and in some cases, though not this one, it does).  Yes, it would be better to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and there are a whole slew of areas that warrant amendment, but I think that the time has run out for such a course, and further, there is not a single political party that wants to champion this issue as a major cause.  Yes, Olivia Chow and Bob Rae have been contributing time and energy, but their respective parties are not interested in championing the cause of migrants.

Boyd Reimer Boyd Reimer's picture

Thank you, Benjamin, for this helpful "bird's eye view" perspective on things.

I agree with you and am helped by your comments.

I should explain that my dissappointment and frustration stems from the following:

I had always hoped that the annual celebrations of Remembrance Day over many years had somehow educated enough Canadians that Nuremberg Principle IV was worth keeping --even if it meant opening up a long Parliamentary debate on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

It has educated SOME Canadians in that way -- but obviously not ENUOGH Canadians.....

Now I am seeing that, for too many Canadians, Remembrance Day has never really been equated with "keeping Nuremberg Principle IV as a caution against the dangers of too much nationalism."

Instead, it is now being used by too many Canadians as an encouragement for MORE nationalism, not less.

And with that increased nationalism in Canada has come MORE war, not less.

Nevertheless, I will continue to try to replace that nationalism with internationalism.

(I find this frustrating because Remembrance Day is one of only 9 statutory holidays, and I had hoped that after commemorating it so many times, people would have eventually figured out what it actually commemorated.)

Nevertheless, the struggle continues.....

Frmrsldr

Sadly, Remembrance Day has degenerated for many into a glorification of war.