Opinion

Fed candidate welcomes response 0

Letter to the editor:

Re: Ralph Moore letter to the editor, "Candidate's letter challenged by reader" (Packet & Times, July 18)

I would like to thank Mr. Moore for his letter of July 18 in response to my earlier letter on conscientious objectors. Although I disagree with Moore's opinion on the legality of the Iraq war, I truly welcome honest public debate on important matters such as this one.

The unsanctioned invasion of Iraq occurred March 18, 2003, a full seven months before the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1511 to ensure the "restoration of stability and security" in response to the chaos caused by the invasion. The resolution does not and could not provide retroactive exoneration. The fact remains, Stephen Harper would have committed Canada to this illegal war if he were Prime Minister at the time.

As for Afghanistan, I would much prefer that Canada was there with our original intention of peace-keeping and reconstruction. However, our troops deserve our full support in this new, combative role, which is sanctioned by the UN.

The point of my letter was that the Conservative government must respect the motion on conscientious objectors passed by Parliament. Harper himself said the government has a moral responsibility to respect such motions. This motion is based on an issue of fundamental human rights, and it is downright callous to ignore it.

According to an Angus Reid poll conducted June 6 and 7, 2008, after Parliament passed the motion calling on the government to make a provision to allow war resisters to stay in Canada and to cease all deportation and removal proceedings, two-thirds of Canadians want Canada to grant permanent residence status to U. S. Iraq war resisters.

The Harper Conservatives are afraid of raising the ire of their ideological cousins in the Republican administration but, ignoring the democratic will of Parliament and the views of the large majority of Canadians will only raise the fury of Canadian voters who want a more progressive government that reflects Canadian values.

Steve Clarke, Federal Liberal candidate for Simcoe North


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