(By Dr. Michael Gaspar, originally published in The Toronto Star, May 6 2006)
Canada should be a refuge for war resisters from the United States who refuse to fight in Iraq. The Geneva Conventions provide for a soldier's right to refuse an order that he or she believes would result in a war crime.
The U.S. won't recognize this right or fairly allow these men and women exemptions as conscientious objectors. It follows that Canada should regard them as legitimate political refugees or find some other mechanism to uphold the spirit of international law.
If the Conservative government believes the Iraq war was legal and if it disavows the considerable evidence that war crimes are being committed there, let it say so and let Canadians be the judge.
Hiding behind immigration law - as Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and Immigration Minister Monte Solberg are doing - is simply gutless.