At a news conference in Toronto yesterday, Liberal MP Mario Silva and NDP MP Olivia Chow called on the government to stop deporting American war resisters, and by the way, if they happen to form a coalition government, then they plan on halting said deportations – if you needed any more convincing.
Silva, who is the party’s critic for Foreign Affairs (Americas), called on Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, to “do the right thing, to search his heart, to do what is right.” Um, that’s all well and good, Mario, but this is Jason Kenney we’re talking about here. He’s the partisan attack dog who not only gets away with making some really heinous attacks (witness his attack on Senator Roméo Dallaire during the Omar Khadr debates in the foreign affairs subcommittee), but he does so without any seeming mechanism of a conscience. I really doubt that he’s going to be searching his heart, let alone finding anything in it (if in fact, one actually exists in his hefty frame).
“Although the Immigration and Refugee Board is an independent agency that will consider each asylum claim on a case-by-case basis, it's our position as a government that, as a general rule, military deserters from the United States are not genuine refugees under the internationally accepted meaning of the term,” Kenny’s spokesperson said.
Yeah, that’s really a minister that is going to search his heart to care about war deserters who’ve witnessed – and in some cases participated in – atrocities, and who don’t want to go back to them.
Meanwhile, Liberal finance critic MP Scott Brison tells the Globe and Mail’s Adam Radwanski what his party wants to see in the budget. The short-hand – no broad-based tax cuts, infrastructure stimulus for repair and retro-refit projects, many of which can be rolled out quickly using the gas tax mechanism, tax credits for people to give their homes “green renovations,” reforming the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive system, improved access to venture capital, and of course, strengthening the EI system.
And in case you were wondering, the latest round of polls shows that support for the coalition has surpassed support for the Conservatives. It seems that Canadians weren’t as opposed to the idea of a coalition – they just really didn’t like Stéphane Dion.