MPs vote to give asylum to U.S. deserters, Tories say no

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CBC News


The House of Commons has passed a motion to grant permanent residence status to American military deserters and their families, but it's not expected to help a U.S. soldier recently ordered to leave Canada.

While all three opposition parties supported the non-binding NDP motion Tuesday, the government voted it down and is certain to ignore it.

There are an estimated 200 Iraq War resisters in Canada, including Corey Glass, 25, who learned last month that his application to remain in the country has been rejected. He is supposed to voluntarily return to the United States by June 12 or be deported.

Glass had been in Iraq for five months as a sergeant in military intelligence when he fled to Toronto in 2006 and applied for refugee status while on leave in Fairmount, Ind.

He said he filed on the grounds of objection to military service, convinced the war was "illegal and immoral."

The former National Guard member said he tried to leave the army, but was told that desertion was punishable by death.

Lee Zaslofsky, co-ordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War resister, said Glass would face imprisonment if he returns to the U.S.

He claimed Glass would be the first Iraq War resister to be deported from Canada.

With files from the Canadian Press