The Canadian Peace Alliance, the War Resisters SupportCampaign and the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace have joined togetherto urge Canadian voters to reject the pro-war agenda beingpromoted by Stephen Harper in the current federal election.

“A vote for Stephen Harper is a vote for George Bush. Harper is a man who supported the invasion of Iraq and wants to sign on to the dangerous ballistic missile defence plan, two positions that the majority of Canadians have already clearly rejected,” said Sid Lacombe, coordinator of the Canadian Peace Alliance, a peace network of more than 140 member groups representing more than four million Canadians.

“The Martin Liberals have already increased military spending and embroiled us in an unwinnable quagmire in Afghanistan. Now Harper wants to make things even worse with increased support for militarism and war,” Lacombe said.

The War Resisters Support Campaign, with supporters across Canada, has gathered over 30,000 signatures on a petition to the government urging that U.S. soldiers who refuse to take part in — or return to — the Iraq War be given sanctuary, as was done during the Vietnam War.

“Stephen Harper’s close ties to Bush supporters in the U.S. make us doubt that a Harper Government would uphold Canada’s tradition of offering sanctuary to U.S. war resisters,” said Vietnam War resister Lee Zaslofsky, speaking for the Campaign. “Rather, we fear he would curry favour with Washington by acting as an enforcement arm of the Pentagon, forcing U.S. war resisters back to the U.S., where they would face prison or worse.”

“Stephen Harper’s call for renegotiating missile defence, if elected, should send a sharp warning to Canadians that Canada-U.S. military integration under a Harper-led government would shift us deeper into the U.S. foreign policy orbit,” said Dr. Janet M. Eaton, co-chair of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.

The future of our country as we have known it, Canadian public policy values, and our international role as a peacebuilder, and upholder of a principle centred, multilateral world is at great risk at this moment in history, Eaton said.