Alan Tonks was the sole dissenter in the Liberal Party when it came time to vote on a bill that would allow war resisters to find haven in Canada.
Bill C-440 was proposed by Weston resident Gerrard Kennedy. According to Dean Del Mastro, (Conservative MP for Peterborough), the bill:
would let military deserters from any country participating in an armed conflict not sanctioned by the United Nations stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. It proposes to allow those individuals to remain in Canada based on a moral, political or religious objection. It would allow those subject to compulsory military service to refuse to return to service in their country of nationality. It proposes that the government would stay the removal for these applications until a decision on permanent residence for the individuals could be made.
Support for the bill broke along party lines, but with notable walkouts. The Conservatives voted against it. The Bloc, NDP, and most Liberals voted for it. But, because many Liberals, including Michael Ignatieff, left the House right before the vote, it did not pass.
Tonks has a history of voting against his party. Notably, in the past, he voted against same-sex marriage.