Don’t come around here no more

US war deserters no longer welcome in Canada


The welcome mat that Pierre Trudeau laid out for Vietnam-era draft dodgers has been rolled back up by the Conservative government, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Although Canada’s policy on war resisters has not officially changed, documents obtained from Citizenship and Immigration under access-to-information laws reveal the “underlying message” that “there is no appetite for intervening politically” to provide sanctuary to Iraq war deserters, and that refugee-claim officers have been advised to be “particularly vigilant” about refugee claims from such Western democracies as the United States.” Shortly after taking over the CIC portfolio last fall, Jason Kenney publicly referred to such claims as “bogus.” According to the Citizen, as many as 50 American war deserters have filed for refugee status, and there may be “dozens more living beneath the radar.”

Ottawa Citizen

Filed under:

Don’t come around here no more

  1. Deserters are cowards. Russia during WWII, had a special treatment for deserters-they were front line material for the next battle.

    if they have an issue with their government, they should take it up in the US. By coming to Canada, they simply undermine our resolve and feed the loud mouths who are constantly spewing anti-American rhetoric.

  2. 'No appetite' among whom exactly?

    Decisions like this – alongside the eradication of the court challenges program; the reduction of the scope of pay equity requirements in the federal public service; the refusal to become a signatory to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights; etc – PMSH is extinguishing the light of any claim to moral consciousness and compassion we once held as a country.

  3. I'm not sure why the Citizen article needed to be written, as the substance of it is not news and the memo described sounds innocuous. Today's deserters are subject to extradition, unlike yesteryear's draft dodgers, because what the deserters did is a crime in Canada too. As we had no draft in the 60s or since, we had no law against draft dodging, and the dodgers were free to stay. Fadden's memo may have simply spelled this all out. The law hasn't changed, and it's not obvious that Trudeau would have had much more sympathy than Jason Kenney does for people who actively signed on and then decided to renege.

  4. It is historically wrong to say that Canada provided sanctuary to Vietnam era draft resisters but not to deserters. Many Vietnam War deserters were allowed to immigrate to Canada and quite a few of them are now Canadian citizens.

    The primary difference between the treatment of Vietnam War refusers and Iraq War refusers is that, unlike Stephen Harper, the Conservative Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal PM in those days, was not a cheerleader for U.S. imperialism. Also, Canada had a much more open immigration policy which did not require war resisters to seek refugee status.