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

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.