the national post needs a fact checker

Here's a first for me: a letter in the National Post. (Non-Canadian readers: imagine the Wall Street Journal without the talent.)

The Post ran a nauseating column against Bill C-440 - the latest in a series. Here's my reply. The sentence in brackets was cut; apparently snark only flies in one direction.

I'm loathe to link to the original column, but if you have a strong stomach, search the Post site for "give me your stoned".
[Lorne Gunter may know how to be clever and sarcastic, but he clearly does not know how to check the facts.]

During the Vietnam War, Canada accepted both "draft dodgers" and soldiers who had volunteered.
Of the approximately 50,000 Americans who came to Canada during that era, it is estimated that around 10,000 were volunteers. When those soldiers saw what was happening in Vietnam, they decided to follow their consciences rather than the law.

At that time, no distinction was made between conscripts and volunteers. Canada welcomed them, as Canada should welcome their present-day counterparts now. No one should spend one day in prison because they refuse to participate in an illegal and immoral war against a civilian population.

Canada was once a "refuge from militarism," to quote Pierre Trudeau -- and should be again.

Laura Kaminker
Mississauga, Ont.

While I'm on the subject, I'll make another bid for letters to newspapers in support of C-440. It's an important piece of increased visibility. If you believe US war resisters should be allowed to stay in Canada, perhaps you will take a few minutes and tell your local newspaper just that. C-440 facts here (pdf).

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