It was the dead of winter when a buddy from Cornell University drove war deserter Dick Cotterill through the Maine-New Brunswick border for a new life of freedom and peace in Canada.
At the border station near St. Stephen, N.B., a Canadian official hassled the young Marine officer but within minutes let him in as a permanent resident, with the papers of a job offer from a beef farm.
That was March 1972, on the eve of Cotterill's deployment to the Vietnam War.
"The Canadian government and people welcomed us in those days," recalled Cotterill, 60, who now runs his own yard and garden equipment business in Truro, N.S.
A very different welcome has greeted Iraq war resisters, who have been coming to Canada since the war began in 2003.
These U.S. service men and women have met with roadblocks in seeking status in Canada, for fleeing from a war they consider illegal and immoral.
Their asylum claims, and immigration applications made on humanitarian grounds have been rejected, under review or challenged in court; some of the applicants have been deported and jailed in the U.S. including Robin Long, 26, sentenced to 15 months in 2008, and Clifford Cornell, 29, to 12 months last year.
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