POLITICS

Quotes from some Vietnam draft dodgers who moved to Canada

04/16/2015 04:10 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 08:59 EDT
MONTREAL - Several thousand Americans travelled to Canada to avoid having to fight in the Vietnam War. Here are quotes from three draft dodgers ahead of the 40th anniversary of the end of the war on April 30, 1975:

Bill King: Musician, producer, broadcaster and founding artistic director for the Beaches International Jazz Festival in Toronto.

"We told the Canadian custom agent that we were just married and wanted to have our honeymoon at Niagara Falls. The (agent) knew what was happening. He knew what was going on. He was sympathetic. We love Toronto and settling in Canada was the best decision we ever made. It was an amazing decision and we became Canadian citizens in 1992."

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Eric Nagler: Musician and former star of "Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show" and "Eric's World."

"The truth was that as soon as I crossed that border it was a huge load off my chest and a huge sense of freedom. Thank God I was finally free from the oppression that had been following me for quite some time. We called ourselves 'draft dodgers' in Canada. Up here it wasn't a pejorative (like in the United States). It was a badge of honour."

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Jack Todd: Author and sports columnist with the Montreal Gazette.

"I think we all have a huge debt to (former prime ministers) Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau who both had the courage to stand up to the bullying of (U.S. presidents) Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, who tried to persuade them not to let us stay up here. We have to recognize the courage of these two Canadians."