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Safe haven in Toronto for draft dodgers

No one expected the Vietnam War to play out as it did. With thousands of young men fighting to the death overseas, another group of American sons fled their homeland and journeyed north to Canada. As the battle raged on and the antiwar movement divided the United States, draft dodgers and deserters struggled to forge new lives for themselves. Seeking sanctuary and the opportunity to make a difference, they changed their adopted country unquestionably. (Note: Some clips contain explicit language.)

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It's what CBC Television reporter Larry Bondy calls a popular pastime in Toronto -- spot the beatnik, oddball and bohemia in the hipster area known as Yorkville Village. But, now we can add a new criterion to the list -- the draft dodger. Rumours are circulating that there are over 90 draft dodgers hiding out in the area. Bondy investigates the claim, curiously seeking out the newest immigrants to Canada.
• The first wave of Americans to come to Canada in this time period were the draft dodgers. Largely middle-class and educated, these young men and their wives or girlfriends learned about the antiwar movement at university. Deserters, those who had been trained or served in the military, came later. Largely uneducated, these young men learned about the antiwar movement once they were in the army or were disillusioned after serving a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: May 10, 1966
Guest(s): Tom Hathaway, Doug Ward
Reporter: Larry Bondy
Duration: 2:49

Last updated: April 5, 2012

Page consulted on July 15, 2014

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