Mr. Speaker, let me say first that in the 1960s and 1970s during the war in Vietnam it was not just the people who were drafted who came to Canada. In fact, people who went to war voluntarily also came to Canada.
It is unfortunate that I do not have enough time, because I could give hon. members the history of how the decisions were made. Early in 1969, a memo was discussed in cabinet. There were all sorts of debates at that time. Originally the government of the day said no, but people in Canada rose up and said that it was really important to decide which side Canada was on. Were we on the side of the United States in the war in Vietnam or would we allow the draft dodgers and the war resisters to stay in Canada?
During that time, Canadians spoke out so loudly and clearly that the government, which initially said no throughout the early 1970s, then changed its mind. After two or three major decisions, it allowed all soldiers and their family members to stay in Canada. They were not just people who had been drafted. Some of them volunteered to go into the army.
That is the history of this in Canada. I hope the Conservative government listens to the stories of these families. They are facing jail terms when they return to the United States. That means they would have criminal records, which means they would not be able to get jobs. They would not be able to get a mortgage. Their entire lives would be destroyed.