In 1967 my wife Bonnie and I came to Canada. I was about to enter the US military as a physician and could not in conscience go. The Universal Code of Military Justice states that the first duty of a military doctor is to return the soldier to combat. Therefore I would be no different than the soldier, an instrument of an immoral war. We received landed immigrant status in 20 minutes at the Dorval Airport border. In those days, Prime Minister Trudeau said that Canada was to be a refuge against militarism. Today Bonnie and I are Canadians, and what is our government doing to welcome soldiers of conscience—nothing, in fact getting ready to deport these young men for acting on their conscience, after experiencing first hand what is going on in Iraq.
We have been in Canada since 1967, except for a brief sojourn in the US for study. There I experienced the American Health Care Non-System first hand. Canadian values: caring for each other is best exemplified by the Canadian Medicare system. And caring for the world and independent thinking was exemplified by how we were treated by Canadians as draft deserters/resisters.
Bonnie has contributed through her many films directed at the National Film Board of Canada, our son Seth is the Director of the BC Centre for Policy Alternatives—a social-economic think tank. Our daughter Naomi is a well-known author and columnist (No Logo, The Shock Doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism). I have been heading departments, practicing family medicine and pediatrics all these years and doing research on maternity care in Canada—studying old and new technologies. The research that I do has been credited with changing practices that are dangerous or inappropriate.