Mennonites claim snub by Trudeau

Mennonites claim snub by Trudeau

KITCHENER (CP) – Leaders of the Mennonite Central Committee of Canada say they cannot understand why Prime Minister Trudeau refuses to meet them to hear a brief on Mennonite opposition to war, yet has time to talk to Beatle John Lennon and Yoko Ono about their peace campaign.

C. J. Rempel, committee secretary, says the Mennonites have presented a brief on their beliefs to every prime minister since William Lyon Mackenzie King in the 1920s. But they have been unable to arrange a meeting with Mr. Trudeau after trying for a year.

”He granted Lennon, with his new concept of peace, an hour on the spur of the moment but he won’t see the Mennonites who belong to one of the historic peace churches,” said Mr. Rempel.

The Mennonites gave the brief to Justice Minister John Turner and asked him to deliver it to Mr. Trudeau. It recounts church history and describes what the group has suffered during 400 years of opposition to war. It says Mennonite conscientious objectors have served the country effectively in nonmilitary ways.

The brief favors admitting American draft dodgers to Canada.