Alternative Service for Peace in Canada during World War II 1941-1946 (Edited by A.J. Klassen)


“During the Second World War groups of Conscientious Objectors… worked as planting crews. They achieved an all-time high of 3,380 hectares planted in 1943.” – Hon. Dave Parker, B.C. Minister of Forests, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Sayward fire

“On Vancouver Island, 319,308 man days or 2.5 million hours of alternative service were clocked… Seventeen million trees were planted in those two years…. In 50 years, $35,700,000 of value a year has grown in forests planted by COs.” – Ed Janzen, Director of MCC (B.C.)

“The ASWs are the best fire-fighters we ever had.” – Jim Pedly, BCFS

“[The] ‘preparedness feature’ constitutes the principal value of these camps and it cannot be compensated for under any other manpower plan…. They have served a function of great national importance….” – A. Wells Gray, Minister of Lands and Forests (1943)

“The fire swept upwards and the rocky, scenic bluff, vacated only a short time ago, was a roaring inferno, sending flames and billowing smoke hundreds of feet into the air…. The two youthful fire-fighters looked at each other… ‘We wouldn’t have had time to get out of there, had it happened any sooner.'” – Andrew Steckly in The Beacon, Oct. – Npv., 1943, 22

“The imbalance in the historical record with respect to women and conscientious objection is beginning to be corrected…. Mennonite women… in many cases,… stepped out of their traditional roles… and filled the vacant shoes of their menfolk.” – Marlene Epp

“We need to overcome our ambivalence about peace…. We have only one message to give: the Gospel of peace!… The peace of personal salvation; peace with God and peace with our fellow humans.” – David Schroeder

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