Canadian citizens fight back a government ban on TV filming of Canadian soldiers coffins and win

Apart from new elections and political nominations, meetings of G8 leaders or some forgotten peace mission, Canada does not make often the news in the international press. Canadian like to think of themselves as peaceful citizens and when the new minority conservative government started showing muscle in Afghanistan, changing its initial mission to a more militaristic one and extending it in a move to show that it is willing to do the job of mess cleaning after US invasions around the world, copying Bush style domestic policies and snubbing the press in order to submit it, Canadians started to politely, consistently and rather eloquentlty show their unease.

They recently defeated a conservative government ban on TV filming of Canadian soldiers coffins returning from Afghanistan, a result that was not even obtained by their own representatives in the parliament.

''Parents like Tim Goddard, whose 26-year-old daughter Captain Nichola Goddard died during heavy fighting with Taliban guerrillas. During a eulogy at her funeral on Thursday, Mr Goddard said he was troubled by the Conservative government's decision not to allow the press to cover the repatriation ceremony marking the return of her coffin to Canada. Ms Goddard was the 16th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan since 2002 and the first female combat soldier to die in battle.

"I would like to think that Nichola died to protect our freedoms, not to restrict them," her father said.

Early in May, at another funeral, Lincoln Dinning showed a video of his 23-year-old son's body being repatriated.

"Now I'd like to show you some of the video that Mr Harper wouldn't let you see: close-up of Matthew's arrival home," he told 2,000 mourners.

Another parent, Jane Wilson, whose son died after a vehicle accident in Afghanistan in March, said Mr Harper told her during a meeting that the policy was designed to reduce the public's focus on the number of soldiers that had been killed. In the US, the Pentagon doesn't allow coverage of caskets returning to American soil, a policy that was imposed at the beginning of the Iraq war, and one President Bush supports.''

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Since March 29th 2006