The Trudeau Government, Refugee Policy, and Echoes of the Past
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the welcoming of 25,000 Syrian refugees a pivotal part of the Liberal platform in the 2015 federal election. The refugee policy promise was central to the Liberal victory in 2015 and has been widely judged a success. This chapter aims to describe the extensive government response required to fulfill this promise, to put it in a historical context, and to emphasize the important role of private citizens and civil service initiatives in previous and current refugee resettlement programs. As in the refugee crises of 1947 and 1979, Canada’s large refugee resettlement programs work well when the civil service is encouraged to partner actively with the public to find creative ways to direct both federal and private resources.
- Adelman, Howard. 1992. Discussion paper: Private sponsorship of refugees program, employment and immigration Canada. Refuge 12 (3): 2–10.Google Scholar
- Black, Debra. 2015. Vietnamese refugees prepare to sponsor Syrian families. Toronto Star, December 16. https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2015/12/16/vietnamese-refugees-prepare-to-sponsor-syrian-families.html. Accessed 8 Sept 2017.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 2015. Report on plans and priorities 2014–15. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/rpp/2014-2015/. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- ———. 2016. Report on plans and priorities 2015–16. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/rpp/2015-2016/. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- Employment and Immigration Canada. 1982a. Indochinese refugees: The Canadian response, 1979 and 1980. Narrative. Employment and Immigration Canada. http://cihs-shic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Indochinese-Refugees-Cdn-Response-report-ENG.pdf. Accessed 15 July 2017.
- ———. 1982b. Indochinese refugees: The Canadian response, 1979 and 1980. Statistics. Employment and Immigration Canada. http://cihs-shic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Indochinese-Refugees-Cdn-Response-statistics-ENG.pdf. Accessed 14 Apr 2017.
- Friesen, Joe. 2015. Prime Minister’s Office ordered halt to refugee processing. Globe and Mail, October 8. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prime-ministers-office-ordered-halt-to-refugee-processing/article26713562/. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- Friesen, Joe, Ian Bailey, and Gloria Galloway. 2015. Harper defends how refugees are processed. Globe and Mail, October 9. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-prioritized-some-refugees-because-they-are-being-targeted-by-isis-harper-says/article26746945/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&. Accessed 18 Sept 2017.
- Gilmour, Julie F. 2009a. ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Refugees, public opinion, and policy in Canada since 1900. In Canada among nations 2008, ed. Robert Bothwell and Jean Daudelin, 159–182. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 2009b. “The kind of people Canada wants”: Canada and the displaced persons, 1943–1953. University of Toronto. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/29949/1/Gilmour_Julie_Frances_200906_PhD_thesis.pdf. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- Goodyear, Sheena. 2015. Syrian refugees not always available for sponsorship, Canadians learn. CBC News, December 25. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/refugee-sponsors-non-syrians-1.3376790. Accessed 18 Sept 2017.
- Government of Canada. 2015a. Canada offers leadership on the Syrian refugee crisis. Government of Canada. http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1021919. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- ———. 2015b. Strong leadership: A balanced budget, low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security. Government of Canada. http://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/docs/download-telecharger/index-eng.htm. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- ———. 2016. Growing the middle class. Government of Canada. http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/budget2016-en.pdf. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- Government of the United States. 2017. Department of Homeland Security. Fact sheet: Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry to the United States. Government of the United States. https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states. Accessed 15 Sept 2017.
- Hauser, Christine. 2017. Fleeing U.S. for asylum, and handcuffed in Canada. New York Times, February 24. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/world/americas/canada-border-crossing-arrests.html. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- Howlett, Karen. 2015. Toronto man still waiting on application to sponsor Syrian family. Globe and Mail, September 3. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto-man-still-waiting-on-application-to-sponsor-syrian-family/article26223103/. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- Hoye, Bryce. 2017. Border services sets up emergency trailer to make space for refuge seekers. CBC News, February 27. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/emerson-refugees-manitoba-1.4000668. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 2016a. #WelcomeRefugees: The road ahead. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/overview.asp. Accessed 17 Apr 2017.
- ———. 2016b. Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/laws-policy/menu-safethird.asp. Accessed 18 Sept 2017.
- ———. 2017a. Report on plans and priorities 2016–17. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/rpp/2016-2017/. Accessed 17 Apr 2017.
- ———. 2017b. Map of destination communities and service providers. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/map.asp. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- ———. 2017c. Interim federal health program: Summary of coverage. Government of Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/outside/summary-ifhp.asp. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- Kantor, Jodi, and Catrin Einhorn. 2017. Canadians adopted refugee families for a year. Then came ‘month 13.’ New York Times, March 25. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/25/world/canada/syrian-refugees.html?_r=0. Accessed 14 Apr 2017.
- Levin, Dan. 2017. Facing wave of refugees, Montreal opens up stadium for housing. New York Times, August 3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/world/americas/montreal-refugees-stadium-housing.html. Accessed 18 Sept 2017.
- Liberal Party of Canada. 2015. Real change: A new plan for Canadian immigration and economic opportunity. Liberal Party of Canada. https://www.liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/A-new-plan-for-Canadian-immigration-and-economic-opportunity.pdf. Accessed 11 Apr 2017.
- Library and Archives Canada. 1947a. Department of Labour. Cabinet Committee on Immigration. RG27, v. 895, 8-9-63-1, pt. 1, 10 May. Minister of Mines and Resources, “To his excellency the Governor General in Council- Proposal that Canada admit 5,000 selected displaced persons without waiting for an International Agreement on this subject.”Google Scholar
- ———. 1947b. Department of Labour. Woods Labour Advisory Council. RG27, v. 1521, T6, pt. 2, 14 February. Minutes of the fifth meeting of the WLAC, Port Arthur, Ontario, 7.Google Scholar
- Molloy, Michael J., Peter Duschinsky, Kurt F. Jensen, and Robert Shalka. 2017. Running on empty: Canada and the Indochinese refugees, 1975–1980. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
- O’Neil, Laureen. 2015. Canada’s reputation takes top spot in international survey. CBC News, July 16. http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/canada-has-the-worlds-best-reputation-global-survey-shows-1.3155500. Accessed 31 Aug 2017.
- White, Patrick and Ann Hui. 2015. Toronto Mayor John Tory joins group sponsoring Syrian refugee family. Globe and Mail, September 4. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-mayor-john-tory-to-sponsor-family-of-syrian-refugees-in-canada/article26225377/. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.
- Zerbisias, Antonia. 2015. Note to world leaders: This is how to welcome refugees. Al-Jazeera, December 14. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/12/note-world-leaders-refugees-trudeau-canada-syria-151214051232043.html. Accessed 16 Apr 2017.