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HIS312H1 (86)
Lecture 20

Lecture 20: Refugees and Refugee Policy

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Ian Radforth

Lecture 20: Refugees and Refugee Policy -from policy gap to legal commitment -ad hoc measures -self-serving approach: political and economic advantages to Canada -refugees in the past -Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, 1930s -Canada didnt have a real refugee policy for a long time, relied on ad hoc measures, taking action in particular situations if advantageous, such as if had skills -not till 1960s did Canada become focused on having an actual refugee policy -1976, Refugee Policy written into the Immigration Act -ON basically founded by refugees, by the Loyalists fleeing from the States, assisted by the Brit govt -Jewish refugees in the 1930s, vast numbers fled, eager to come to Canada -but Canada lacking guidelinespolicies under Mackenzie Kings govt avoided taking them in -in the midst of the Great Depression, and with anti-Semitism across Canada, esp. in QC -so low-profile approach, hoped it went away, and did with the Holocaust -DPs, displaced persons, from the UN-run camps out of WWII, 1947-1952, 65 000 ppl -didnt want to return home, Soviet-occupied -Canada as a safe haven -Canadas focus was not humanitarian, but what can the refugees do for Canada -jobs like forestry, mining, logging, heavy industry -Cold War, disliked the Soviets -for both political and economic reasons -Hungarian 56ers, refugees who fled Hungary after the revolt against the Soviets in Nov. 1956 -USSR sharply suppressed the Revolution -200 000 ppl fled, mainly into Austria, esp. Vienna -tremendous sympathy in Canada, seen as victims of Soviet aggression, as allies in the Cold War -in French-Canada, particular appeal, cause many were Roman- Catholic, like Quebecers -white ppl who would fit in -small Canadian embassy in Vienna, overwhelmed, liberal govt was pressured to do something -Ottawa sent over Jack Pickersgill, top-level official, given authority to make on the spot decisions -arranged for very quick processing of Hungarian refugees, arranged for an airlift, a novelty at the time, with chartered flights -wanted professionals for Canadian eco. -Canadians proud of the prompt response of the govt -many of these Hungarians contributed to the arts and sciences in Canada -40 000 in 1956-1957 -refugees trickled in the 1950s-1960s -Red Chinese refugees, 1962
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