Bridging Boundaries – February 15, 2017

Good morning PPGR enthusiasts! Lets get things moving with this week’s theme: refugee policy.

Highlights from this week’s brief include:

  • New Canadian public opinion research on refugee settlement
  • Commentary on the Safe Third Country Agreement
  • An interview with David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee
  • Coverage of a recent event on the ethics of immigration

This edition of the brief was prepared by Caleb Holden and Leah Mulholland

Beyond Borders?  

  • Recent media coverage has celebrated Canada’s continued commitment to refugee settlement amidst increasing global backlash. Meanwhile, SPPG Professor Michael Donnelly has conducted public opinion research on Canadians’ views on refugee settlement, and immigration. His conclusion: Canada is not the exceptionally pro-immigration society that others have come to expect. [Michael Donnelly / McGill Institute for the Study of Canada]
  • Despite Canada’s official positive stance towards refugees, namely those coming from majority-Muslim countries, many argue that the federal government is not doing enough in terms of actual policy implementation. What could and should the government do? To start, the federal government could lift the privately-sponsored refugee cap of 1,000 per year, rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), and adopt the Resolution on Islamophobia, as proposed by Private Member’s Motion M-103, scheduled for debate on February 21st. [Terhas Ghebretecle and Talha Sadiq / PPGR]
  • With international attention trained on President Trump’s seemingly daily executive orders, it’s easy to lose sense of the immense scale of the global refugee crisis. Ezra Klein’s interview with David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, provides some much-needed context on the world’s 65 million displaced peoples, and looks beyond resettlement for solutions. [Ezra Klein / The Ezra Klein Show]
  • In 2004, Canada signed the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, requiring each country to turn away refugees that enter either over the Canada-US border. While the agreement was meant to enshrine a sense of cooperation between the two nations, the Trump Administration’s recent suspension of the US refugee programme has sparked calls for Canada’s withdrawal. [Simon Lewsen / The Walrus]
  • At a lecture held last month at the University of Toronto, Professor of Political Science Joseph Carens discussed the ethics of immigration, and proposed the creation of a “firewall” to protect migrants from being turned over to immigration authorities when seeking city services, as Toronto has done. Most provocatively, he argued in support of open borders, challenging their conventionality, and pushing audience members to consider the moral foundations of borders and the laws governing immigration. [Milica Uzelac/ PPGR]
We hope you have a great reading week spent catching up on the latest PPGR articles! The next edition of the Brief will be making its way to your inboxes on March 1st.