Policy’s role in protecting minority and vulnerable populations – March 14, 2018

Good morning subscribers and welcome to another edition of the Morning Brief! This week, we look at some articles that focus on groups in our society who face inequities and challenges in accessing the resources needed to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Whether it’s because of poor design of a key program, or the result of more underlying, structural causes, these challenges deserve our attention.

This week’s Morning Brief was prepared by Cindy Liu. Sign up here to receive the Morning Brief directly to your inbox.


  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 #WelcomeRefugees policy has helped approximately 40,000 Syrians start new lives in Canada. While a government evaluation of the policy found that refugees’ immediate and essential needs were met, some still encounter difficulties with integration. One of these difficulties involves a lack of financial support, which makes it challenging for refugees to learn an official language, access the labour market, and secure affordable housing. [Chohan/PPGR]
  • With an aging population and lack of a national child care system, Canada is already seeing a shortage of care workers. The migrant Care Program, an initiative that brings migrant labourers to Canada as caregivers, is an effort to address this shortage. The federal government is currently reviewing the program to assess its future outlook. Nicole Winger argues that in this review, government should protect migrant workers from exploitation through sustainable wage rates, investments in resources for employers, and a timely family reunification strategy. [Winger/PPGR]
  • Indigenous youth in foster care are the most vulnerable to violence and abuse. Those that survive foster care often experience poor educational outcomes and disproportionate involvement with the criminal justice system. They are also at greater risk of being victims of sex trafficking. Pam Palmater links the mistreatment of Indigenous youth in foster care to the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Today, there are more Indigenous children in the care of the state than there were during the worst of the residential school age – and this number is increasing. [Palmater/CBC News]
  • Across the border, Trump’s cuts and staff reductions in offices enforcing civil rights laws have made minority communities more vulnerable to mortgage discrimination. A study by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans were discriminated against in securing conventional mortgages. Banks’ decisions to withhold mortgage credit from minority communities is related to failing schools, high poverty rates, and ultimately, a lower quality of life in these communities. [Editorial Board/NY Times]

From access to housing to refugee resettlement, policy has a key role to play in addressing these inequities. We hope you enjoyed these articles – the next edition of the Brief will land in your inbox on March 21st.