Ex-immigration minister Ron Atkey urges Canada to accept 50,000 Syrian migrants
Ron Atkey believes the 25,000 Syrians Ottawa is promising to re-settle initially is a “noble objective” but he wants Canada to up the ante.
“If Canada can do another 25,000 — that would make a significant contribution in line with Canada’s contribution with the Vietnamese boat people in 1979 to 1980. It will demonstrate to the Americans that they have to do more. We’ll shame them into it, similarly the Australians,” says Atkey, who was immigration minister in the Joe Clark government in 1979 when 50,000 Vietnamese refugees were granted asylum in Canada. By the end of 1980, that number had risen to 60,000.