Thursday, 5 February 2015

Adventures from the Archives Part VIII

Hey there blog world!

Here is the latest post form the Adventures from the Archives Series. This time we'll be taking a look at the initial report regarding the settlement of those refugees that came to Canada by the end of November 1972

What: Report respecting to the Special Movement of Ugandan Asians
Who: From the Director General Mr. M.G. Clark of the Foreign Service to Assistant Deputy Minister of Manpower and Immigration Mr. James Cross
When: December 5th 1972
Where: Ottawa
So What: The report outlines the early integration of Ugandan Asian refugees in terms of employment along with the interest of the Canadian government in recruiting some of the most enterprising and business savvy refugees. The report makes it quite clear that refugees were settled across the country.  

The first page of the document outlines the basics of the operation in Uganda including how many visas were issued and the general operations on the ground in Kampala Uganda. The second page highlights what happened once refugees arrived in Canada which included four major points of processing:

  1.  Immigration and Agricultural Clearance 
  2.  Interviews by Manpower Counsellors to determine destination 
  3.  Issuance of pocket money where necessary 
  4.  Provision of garments if needed. 

Of particular interest is the regions where refugees landed given the raw numbers provided in the
report. The majority settled in the Pacific (2,279) and in Ontario (1,956). Another fascinating portion of the report outlines how many refugees did not use Canadian Charter flights which were provided free of charge by the Canadian government. There were 290 people who found their own ways to Canada and thus paid for their own travel.

Beyond these numbers who were considered "self-payers" the report outlines that of those who arrived since October 31 1972, 1,040 were already working by December. The report outlines that "the quick assimilation of these people into the Canadian labour force offers outstanding evidence of their initiative and skills".

The report also outlines that three major international groups played a pivotal role in the resettlement initiative including: UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) ICEM (the International Committee on European Migration) now known as the International Organization for Migration, and ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) [insert link]. The report also pinpoints that those who were not able to get out of the country by the November 8th deadline were relocated to refugee camps but were termed "transit camps" within the report in various locations such as Italy, Austria, Belgium, Malta, Morocco, Greece and Spain.


One of the most fascinating portions of the report is the section on Mr. M.N. Mehta who is expected to start with an initial investment within Canada of $250,000. The report also discusses how they have made some enquiries into have Mr. M. Madhvani come to Canada. This clearly highlights that Canada was deeply interested in resettling two of the most wealthy Asians living in Uganda and demonstrates their knowledge of the Ugandan Asian community.

Until the next post, I wish you all nothing but the best :)

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