Running on Empty, a new book published by McGill-Queens University Press, is the first full description of Canada’s resettlement of 70,000 refugees displaced by war, tyranny and genocide in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos between 1975 and 1980. It describes the decisions of Canadian politicians and public servants who crafted the policies and designed and delivered the programs that underpinned the extraordinary response of thousands of Canadians to the massive humanitarian tragedy that unfolded with the communist victory in Southeast Asia. It documents the exhausting work of Canadian officials who travelled to remote jungle camps, worked long days and sometimes slept on their worktables while rats and snakes scurried around them. It highlights the efforts of Canada’s officials and soldiers to smooth the difficult transition refugees faced on arrival in Canada. It showcases the extraordinary contribution of Canadians from all walks of life to help refugees from the tropics settle in a winter land.
The four authors who will be in attendance are retired Foreign Service officers. Michael J. Molloy was senior coordinator of the Indochinese Refugee Task Force from 1979 to 1980. Peter Duschinsky is a retired immigration foreign service officer and Immigration Canada’s former director of international liaison. Kurt F. Jensen is a retired foreign service officer and adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. Robert J. Shalka, a retired immigration foreign service officer was one of two officers sent to Thailand to establish a new program for refugees from Thailand and Laos.
McGill-Queens University Press, Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Immigration Historical Society in association with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Cambodia
and the Vietnamese Canadian Community of Ottawa,under the auspices of the Ottawa International Writers Festival
Come and explore diverse pan-Asian cultures, films, lectures, sport, arts, food and much more. A majority of the events are FREE!