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The Amelie: Canadian Refugee Policy and the Story of the 1987 Boat People

An Audio Documentary

by Ella BedardJane Kirby

In 1987, a small boat called the Amelie brought 174 refugees to the shores Charlesville, Nova Scotia. Most of the passengers were Sikhs fleeing persecution in India, who had endured a long a difficult journey to reach Canada. Though the people of Charlesville offered their hospitality to the
Amelie migrants, Canada’s government did not. Sadly, the passengers met resistance from those who accused them of abusing Canada's refugee protection system.

The Amelie arrived during a time of economic austerity and rising political conservatism and was used as justification for tightening Canada's refugee laws, not unlike what we have seen in the aftermath of the arrival of Tamil migrants on Canada's West Coast during the summer of 2010. By
looking at the past and telling the story of the Amelie, we can gain insight into current events and injustices faced by refugees and boat people in Canada.

This documentary features interviews with the refugees who were passengers aboard the Amelie, lawyers, policy experts, academics and activists to tell the story of the Amelie and offer multiple perspectives on current and past events.

Funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada with the support of CKDU.

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Migration
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