Statement from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage


Ottawa, April 30, 2016 – The Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, today issued the following statement:

“Today marks the second annual Journey to Freedom Day, a day to commemorate the thousands of Vietnamese ‘boat people’ Canada has welcomed since the end of the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

“The Journey to Freedom Day Act was introduced in the Senate in April 2014 by the Hon. Senator Thanh Hai Ngo and received Royal Assent last year. It created a day that allows all Canadians to reflect on the heartbreaking, brave, and inspiring voyage of the Vietnamese refugees and this important moment in our country’s history. Canadians responded with a then-unprecedented outpouring of support and open arms that has shaped our country’s approach to refugee crises in the years since 1975.

“Today, all Canadians have the opportunity to reflect on the journey of more than 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to Canada, to recognize the remarkable role Canadians played in helping them settle in their new home through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program, and to celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Vietnamese origin to our country’s diversity.”

For further information (media only), please contact:

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

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