PhD Candidate Wins Prestigious Award

November 7, 2014

The Department of Political Science would like to congratulate Geoffrey Cameron, a Ph.D. candidate, as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Gunn Award. His winning essay is entitled “The Political Origins of Refugee Resettlement Policy: Insights from the Policy Process in Canada (1938-1951)”.

The Gunn Award, worth $1000, is sponsored by the Canadian Immigration Historical Society and the International Migration Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The award’s five-person jury (Gerry Van Kessel, Kurt Jensen and Rob Vineberg of the CIHS; Dr. Jenna Hennebry of Wilfrid Laurier University; and Dr. Abel Chikanda  of Queen’s University) thought the essay provided valuable insight into the beginnings of Canada’s refugee resettlement policy, was well written and properly researched, and made its case convincingly.

Mr. Cameron argues that the decision by Canada to resettle refugees followed more than a decade of effort by church groups and international organizations to put refugees on the public policy agenda. After World War II, Canada’s elites increasingly saw refugee policy as an opportunity to show international leadership and an independent foreign policy. Because public opinion remained reluctant to liberalize immigration policy generally and the cabinet was divided, initial openings for resettlement focused on refugees who could provide manual labour to meet labour market needs.

You can read more about the Gunn Award here.

Click here to read the winning essay