In order to involve others in the wider community in Kamloops, our group has become part of RAFT (Refugees And Friends Together).
Ms. MacDonald faced two major foreign crises during the short-lived Clark government and distinguished herself in both. The first involved the flood of refugees fleeing Vietnam in the wake of North Vietnam’s victory over U.S.-backed South Vietnam. Together with Ron Atkey, another Red Tory who held the Immigration portfolio, she launched a scheme whereby the government allowed Canadians to sponsor refugees to Canada and then matched the public’s total with an equal number of unsponsored refugees. In that way, more than 60,000 “boat people,” as they were known, came to Canada, the highest per capita refugee influx of any country during the crisis.
For those who are interested in reading up more on the history and the roots of the PSR Program, you can find out more on this website which describes the Indo-Chinese refugee crises and the so-called ‘boat people’ arriving in Canada, which prompted the Private Refugee Sponsorship program: http://indochinese.apps01.yorku.ca/conference/resources/