Monday, November 16th, 2020 Re-examining the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement

Monday, November 16, 20207:00PM - 8:30PMOnline Event, Online Event


Global Migration Lab Student Research Initiative


In light of the recent migrant crisis in Central America and along the southern US border, it is valuable to re-examine the obstacles which the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) has created with respect to those seeking refuge from violence and horror in Central America. Bringing together experts in law, government, and public policy, the Global Migration Lab Student Research Initiative will explore the ongoing questions surrounding the STCA. What is the current legal situation? What is the current political situation? What does the future hold and what are the consequences?

Craig Damian Smith earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Smith is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University. His research focuses on migration, displacement, European foreign policy, and refugee integration.

Chris Alexander is the former Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship under the Stephen Harper government from 2013 to 2015. Chris Alexander also served as Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering from 2011 to 2015 and was also Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005.

Heather McPherson has 25 years of experience in building strong communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Most recently, she was Executive Director of an organization representing Alberta not-for-profit organizations that work on issues relating to poverty reduction, human rights, environmental protection, and gender equality. She has a Master of Education from the University of Alberta and has taught around the world.

Robert Falconer is a Research Associate with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. His work focuses on immigration and refugee policy, with a particular focus on reforming policies related to the Canadian asylum system. His other research interests include the retention of newcomers in rural Canada and the influence of domestic and foreign policy on immigrant interest in moving to Canada.

Prasanna Balasundaram is a staff lawyer for Downtown Legal Services and supervises the Refugee and Immigration division and academic appeals cases in the University Affairs division. He has a special interest in judicial reviews of decisions by the Immigration and Refugee Board and administrative issues that engage constitutional rights. Prasanna is counsel for two of the individual applicants in the judicial review of the STCA, which was heard in November 2019.


Dr. Craig Damian Smith
Senior Research Associate, Ryerson University; Research Associate, Global Migration Lab

Chris Alexander
former Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship; former MP for Ajax-Pickering

Heather McPherson
MP for Edmonton Strathcona, NDP Critic for Human Rights

Robert Falconer
Research Associate, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

Prasanna Balasundaram
Staff lawyer, Refugee and Immigration division, Downtown Legal Services

Main Sponsor

Global Migration Lab


Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.

Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at or 416-946-8900.