Why one former undergrad loves Canadian Studies; US asylum policy in Canadian courts

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Catch up with 2017 Ross Prize Winner, Evan Walsh
  • Canadian News: Border closure extended into September
  • Upcoming Event: Canadian courts take on US asylum policy
“It Was One of My Most Interesting Experiences at Cal”
Catching Up With 2017 Ross Prize Winner Evan Walsh
Evan Walsh is a Class of 2018 Berkeley graduate. A dual US-Canadian citizen, he received his B.A. in economics, with a minor in public policy. In 2017, Evan won the Rita Ross Undergraduate Prize in Canadian Studies for his research paper comparing housing policy in Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area. Evan currently works at a large tech company in the South Bay.
Canadian Studies asked current Hildebrand Fellow Desirée Valadares to check in with Evan, and find out how Canadian Studies had impacted his career, both at Berkeley and after graduation. Read her full interview with Evan here.
How did the Ross Prize support your educational or career goals?
The Ross Prize helped me pursue my interest in public policy on both sides of the border. My research project explored potential policy solutions to Vancouver’s housing crisis. (As someone who’s lived in both Vancouver and the Bay Area, I guess I like to live in unaffordable places!) I particularly enjoyed exploring how the Canadian policy response intersected and differed from the response to the crisis in the Bay. More importantly, it was very affirming to know there is a community on campus interested in this work!
What was your favorite experience with Canadian Studies?
Definitely meeting Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May! Having lunch with a party leader was something I never thought I would experience. Being able to meet a policymaker and hear her thoughts on current events was certainly beneficial for all the public policy courses and projects I was working on. It still stands out as one of the most interesting experiences I had at Cal.
What is the role of Canadian Studies in an American university?
Canadian Studies creates a really important community that connects a lot of different areas. After all, as someone who has lived in both Canada and the US, both countries are intricately tied together in just about every way. Many Canadians study in the US, and many Americans study in Canada. So as the program evolves, I hope it can continue to facilitate cross-border learning on topics important to both countries.
How has your time at Berkeley influenced your career since graduating?
I’ve been working in tech for the last year in the Bay Area. Cal is still playing a big role in my career; namely, it opens up doors about everywhere. Being able to take courses from leaders in so many different fields has also helped be aware of the many of the different paths I can go down, especially this early in my career.
Canada-US Border Closure Extended Until September 21
The Government of Canada has announced an agreement with the United States to extend restrictions on non-essential travel between the two countries until September 21. The restrictions aim to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, and the extension comes as the U.S. continues to suffer from high rates of new coronavirus cases, and faces an increase in the percentage of deaths attributed to the virus. Under the agreement, Canadian and American residents currently will continue to be allowed to return to their respective home country.
No Safe Country for Refugees? The Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement Before the Canadian Courts
Panel | September 1 | 12:30 PM | Online – RSVP required
Until recently, certain asylum claimants who entered Canada were routinely returned to the United States under the the Safe Third County Agreement. However, in July Canada’s Federal Court ordered the agreement suspended, asserting that the US is “not safe” for refugees due to the risk of imprisonment and other basic rights violations. Audrey Macklin, an expert in human rights law at the University of Toronto, joins Berkeley Law professor Leti Volpp to unpack the ruling and what it means for migrants and US-Canada relations. The conversation will be moderated by immigration scholar and Canadian Studies director Irene Bloemraad.
Please RSVP at canada@berkeley.edu to receive a webcast link.
New Security Policy for Digital Events: All Participants Must Sign In
To ensure the security of university-hosted meetings, UC Berkeley recently implemented new security measures for digital events. The most important change is as of August 15, all participants are required to sign into a Zoom account prior to joining meetings hosted by UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley affiliates can use their CalNet ID’s to sign in to Zoom. Participants who are not eligible for a UC Berkeley-provided Zoom account can create a free, consumer Zoom account or can dial in via phone.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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