The Anatomy of a National Crisis: The Canadian Federal Government’s Response to the 2015 Kurdi Refugee Case
Keywords:Crisis communication, Political communication, Public relations / Communication de crise, Communication politique, Relations publiques
Background A photograph of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian boy found dead on a Turkish beach, sparked a major Canadian political crisis. During a federal election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander responded quickly to the incorrect implication that the government’s immigration policies caused the boy’s death.
Analysis This article analyzes the appropriateness of Harper’s and Alexander’s response strategies during the hours right after the crisis broke.
Conclusion and implications This article argues that the politicians faced an unusual challenge because, although the government’s policies had not actually caused the crisis, government leaders had to respond as if they had. Harper and Alexander mostly followed best practices but shifted the blame to the greater refugee crisis, which came across as disingenuous.
Contexte Une photo d’Alan Kurdi, le garçon syrien retrouvé mort sur une plage turque, a provoqué une crise politique au Canada. En pleine campagne électorale, le premier ministre Stephen Harper et le ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration Chris Alexander ont vite répondu à la rumeur fautive voulant que les politiques d’immigration du gouvernement aient causé la mort de l’enfant.
Analyse Cet article analyse la pertinence des stratégies de communication de Harper et d’Alexander dans les heures suivant le début de la crise.
Conclusion et implications Cet article soutient que les deux politiciens avaient un défi singulier à relever, car même si les politiques gouvernementales n’avaient aucunement causé la crise, les leaders ont dû agir comme si elles l’avaient réellement causée. En gros, Harper et Alexander ont suivi les meilleures pratiques possibles, mais quand ils ont attribué la mort du petit garçon à la crise des réfugiés en général, ils ont paru insincères.
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