After nearly ten years in office, the era of Stephen Harper Conservatism came to an end in 2015 when the Liberal Party was elected with a majority in Parliament. Under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the Liberal Party campaigned heavily upon the promise of a more liberal approach to immigration policy. The photo of Alan Kurdi's lifeless body on a Turkish beach caused much debate during the election. The family had in vain tried to escape the conflict in Syria by seeking asylum in Canada and joining family members already settled there before crossing the Aegean Sea – a voyage that would cost the lives of two-year-old Alan, his five-year-old brother, and his mother. The Externer Link: Canadian connection of the Alan Kurdi photo made immigration a key voting issue for much of the electorate. Trudeau’s government initially seemed to do good on the promises made during their campaign by bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of December 2015, just two months after winning the federal election.
The Liberal Party government seemed committed to doing politics differently than its predecessor. One of the first changes was the renaming of the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) highlighting the new government’s commitment to refugees as part of its mandate. In 2017, Ahmed Hussen was appointed by Trudeau to be the new Minister of the IRCC. Under Hussen, IRCC began creating multiyear levels plans for immigration, a shift from the one year plans policy left over from the Conservative government. The most recent 2019-2021 immigration plan aims to stimulate the growth of the Economic Immigrant Class