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Handout 2.4
Secret Memo to the Minister

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Name: _____________________________________________________

As special advisors to the Minister of a government department, it is your task to give advice on how to deal with the crisis being experienced by the Irish Potato Famine immigrants.

1- In your group, you will write a confidential memo to your Minister, giving him/her advice on what should be done. Use your previous research to help you, along with the links in the Activity Resources section.

2- The memo must reflect the particular interests of your government department. What would your department want to focus on more than others? You can refer to your department's mandate for public safety: www.safecanada.ca/role_e.asp

3- Follow the structure of a memo as outlined below:

Length: Your memo should be no longer than 2 pages, single spaced.

Subject: 1 line. This is the title of your memo. At a quick glance, it should give your Minister an overall idea of what he/she is about to read.

Issue(s): 2 lines. This is where you give more details on the subject, perhaps mentioning a particular point relevant to your department.

Background Information: 1 paragraph. Here, you summarize the situation -- what is happening with the Irish immigrants, etc.

Considerations: ½ page. In this part of the memo, you must focus on the risks of the situation and the needs of the situation. Divide your considerations into "Risks" and "Needs".

Risks:
What are the risks to Canadians immediately and long term?
What are the risks to the Irish immigrants immediately and long term?
(Think about the risks locally and nationally, health, safety, economics, social dynamics, schools, housing, jobs and so on.)

Needs:
What will the nearby communities need in order to support the sudden influx of Irish immigrants?
What will the newcomers need?
What are the rights of citizens? Of non-citizens?

Recommendations:
½ page - 1 page. For each consideration, you must present a recommendation of action. These are your proposed solutions. Keep in mid the following questions:

What do you propose?
What do you need in order to achieve your plan?
What should be published in the Canada Gazette?
What are some challenges to your solution?
How will you address your challenges?
What do you foresee happening to the Irish immigrants, the surrounding communities, and Canada as a nation as a result of your recommendations?
What do you foresee happening if your recommendations are not followed?

Conclusion:
1 paragraph. Summarize your main point. Answer the question, "Why does this matter?" You may want to address why you believe another point of view is less valid or less important.

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