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Canadians pull out of Saigon, Vietnam

The Story

With the communist takeover of South Vietnam looming, diplomats scramble to pull Canadians out of Saigon. Amidst the chaos, little real assistance is offered to Vietnamese civilians desperate to escape the imminent communist regime. The decision to airlift two diplomatic vehicles loaded with art and souvenirs while leaving Vietnamese staff behind causes some concern about Canada's priorities. CBC reporter Peter Kent covers the story and wonders about the upcoming U.S. departure. 

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: April 24, 1975
Guest: Reg Rhymer
Reporter: Peter Kent
Duration: 4:41

Did You know?

• Thousands of South Vietnamese were in danger of being executed by the Communists for their service to the South Vietnam government or the United States.

• Canada issued 14,000 visas to Vietnamese, but getting out of the country was left up to the individuals. Canada did not have the means to provide assistance in evacuating Vietnamese.

• In April 2000, Canadian embassy chargé d'affaires Ernest Hebert spoke on the record for the first time since the pullout.

• In the years following the Vietnam War, over one million refugees fled the war-ravaged countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Those Vietnamese who took to the ocean in tiny overcrowded ships were dubbed the boat people.

• Canada accepted 69,000 Indochinese refugees between 1975 and 1980.


Vietnam: Canada's Secret War more