During WWI Immigration slowed (from 150,000 in 1915 – less than 50,000 by 1918) It was hard to get here The Canadian government did not allow people from enemy countries Lives were not easy Blamed for social problems – especially high unemployment
Unemployment Increased unemployment after WWI caused some Canadians to pressure employers to fire foreign-born workers International Nickel Company in Sudbury fired 2,200 immigrant employees to create jobs for veterans The government also limited immigration to keep unemployment from skyrocketing Immigration offices in Europe were closed during the war and did not reopen until 1924
Social Problems Many accusations were made against innocent immigrants Russian and Eastern Europeans were blamed for causing the Winnipeg General Strike because of their country’s communist background Most strike leaders were actually British This strike became a main reason that the Immigration Act was changed
Discrimination Empire Settlement Act – 1922 This act smoothed the way for British subjects (white immigrants from Br or other countries in the Br empire). The government helped pay their travel costs and offered many supports Chinese Exclusion Act – 1923 Stopped most immigration from China Was not lifted until 1947 There were strict rules against most Asians, South Asians and Africans
The KKK The Ku Klux Klan arrived in Canada in the 1920s In Canada, they targeted Jews in Quebec, French Canadians in Saskatchewan, Asians in BC and all foreigners everywhere else KKK was most successful in the West Wanted no foreign immigration, property seizure and did not support the speaking of other languages Most powerful in Saskatchewan Had influential backing in communities and government By 1930, the KKK was no longer in Canada
Immigration Bias After the act was changed, 1000’s were forced to leave No two groups were treated the same British or other Northern European immigrants were welcomed Others, such as Asians, were discouraged from coming Others, such as Pacifist religious members, were barred all together Strange laws were also made like... People coming from India needed to come on a boat that did not stop along the way
Canadian Immigration Patterns Before WWI During WWI After WWIImmigrants were allowed Most immigration stopped Immigration limited.in based on contribution Immigrants were allowedthey could make to in based on culture andCanada – i.e. Farmers, ideas.labourers, etc.Immigrants who were Immigrants who were Immigrants who werewelcomed: British, white welcomed: British, white welcomed: British, whiteAmerican farmers, French, American farmers, French, American farmers, French,other Northern and people of other Northern people of other NorthernEastern European European countries – European countries –peoples – i.e. Swedes, Swedes, Finns, Swiss Swedes, Finns, SwissFinns, Swiss, Germans,Ukrainians, Russians,etc.
Discrimination II 1926 – as the economy improved some people were allowed in – Central, Eastern, and Southern Europeans took advantage While some people protested Canada’s discriminatory actions against immigrants, most remained silent or actively supported the polices They believed the propaganda about immigrants taking jobs, working for less money, and supporting communist movements
During the Depression Unemployment rose, so the doors closed again Even relatives were not allowed to join their family members Deportations also rose Laws were passed that allowed the government to deport unemployed immigrants and “trouble makers” They deported 150 000 people between 1931 and 1936
Jewish Refugees 1930s – Hitler comes to power Goal is to rid Germany of people considered “undesirable” – including the Jews Many people fled this brutal regime – becoming refugees – people who leave their home country to escape persecution or ill- treatment. 800 000 Jews left
Jewish Refugees II Very few were allowed into Canada during the 20s and 30s Even those who faced death were barred When asked how many Jewish refugees Canada should accept, Frederick Blair, the head of Canada’s immigration branch said...
NONE IS TOO MANY! Canada only accepted 4000 Jews during WWII
Anti-Semitism in Canada Equals prejudice against Jews Common in Canada in the 1920’s and 1930’s In Quebec there was an organized campaign to try to stop people from buying things from Jewish business men Many employers did not hire Jews Limited educational opportunities Banned from leisure activities – golf courses, beaches, clubs, and hotels
The St. Louis Tragedy 1939 – more than 900 Jewish refugees fled Germany on the St. Louis Wanted to go to the United States but sailed to Cuba first to wait for United States permission United States said no, so they tried asking Canada We also said no! Blair (head of Immigration) said if we let them in, more will come, and we can’t take 1000s of Jewish people – “the line must be drawn somewhere” They were forced to go back – few survived...
1920s – assimilation official government policyAboriginal Residential schools Peoples Separate children from families to make assimilation easier From age 7 to 15, forced to live in dorms, given new names, uniforms, European hair cuts Severely punished for doing anything from their native culture Teachers were poorly trained Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse was rampant
Aboriginal Rights Meighen’s government in 1920 enfranchised “deserving” First Nations peoples This meant they could vote and have all the rights of British citizenship = assimilation BUT it also meant that they would no longer have First Nations status or share in treaty rights First Nations peoples on and off reserves struggled and faced discrimination There were many protests in provinces and on Ottawa
Aboriginals in the 1930s During the Great Depression, the Canadian government encouraged First Nations to go back to the traditional ways – they were not prepared to give them the same relief as other Canadians However, this was not really an option as they had spent several decades moving away from this way of life Malnutrition and diseases like tuberculosis reached epidemic proportions
The Inuit 1934 – Government starts a program to relocate the Inuit of Baffin Island to Devon Island Claimed the move was to a place with more game and resources Really it was to populate isolated northern islands to reinforce Canadian sovereignty Surprisingly, after two years, they were allowed to move back The harsh winter weather and hurricane force winds made that choice easy This is only the first of many attempts to relocate the Inuit