7.1 history of immigration


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7.1 history of immigration

  1. 1. History of Immigration Canada’s history, post-colonization by the French and the British, is one of continuous immigration.
  2. 2. Canada: A History of Immigration Continued • By the 1880’s, the rate of immigration to Canada began to increase. The Canadian Pacific Railway had been completed and world wheat prices were high, which suggested that there would be profitable farming available on the Prairies. All that was needed were settlers. • Beginning in 1896 Clifford Sifton (minister of the interior in Laurier’s government) launched an aggressive campaign to encourage immigration to Canada.
  3. 3. Sifton’s Immigration Policy Continued • Each white European immigrant family was offered 160 acres of free land. • Sifton sought immigrants from across the U.S., Britain and Europe. • His efforts attracted large numbers of European farmers including Ukrainians, Scandinavians, Poles, Germans and Dutch • Sifton’s policy excluded: Africans, Jews, Asians, East Indians and Southern Europeans. • Between 1891 and 1911 more than 2 million immigrants came to Canada. • In 1905 the growing population led to the creation of 2 new provinces: Saskatchewan and Alberta. • By 1911 over 80% of people in the Western provinces had been born outside of Canada.
  4. 4. History of Immigration Continued • The Immigration Act of 1910 gave the federal cabinet the power to regulate immigration and to establish the qualifications necessary to immigrate to Canada. • The policy established was governed by 2 main factors: the country’s economic need and what the government called the “fundamental character” of Canadian society. For many years Canada’s immigration policy attempted to control the racial composition of the Canadian population. • The Immigration Act of 1946 defined acceptable immigrants as British subjects from Britain, Ireland, Newfoundland (not a part of Canada until 1949,) Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa (excluding non-whites); US citizens; and the wife and unmarried children under 18, or the fiancé, of a legal resident of Canada.
  5. 5. History of Immigration Continued • The Act also created 3 special categories of immigrants: Polish ex-servicemen, Dutch farm workers and qualified residents from Malta. • Also, in 1946 King introduce emergency measures that would bring some of the refugees of WWII to Canada. Between 194752 almost 170 000 refugees were resettled in Canada
  6. 6. History of Immigration Continued (race related policies) • However, while almost 380 000 immigrants came to Canada between 1945 and 1950, the admission of Asians was limited to the wife, husband and unmarried children under the age of 21 of Canadian citizens living in Canada. • The annual quotas for all Asian immigrants were seriously restricted. • For Example: 150 from India, 100 from Pakistan, and 50 from Sri Lanka.
  7. 7. On Chinatown and the treatment of the Chinese thro
  8. 8. The response of Canada to Immigration (race related policies) • Many Canadians in the early part of the 20th Century were extremely racist. Canada’s early response to immigration reflects this both in government policy and in the response of Canadian citizens to the immigration of racial minorities. • Canada encouraged Chinese immigration because of the construction of the trans-continental railway, and a need for cheap labor. • Once the railway was finished the white Canadians felt a need to limit and eventually abolish all Asian immigration to Canada. • Racist groups begin to form in Canada, including; the Anti-Asiatic league, which urged the government to end Asian immigration completely • These racist sentiments led to a riot in Vancouver on September 7, 1907, and would lead to laws which made it virtually impossible for anyone from Asia to immigrate to Canada (including people of Japanese, Indian and Chinese origin)
  9. 9. An Example of a Canadian response to immigration, a case study: The Komagata Maru • The amended Immigration Act of 1906 required that Indian Immigrants sail on a direct passage from India to Canada. This was nearly impossible. • However, Gurdit Singh an Indian business man hired a ship called the Komagata Maru to do just that. After 7 weeks at sea on May 21, 1914, the ship arrived at Victoria’s quarantine station, carrying 375 passengers including women and children. • The Sikh community was being heavily persecuted by Muslims and Hindus in India at this time and wanted to start new lives in Canada. • Two days later the ship pulled into Vancouver, but the government denied them entry. The Sikh passengers became prisoners on the ship. • Vancouver's Sikh community launched a court challenge. The Komagata Maru had followed all of the immigration laws applicable for Indian immigrants. A month went by, the ship was not allowed to take on food or water. The court case did not succeed in forcing officials to allow the passengers to leave the ship.
  10. 10. An Example of a Canadian response to immigration, a case study: The Komagata Maru • Immigration officials then served passengers deportation papers and ordered the captain to leave. However the Sikhs refused. • Finally the government called on the Navy to escort the Komagata Maru out of Canadian waters. • The message from the government was clear, East Indians were not welcome in Canada, and the government of Canada would break its own laws to keep them out.
  11. 11. Komagata Maru
  12. 12. Citizens from the Komagata Maru
  13. 13. Racist immigration policies, a case study: The St Louis • Immigration director Fred Blair’s infamous quote regarding Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany “None is too many” pretty much sums up Canada’s acceptance of Jewish refugees during WWII • In 1939 when the Ocean Liner the St. Louis, with over 900 Jewish refugees on board appeared off the east coast of Canada, it was refused permission to dock. • The ship was forced to return to Europe, where many of the passengers died in concentration camps
  14. 14. Chinese Immigration to Canada • 1858: The first Chinese immigrants came to Canada to look for gold on the Frazer River • 1875: The Chinese loose the right to vote in Federal elections (don’t get it back until 1947) • 1880-85: Male Chinese are encouraged to immigrate to provide labor for the construction of the railway (thousands of immigrants arrive) • 1885: First head tax is imposed on Chinese immigrants (starts at $50 but eventually goes up to $500) • 1911: Chinese population in BC at around 20 000 • 1923: On July 1st the head tax is abolished. New restrictions are passed that stop virtually all Chinese immigration to Canada (known as “Humiliation Day” by Chinese Canadians) • 1939-45: 500 Chinese Canadian soldiers fight for Canada in WWII • 1947: Chinese Canadians regain the vote and some of the immigration restrictions are lifted • 1967: Restrictions on Chinese immigration are removed entirely
  15. 15. Chinese Immigration • The Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 placed a head tax on all Chinese immigrants coming to Canada. • Forcing them to pay a fifty dollar fee to enter the country. In 1900, the fee was raised to one hundred dollars. In 1903, the amount was raised to five hundred dollars, the equivalency of two years' wages. • Later, another law was passed, declaring that only one Chinese immigrant could come to Canada for every fifty tons of the ship they were travelling on, for that one voyage. That meant that only ten immigrants could come to Canada on a ship weighing five hundred tons • This act was eventually replaced in 1923 by the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese immigration entirely.
  16. 16. collectionscanada.gc.ca
  17. 17. History of Immigration Cont. Canadian citizenship • Until 1947, there was no such thing as a Canadian citizen. Canadians were British subjects. • The Canadian Citizenship Act established Canadians as citizens of Canada rather than subjects of Britain. • Under this Act all those born in Canada or who had become naturalized British subjects automatically became Canadian citizens. • New immigrants could gain citizenship if they had legally entered the country and had lived in Canada for 4 of the last 6 years, had a good knowledge of French or English and were of “good character” • Children who were born to a Canadian father living outside Canada were citizens, however if the mother was a Canadian citizen and the father was not, the child was not considered a citizen. This would not change until the new Citizenship Act of 1976.
  18. 18. New Immigration Policies • The Immigration Act passed in 1952 allowed Cabinet to control immigration through Orders-in-council, so they could admit, limit or prohibit immigration for almost any reason they wanted. This led to a significant amount of racial discrimination regarding new immigrants to Canada. • Public opinion regarding race was changing in the 50’s and 60’s and the portions of Canada’s population began to protest the discriminatory nature of Canada’s immigration policies. • The idea that Canada should be a “cultural mosaic” began to gain popularity. • In 1962 a new set of immigration regulations was suggested in Parliament. However, it still set different criteria for those people trying to immigrate from Asian and African countries. • In the late 60’s a point system was introduced in an attempt to create a more color blind system. • In 1978 a new Immigration Act was introduced that outlined the new goals of Canada’s immigration policy
  19. 19. Mosaic or Melting Pot? • Canada prides itself at home and abroad as a country made up of a cultural mosaic. • The mosaic is based on our belief that Canada as a whole becomes stronger by having immigrants bring with them their cultural diversity for all Canadians to learn from. • The cultural melting pot, as adopted in the United States, tells immigrants that no matter who they have been in the past, upon landing on American shores, they are Americans and are expected to adopt and follow the American way.
  20. 20. New Immigration Policies Continued • The focus of the Department of Immigration is supposed to be attracting immigrants to Canada who have the education, training and skills to become contributing members of the labor force, or who have the financial resources to establish their own business in Canada. • In order to help focus the immigration department in that direction a points system was introduced to the criteria for immigration to Canada. • Now immigration officers could now award a number of points for such factors as education, training and experience, occupational demand, perceived adaptability of the immigrant, age and knowledge of French or English. If the points awarded to the immigrant added up to 50 or more, the individual was eligible for admission.
  21. 21. The Points System • Education: Generally one point for each year of primary and secondary education successfully completed • Vocational training: Points for vocational or on-the-job training. • Experience : Points for relevant job experience • Occupational demand: Points based on the need in Canada for the type of work the applicant is qualified and willing to do • Arranged employment: Points if the applicant has arranged a job, as long as this employment does not take a job away from Canadian workers • Location: Points if the immigrant is willing to move to an area where his or her particular skills are needed
  22. 22. New Policies in Immigration A shift in Policy • Because of its wealth and stability, Canada is an attractive destination for immigrants • The federal government, under Pierre Trudeau, declared that Canada would adopt multicultural policy in 1971. Canada would recognize and respect its society included diversity in languages, customs, religions, and so on. In 1982 multiculturalism was recognized by section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Official multiculturalism • Each year, there are more people applying to immigrate to Canada than we are able to accept, therefore in the 1970’s the government set up guidelines based on three broad objectives: Humanitarian to unite families and provide a safe haven for those who are persecuted, Economic to provide skilled labor for Canada and encourage economic growth and investment, Demographic considerations to maintain steady population growth. • The Canadian government no longer gives preference to people from specific countries. Instead, it has established criteria that all applicants have to meet, regardless of their country of origin.
  23. 23. Modern-Day Pro-Immigration Message
  24. 24. Questions 1. What is the difference between a melting pot and a cultural mosaic? 2. Why did the government forbid the Sikhs on board the Komagata Maru to talk to other members of the Sikh community in Vancouver? 3. What do you think the strengths and drawbacks of the new immigration system are? 4. Do you think countries such as Canada have an obligation to accept refugees, regardless of their countries of origin? Explain 5. What do you think the government meant by “fundamental character?” 6. Why would some Canadians feel threatened by shifting patterns of immigration? Do you believe this fear is wellfounded or misguided? Why?