Canadian Immigration History

  • Head Tax

    Head Tax
    In 1885 a tax on Chinese immigrants was created in order to discourage Chinese immigration. The original tax was $50 but it increased to $500 by 1903. It was a very unfair law for Chinese people. Steven Harper and his government made a proper apology in 2006 and granted anyone with proof of paying the tax $20 000. This is an important part of history because it proves that Canadian immigrants were very persistant and made Canada what it is today. More Info (Exact date unknown)
  • War Measures Act

    War Measures Act
    The war measures act was a Canadian law passed at the start of World War 1. It gave the government power to arrest and deport "enemy aliens". These were people born in countries fighting against Canada. Over the course of World War 1, 8 to 9 thousand people were interned in camps. Many were deported. This affected Canadian immigration because it stopped many people from enetering and leaving Canada. More Info (Exact date unknown)
  • Asiatic Immigration Discontinued

    Asiatic Immigration Discontinued
    In 1923, the government of Canada made the decision to ban most of Asian immigration. It was a law made largely to decrease Chinese immigration after the head tax failed. The only people exempt from the law were farmers, servants, and people who could justify that they have a family member legally in Canada. This proves how easily people would make decisions that today would be deemed unacceptable. (Exact date unknown)
  • Pier 21 Opens

    Pier 21 Opens
    Pier 21 is a national historic site. From when it opened in 1928 to when it closed in 1971, it brought over 1.5 million immigrants through it's front doors. It is located in Halifax, Canada, on the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most important events in Canadian immigration because it started a journey for over one million people with a dream. More Info
  • Jewish Exclusion

    Jewish Exclusion
    A year before World War 2 started, Canada had one of it's darkest times. The Canadian government stated the no Jewish refugees were not to be admitted into Canada. Although the government probably had many reasons for it, it was still wrong, racist, and should have been a crime. They were reasponsible for the death of many at the hand of the Nazis. An event like this proves that sometimes we let our moral values be ignored because no one should be treated like this. (Exact date unknown)
  • Japanese Detention Camps

    Japanese Detention Camps
    In the middle of World War 2, after the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, Canada introduced internment camps within the country. Over 22 thousand Japanese-Canadian civilians acused of and being a threat to the country were sent there. Most of them stayed for the coarse of World War 2. It affected immigration because the imprisoned and Japanese citizens were denied access in and out of Canada. More Info

    (Exact date unknown)
  • Canadian Citizenship Act

    Canadian Citizenship Act
    On this day, Canada became the first commonwealth country to adopt the idea of a citizenship seperate from a British one. It was a significant step towards the independent Canada we know now. It was hard not to pick an event that emphasizes the Canadian dream of creating your own path.
  • Ten Millionth Immigrant

    Ten Millionth Immigrant
    Sometime in this year the 10 000 000th person immigrated to Canada since Confederation in 1867. It was a British phychiatrist named Dr. Richard Swinson. I think this event is a very important one because it proves that Canada came a very long way since first being settled by the Europeans in the 1500's. (Exact date unknown)
  • Nansen Medal

    Nansen Medal
    In 1886, the people of Canada were awarded the Nansen Refugee Award (formally the Nansen Medal). It was given by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for outstanding service in providing refugees with a safe home. It has been awarded anually to over 60 people/countries/groups. This event shows that although being a multicultural country isn't easy, it has rewards and always pays off. More Info (Exact date unknown)
  • Illegal Boats Arrive in BC

    Illegal Boats Arrive in BC
    In the summer of 1999, the first of four boats filled with 123 Chinese refugees arrived on the shores of British Columbia. The public was outraged. Even former refugees were mad. The refugees were sent to detension camps. Some were reportedly illegally kept from making refugee claims. I chose this as an important event because it shows that even though Canada is a multicultural country and home to many refugees, our patience can be stretched. (Exact date unknown)