Two months ago, we mourned the death of our father, June Yee, who had launched us on our epic journey from Hong Kong in I was only 4 years old when my large family came to Canada to start a new life. But my journey did not end when I arrived here, although Toronto is really the only home I know.
The Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration led to the first head tax. Reproduced with the permission of Canadiana. It was repealed in The Canadian government acted because it, and not any province, had power to make laws related to immigration. The pressure to pass such a law came from British Columbia, but Ottawa took action only after the railway was finished.
It was assumed that Chinese people were too poor to pay and therefore would not be able to come to Canada.
Merchants and students were exempt from the tax. No immigrants from any other country ever had to pay such a tax to enter Canada.
Government officials kept track of each person who paid, or was exempted from, the tax in large books called the General Registers of Chinese Immigration. These records were maintained from to and are in the database, Immigrants from China, The tax worked for a while.
The number of Chinese newcomers dropped from 8, in to in The new tax reduced Chinese immigration for a few years. The number of Chinese newcomers began rising again in In British Columbia, anti-Chinese feelings grew stronger.
After the First World War, the economy slowed down, and jobs were hard to find. Many whites blamed the Chinese for taking work away from white people. Chinese people living here had to register with the government or they could be deported.
They were allowed to go home to China for visits and then to re-enter Canada. But no new immigrants could come in. This meant that Chinese men living here could not bring their families into the country.
Provincial and local laws After joining Confederation inBritish Columbia demanded that no Chinese workers be used to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Canadian government would not agree.
The British Columbia legislature passed laws against the Chinese. They could not vote or be hired on public works projects such as road-building. When the Chinese were first banned from voting inthey formed the majority of voters in some electoral districts.
Saskatchewan was the other province that did not allow Chinese to vote in its elections. Anti-Chinese agitation became a powerful force in British Columbia politics. Blaming Chinese immigrants when the economy turned bad became a way of organizing migrants from Great Britain and Europe around the idea of "white supremacy," captured best in the phrase "White Canada Forever.
Therefore, they said, Chinese men did not need as much money as whites did to live on and to raise a family. They argued that the Chinese could work for lower wages and would take jobs away from white workers. White British Columbians also firmly believed that their way of life was better than all others.
They saw China as a weak nation of backward people who could never learn to live like white Canadians. Racism against Chinese and other immigrant groups such as Japanese and South Asians, as well as against First Nations peoples, were expressions of a powerful belief in white superiority.
In part, anti-Chinese racism reflected a belief in the superior power of the British Empire, as the strongest political and military force in the world during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Municipal and provincial governments in British Columbia passed the largest number of anti-Chinese laws, but anti-Chinese racism existed across Canada.
In the s, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario prohibited Chinese employers from hiring white females, out of fear that they would take sexual advantage of the women.
Intolerance becomes harassment In daily life, white Canadians felt free to show their dislike of Chinese people without any concern for the consequences.
Children tormented Chinese peddlers on the street, tipping their carts and destroying what they had to sell, while politicians and newspaper editors condemned the Chinese in speeches and writings. Sometimes public swimming pools were off-limits to Chinese people. As well, Chinese people were only allowed to sit in special sections of some movie theatres.
Chinese and Japanese communities protested after the riots in Vancouver.Central Pacific Railroad construction in the 's. Stereoviews, engravings, maps, and documents are treasures of western Americana that illustrate the history of the first transcontinental railroad, built from Sacramento, California over the Sierra Nevada mountains, the to end of track at the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory, Utah where the rails were joined on May 10, with the Union.
Anti-Corruption: The Global Fight is a new handbook from IIP Publications that outlines the kinds of corruption, their effects, and the ways that people and governments combat corruption through legislative and civil society actions. Group of Chinese people, Vancouver, British Columbia, circa This database provides access to references to Chinese immigrants who arrived in Canada between and The names were extracted from the following series of records.
General Registers of Chinese Immigration. It was the beginning of a difficult history for Chinese immigrants to Canada.
Canada's first Chinese-Canadian senator discusses her work on Asian Heritage A Brief Chronology of Chinese Canadian History. grupobittia.com Over years ago, the first Chinese landed on the western coast of Canada. Canada passed its first Chinese Immigration Act in , the same year Prime Minister John A.
Macdonald was able to muster enough support in Parliament for an electoral franchise act that excluded persons belonging to the Chinese race, and fast on the heels of a Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration..
Justice John Hamilton Gray had recommended in his final report, as a commissioner to . Chinese Exclusion Act, formally Immigration Act of , U.S. federal law that was the first and only major federal legislation to explicitly suspend immigration for a specific nationality.
The basic exclusion law prohibited Chinese labourers—defined as “both skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining”—from entering the country.