Early women immigrating to Canada was generated by a network of
emigration agents who were salesman who advertised to Canada's
attraction's to prospected immigrants. They targeted wealthy
farmers, agricultural laborers and female domestics, preferably from
Great Britain, the United States and Northern Europe.
Canada's first immigration legislation, the Immigration Act of 1869
reflected the laissez-faire philosophy of the time by not saying
which classes of immigrants should be admitted but , merely that
the "governor" could prohibit the landing of pauper or destitute
immigrants at any Canadian port.
The Chinese, who were arriving in large numbers to build the
railway, were a special target of fear and suspicion. An act passed
in 1885 to "restrict and regulate" Chinese immigration, was later
complemented by head taxes designed to discourage Chinese
immigration. It wasn't until the 1960's that regulations and
restriction to Chinese immigration were completely lifted.
The 19th century closed with a world wide depression and a slow
down of immigration to the West. But all that changed in 1895,
when Clifford Sifton was appointed as Minister of the Interior at
the start of an economic recovery. Sifton believed that "a stalwart
peasant in sheep skin coat" made the most desirable immigrant ,
and set out to attract people suited for farming, In 1896, 16,835
immigrants entered Canada. When Sifton left in 1905, the
population was 141,464. It rocketed to 400,970 by 1913. Some
three million newcomers arrived between 1896 and the outbreak of
World War 1.
But Sifton's policies triggered criticism, despite success in
attracting farmers. Immigration from central and southeastern
Europe raised a ground swell of hostility on the prairies because
residents didn't believe theses newcomers could assimilate readily
into the dominant Anglo-Saxon society.
The authorities wanted to keep African-Canadians out of Canada
because they thought that they were useless to Canada. They
thought that the African-Canadians couldn't be farmers or could do
any form of work that was useful to Canada so they thought that
it would be better to keep them out of Canada then to have them
Almost all of Canada's population can be traced back to the major
immigration period between 1867 and 1915 which was when the
most people immigrated to Canada which was a grand total of
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