Essay On Chinese Immigration To Canada

1849 Words 8 Pages
Chinese immigrants had always been unwelcome to Canada for more than 150 years. The first Chinese settlers came to Canada in 1858 to pan for gold in British Columbia. In 1885, as the flow of Chinese immigrants started increasing, the Canadian government started charging them a fee to live in Canada called head tax. The first anti-Chinese rule was a fifty dollar head tax on every Chinese person entering Canada. The conditions were far worse in China so people preferred to immigrate and pay the head tax. The head tax had increased up to 500 dollars by 1923 which was a lot of money at that time. There were many floods and wars going on in China which pushed people to migrate. Canada was the ideal place to settle because of its pull factors …show more content…
Many Chinese men were hired to build roads, clear land and construct railways. They were given the most dangerous jobs during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and only earned two-thirds of the wage that a white man earned. The conditions were so harsh that for every mile of the railway that was built, four Chinese men died. The Canadian government also released the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1923 to enforce their dislike of Chinese immigrants. The Act prohibited any and all Chinese immigration to Canada. Also, Chinese Canadians observed Humiliation Day on July 1st when most people celebrated it as Dominion Day or Canada Day. They were forced to close down their businesses because of boycott. After the second world war, the discrimination against Chinese Canadians had started to die down and they were applauded on their contributions during the war but the damage had already been done. During the 24 years that the Exclusion Act was in place, fewer than fifty Chinese people immigrated. Powerless to the expensive Head tax fees, many men could not bring their families to Canada. So the Chinese community became a “bachelor society” and were separated from the wives and children for over a decade and some were

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