Anti-Chinese legislation in Canada

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A number of pieces of 'anti-Chinese legislation' existed in Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, Canada no longer needed Chinese labour. This was compounded by tremendous resentment amongst the majority of the Canadian population of the fact that the Chinese labourers were willing to work more for less money. In response to this anti-Chinese sentiment, the Canadian federal government passed a series of Acts of Parliament in an effort to deter Chinese from entering Canada. The two most notable acts were the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 and the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923. These imposed quotas and a Head Tax on Chinese, and other Asian, immigrants.

In the mid-20th century, Canada slowly repealed all anti-Chinese legislation, starting in 1947. This was due to the contribution of Chinese Canadians in World War II and the fact that the legislation in question was contrary to the new United Nations Charter, which Canada had recently signed.

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

  • In the Sea of Sterile Mountains: The Chinese in British Columbia, Joseph Morton, J.J. Douglas, Vancouver (1974). Puts a human face on the politicians behind the legislation, and also details the particulars of the Head Tax, Exclusion Act, and the events and circumstances which led to them.

Anti-Chinese legislation in Canada

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