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Nineteenth-century Canada appeared to be caught up in
a fierce competition for immigrants. From Confederation in 1867 until the Great
Depression of the 1930s, each successive government, from Macdonald to Laurier,
made immigration a priority. As the young country tried to increase its population
and settle the West, one of the challenges it had to overcome was the emigration
-- or exodus --of its citizens to the United States. From the 1860s until the end
of the 19th century, more people left Canada than came here to settle. The Canadian
and Quebec governments responded with strategies to repatriate these former citizens.
One such strategy targeted French Canadians who had moved to New England.