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Banner: Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience


The Documentary TrailTraces of the PastFind an Immigrant
Introduction
Free From Local Prejudice
A National Open-Door Policy
Filling the Promised Land
A Preferred Policy
A Depressing Period

Illegal Allurement

by Melanie Brown, Library and Archives Canada

When Clifford Sifton became the Minister of the Interior for the Liberal government in 1896, much of the Prairies had yet to be settled. He recognized that these vast spaces would remain relatively empty unless Canada could attract immigrants from destinations outside Britain, the United States and western Europe. Although confident that these "desirable people" could be enticed to Canada once they knew of its agricultural potential, he realized that his department could not rely solely on the same advertising tools (pamphlets, posters and newspaper editorials) it had used in Britain, the United States and western Europe. Restrictive laws regulating the work of immigration agents in many countries throughout central and eastern Europe forced Sifton to find more creative and clandestine methods of promoting Canada. This involved an aggressive advertising policy aimed specifically at farmers from eastern Europe.

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